Social Justice at the UUFA
The Social Justice Committee studies social justice issues in our community and world, informs Fellowship members about social justice issues and actions, and encourages UUFA members to be active in making social justice happen.
A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS)
AMOS is a local IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation) broad-based, non-partisan, community organization comprised of 30 community institutions. We believe that ordinary people, working together, can accomplish great things in a democracy and have a say in the destiny of their own community. Visit the AMOS website for more information.
Our membership in AMOS, through an annual 1% budget line item, has empowered numerous UUFA members to work with members of other local congregations on issues of local, compelling need, such as affordable housing, maternal health care provision, and immigrant justice.
Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance
Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance is governed by a coalition of religious institutions in Ames that pooled resources 15 years ago in an effort to serve those seeking emergency assistance in a more coordinated way. GNEA is included as a line item in the UUFA budget, and we are represented on its board. See their website for more information.
Emergency Residence Project
In existence for more than 25 years, ERP provides shelter to homeless men and families, has 6 transitional housing units for families seeking a long-term solution to homelessness, and operates a "homelessness prevention" fund that saves dozens of families every year from the trauma of eviction and homelessness. The UUFA is a proud founding institution of ERP, and currently provides the project with financial support throughout the year.
Standing on the Side of Love
Standing on the Side of Love is based on Unitarian Universalism’s First Principle, which affirms and promotes the “inherent worth and dignity of every person.” The campaign calls Unitarian Universalists to form local groups to address discrimination in their own communities. This might include lobbying for same-sex marriage, calling for immigration reform, or protesting hate crimes. The groups are encouraged to form coalitions with other religious or community groups.
The campaign was started in response to the shooting last year at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tenn. On July 27, 2008, Jim David Adkisson walked into the church’s sanctuary during the performance of a children’s musical and began firing a shotgun, killing two and injuring six. Among the fatalities and the injured were members of TVUUC and Westside Unitarian Universalist Church, also in Knoxville.
In a letter later found by police, Adkisson said that he targeted the church because of its liberal values—including its openness to gays and lesbians. “The UU church is the Fountainhead [sic], the veritable wellspring of anti-American organizations like Moveon.org, Code Pink, and other un-American groups,” he wrote.
After the shooting, both Knoxville congregations pledged to remain open and welcoming—and many religious communities from across the theological and political spectrum rushed to provide food, comfort, and assistance. The extensive media coverage of the event led to an influx of church visitors as people heard about Unitarian Universalism, some for the first time, and came to check it out. For TVUUC, around 40 of these visitors became members.
The courageous responses of both congregations as well as the broad-based Knoxville community support inspired SSL organizers.
More information on Standing on the Side of Love can be found on their website.
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Committee description approved by Board April 10, 2013.
|Social Justice Ministry Committee approved April 2013.pdf||11.32 KB|