Opportunities to Support Racial Justice
Unfortunately, violence too frequently continues to be perpetuated in policies and practices that inflict undue suffering and harm to communities of color. We know now is the time for people of faith and good will to stand up and speak out. If this describes you, following are some racial justice organizations that will help you get better informed and provide volunteer and witnessing opportunities. Visit the Racial Justice page to learn more.
Organizations Helping People Impacted by COVID-19
A lot of us have asked ourselves, given our UU values and in this time of pandemic, what can we do to help? Many of our traditional hands-on volunteer opportunities are closed to us, but there are still some organizations who are asking for assistance. Visit the COVID-19 Volunteering page to learn more.
Voting Issues & Campaigns
UU The Vote is a nationwide UUA campaign to engage UU congregations in the 2020 electoral process. The focus of UU the Vote includes voter registration, voter turnout, and combating voter suppression, particularly in marginalized neighborhoods. Democracy and the right of all people to have a vote are at the heart of our Seven Principles. The work is nonpartisan and involves taking concrete actions. Visit the UU the Vote page to learn more.
YOU CAN LEARN ABOUT ALL THE SOCIAL JUSTICE PROGRAMS AT AUUC BY WATCHING THIS VIDEO. CONTACT US TO GET INVOLVED.
Art With a (Re)Purpose
Art With a (Re)Purpose is AUUC’s first ever online environmental art show. All artworks showcased were made fully or partially with repurposed or recycled materials. See how “trash” can be beautiful! View the artwork here: Accotink UU Spring Arts Blog
ONGOING PROJECTS & PROGRAMS:
AUUC’s Social Justice Committee provides a forum for initiating, coordinating, and guiding programs and projects with input from the congregation. The list below covers many of the current projects of the committee. We welcome ideas and leaders for new initiatives.
This UU urban ministry program serves at-risk youth and families living in Edgewood Terrace, Northeast Washington, DC. Opportunities for service include tutoring, Saturday morning Science Club, donation of school supplies or holiday gifts and warm clothing. Learn more
This community-based interfaith event raises funds for local hunger-fighting agencies as well as the international relief and development efforts of Church World Service. The Burke area CROP Hunger Walk involves about 20 congregations and organizations and is held annually on the Sunday before Thanksgiving at 2 p.m. This event is great for a variety of ages. The walk is about 3 to 4 miles long and is mostly stroller/wheelchair accessible. Shuttle bus service to return to parked cars is planned. Learn more
UUA General Assembly Study/Action Issues
Each year at its nationwide General Assembly of congregations, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) votes on social justice-related issues to be studied leading to actions to be taken. Activities might include studying an issue, educating the congregation, taking a social witness stand, or performing legislative advocacy.
Green Sanctuary Program
The Green Sanctuary program helps to integrate environmental awareness and action into church life. Green Sanctuary organizes special projects and adult enrichment programs, and works in connection with other church groups. It is part of the UUA Green Sanctuary Program which provides a path for congregational study, reflection, and action for today’s environmental challenges – including climate change and environmental justice. Contact Marsha White.
AUUC works with local organizations in efforts to support the homeless population and more affordable housing. Some winters we provide a hypothermia shelter for a week in our sanctuary for homeless guests. Periodically, we supply and serve a dinner to the residents of a homeless shelter. As part of Interfaith Housing Ministries, we have provided mentors to recently homeless families living in subsidized housing. As members of Communities of Faith United for Housing, we support the Fairfax County 10-year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. Learn more
AUUC works with two interfaith groups on efforts to promote social justice legislation in Virginia – Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (V.O.I.C.E.) and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. AUUC is also a member of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Virginia (UULMVA) which promotes our UU principles in advocacy work with Virginia legislators. Join our Advocacy Team!
Accotink friends and families are encouraged to donate a pair of new mittens or gloves, scarves, hats, socks or other warm accessories for children and teens. This year we are going share these donations with the 20 Halley ES students (preschool – sixth grade) who receive our weekend meal packs and also to children and teens at Beacon House in Washington, D.C. We especially encourage our children to bring a gift of warmth and hang it on our Mitten Tree. Please bring your donations by Sunday, January 12, 2020. This is a great way to get the whole family involved with outreach.
Our youth provide ‘weekend meal packs’ for up to 20 children at Halley Elementary School each weekend throughout the school year. Learn more
As part of its overall mission, the Social Justice Committee annually selects 12 recipients of special monthly collections to benefit a wide range of worthwhile tax-exempt organizations, at the same time educating the congregation about their contributions to the local and regional community. We welcome suggestions for recipients of our Outreach Collections from anyone in the congregation. Learn more
Each year, AUUC sponsors 23 of the poorest children in the Mawkria Unitarian School in northeast India. For each student, $40 is donated by a church member to cover the cost of books, desk repairs, a subsidy to the low-paid teacher, and incidental expenses for a year. Learn more
Each year we support the Season for Nonviolence (Jan 30 – Apr 4), a time of peacemaking and consciousness-raising opportunity, inspired by the work of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition, we support the Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County given annually to local high school students to promote and reward peacemaking efforts.
TAC is open to everyone who is interested in LGBTQ+ rights and advocacy. Our mission is to be active participants in the LGBTQ+ community and support ongoing equality efforts. We also strive to create a welcoming community within AUUC. Learn more
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
UUSC is a voluntary, non-sectarian organization working in partnership with grassroots organizations in the US and abroad to confront oppression and advance justice throughout the world. We support them through yearly contributions, occasional Outreach Collections, Guest at Your Table boxes, and Fair Trade sales.
Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice
UUSJ unites and leads the social justice work of UUs in the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia region by fostering collaboration among UU churches and by organizing advocacy workshops and training events. There are opportunities to join task forces and committees. Visit UUSJ.net.
Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE)
Founded in 2008, VOICE is a non-partisan coalition of almost 50 faith communities and civic organizations in Northern Virginia working together to build power in middle and low-income communities. AUUC has been a member of VOICE since 2011. VOICE organizes in Prince William, Fairfax, and Arlington counties as well as the City of Alexandria uniting people across lines of race, class, religion, political party and geography to take action on key issues in our community including but not limited to affordable housing, access to health and dental care, and immigrant rights. VOICE has deepened our relationships with interfaith communities across the region, including Muslims, Catholics, Sikhs, and Christians of every stripe. VOICE – Organizing for a New Dominion of Justice and Political Participation. Learn more here: http://www.voice-iaf.org
For more information on these and other projects, contact [email protected]