“Rebooting” the UU Justice Ministry of NC

Background

The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of North Carolina (UULMNC) was launched in the fall and winter of 2012-13 to

  • strengthen the social justice programs of participating UU congregations;
  • foster communication and common cause among UU congregations in North Carolina with respect to issues involving social justice; and
  • serve as a resource for public policy and legislative information and a contact point with other organizations that share our values and public policy priorities.

Since then, UULMNC has been recognized by the Coalition of Unitarian Universalist State Action Networks (CUUSAN) as North Carolina’s statewide UU justice ministry, created a website (www.uulmnc.net), has sent periodic newsletters containing social justice news, information, and resources to a mailing list of approximately 300 individuals, recruited about a dozen individuals to serve as liaisons between UULMNC and UU congregations in NC, and, more recently, rebranded itself as the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of NC (UUJMNC).

UUJMNC, however, has not succeeded over the past five years in

  • establishing a viable organizational structure, recruiting an active steering committee or board, or recruiting an active team of volunteers,
  • obtaining any funding to support its mission,
  • establishing any action teams, working groups, or task forces to address important social justice issues in North Carolina,
  • forming working relationships with North Carolina’s UU congregations and ministers or other social justice organizations in North Carolina, or
  • serving as a visible and effective catalyst, coordinator, or leader with respect to UU involvement with the Moral Monday Movement, marriage equality, HB2, or other social, environmental, and political issues in North Carolina.

And so it’s clear that the time has come to completely “reboot” and re-launch UUJMNC as a better-organized, adequately-funded, more visible, and more effective statewide UU justice ministry that will “give life the shape of justice.”

Over the past six months, Doug Rhodes (a member of the Eno River UU Fellowship in Durham who planted the seeds of UUJMNC in 2012-13 and has almost single-handedly been keeping UUJMNC’s flame alive since then) and Rev. John L. Saxon (former Lead Minister of the UU Fellowship of Raleigh) have been learning about the organizational structure, staffing, funding, mission, and activities of successful UU justice ministry organizations across the United States (including those in Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, Minnesota, Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington) and, based on what they learned, have been working to develop and implement a plan to “reboot” UUJMNC.

“Rebooting” UUJMNC

Doug and John recently sent a letter to all UU congregations and ministers in North Carolina to share their vision for creating a more effective, visible, organized, and adequately-funded statewide UU justice ministry for North Carolina and to ask for their feedback and support.

Since then, they have submitted a grant proposal to the Fund for UU Social Responsibility seeking $15,000 in “start up” funding for UUJMNC, filed articles to incorporate UUJMNC as a nonprofit corporation, obtained a new internet domain (www.uuforwardtogether.org), established new Facebook and Twitter accounts for UUJMNC, and started work on a new UUJMNC website.

Next steps include will include

  • filing an application for section 501(c)(3) status with the federal Internal Revenue Service,
  • opening an organizational bank account,
  • recruiting a six- to eight-member board of directors for UUJMNC and adopting bylaws,
  • recruiting congregational liaisons,
  • forming volunteer justice action teams to address specific justice issues,
  • using the SALSA software program for on-line fundraising, communications, and advocacy,
  • creating a reliable stream of funding from individual Unitarian Universalists, UU congregations, and others that will be adequate to support UUJMNC’s mission,
  • establishing working relationships with all of North Carolina’s UU congregations,
  • working to build coalitions, partnerships, and relationships with other faith-based and secular organizations in North Carolina, and
  • organizing workshops, conferences, events, and other programs and activities that will support individual Unitarian Universalists and UU congregations in our calling to “give life the shape of justice.”

With the active involvement and  support of North Carolina’s Unitarian Universalist congregations, UU ministers, and individual UUs, our goals over the next two years are to “reboot” UUJMNC as a better-organized, adequately-funded, more visible, and more effective statewide UU justice ministry that will “give life the shape of justice” by

  • coordinating and supporting the social justice work of individual UUs and UU congregations in North Carolina,
  • building relationships with other groups who are working for social justice, and
  • giving voice to our Unitarian Universalist values with respect to important social, economic, environmental, and political issues in North Carolina.

As we move forward, we promise to stay in touch, to keep you informed, to listen, and to work with you to create a more effective, visible, organized, and adequately-funded statewide UU justice ministry for North Carolina.

 

Sharing is caring!

2 Responses to ““Rebooting” the UU Justice Ministry of NC

  1. I signed up summer 2018 to be a congregational liason of uufws (in Winston-Salem) for uu Justice Ministry of NC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.