Minutes of Social Action Committee Meeting October 18, 2015

 Social Action Committee Meeting   October 18, 2015

Attended: Trish Sullivan, Linda Weltner, Susan Morison, Barbara Kasler, Jean Hamburg, Jack Weltner, Gordie Corzine, Nicki Moore, Jill Frucci, Carolyn Corzine.

Updates and New Projects:

Nepal Disaster Response Trish Sullivan presented her work in Nepal. There are two goals 1) to ship winter clothing, coats , hats scarfs and gloves to Nepal. (The clothing is already collected. Now the need is to find funds or airline contacts to ship the items to Katmandu .) 2) to build a 50 bed rehab and training center for physical therapy at a cost of $2,000,000. The group brain-stormed ways to contact airlines who might transport the goods to Katmandu; and fund-raising possibilities. Trish had already had some success with the Rotary. Jack Weltner and Jean Hamburg agreed to meet with Trish to work on fundraising.

7th Principle (Climate Change) Linda Weltner said that she would investigate the possibility of installing solar panels on the church roof. She also said she would follow up on this morning’s presentation in the Sunday morning discussion group by contacting Jeff Cohen to make a presentation at the church.

Racism Susan Morrison reported that our church in collaboration with a town wide task force would be presenting a film called Traces of the Trade, documenting the involvement of local sea merchants in the slave trade. Nov. 15 th at 2PM there will be a 2nd showing of the film Making Whiteness Visible at the Abbot PublicLlibrary. A bigger event which could use promotional help is an invitation to Debby Irving to speak Jan. 31st on her book Waking Up White. Location yet to be decided. Susan noted that reading groups might be started to become familiar with the book before she came.

Jane Kasler said that she was interested in researching the need for, and advocating for the opening of more drug and alcohol treatment centers. Jack Weltner and Jean Hamburg suggested that she begin by contacting the MCCC which has worked in this area in the past, and the Gloucester Police Department that has developed a successful program with addicts.

Jack Weltner reported that four different groups were preparing meals for Lifebridge and all was going well.

Family Promise is still working with the town to acquire the appropriate permits following all the repairs made to the building this summer. Nicki reports that it is hope to house our first families in January. Patrice Helmuth is conducting a campaign of outreach to the local community to enlist their support and understanding of the program.

On the continued theme of Housing, Jill Frucci reported that she has begun working with theLynn Home for Women in Washington Square.   Within this program, supported by and NGO and grants, there are 42 apartments housing low income women of all ages, who would otherwise be homeless. She says that these people could use winter clothing, blankets and pots and pans. It would also be helpful to have a social worker meet with some of these women.

UUs for Justice in the Middle East Carolyn Corzine reported that Sunday Oct. 25th Alice Rothchild, physician, photographer and activist will be presenting Eyewitness Gaza: From Disaster to Resilience at the Gloucester Town Hall from 3-5. Alice documents the unmet needs of the Gazans as they struggle to cope after the 2014 attacks.

Communication Gordie Corzine reported on his work with Alisa to familiarize himself with the Social Action portion of the church Web site. Since a major piece of our work is to inform others in our congregation and beyond about the work being done by members of the SAC it is important we keep the web site up to date. Gordie will upload any information individual members contribute to the website. Please use his services. Send any data to be uploaded by him to Gordie@ties.org. Please also use the Bulletin Board and keep it up to date. I attach here the Newletter information sent to me by Christina Aubin. One can arrange for announcements to be listed for more than one week. Let’s get all the words out!

Carolyn Corzine


Additions and corrections appreciated.

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible

On Sunday, November 15th, the Marblehead Task Force Against Discrimination, the Abbot Public Library and the Marblehead Racial Justice Team, together, will present the film, “Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible.”

Following the screening, Rev. Wendy von Courter, Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church, in Marblehead, and a national leader in the UU racial justice movement, and Nikki Moore, a member of the Marblehead Racial Justice Team, will facilitate a conversation on themes from the film.

The event is open to the public, free of charge, and will begin at 2:00 p.m., at the Abbot Public Library, 235 Pleasant St., Marblehead, MA 01945

“Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible,” was produced by World Trust, an organization dedicated to addressing the challenges of diversity and inclusion. It includes personal stories revealing what is often required to move through the stages of denial, defensiveness, guilt, fear, and shame, into making a solid commitment to ending racial injustice.

The 50-minute film features leading activists for racial justice, including American anti-racism activist and writer Tim Wise and Peggy V. McIntosh, Associate Director at Wellesley Centers for Women. McIntosh gained notoriety for her work on white privilege, “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.”

“It’s so important we continue to show this film,” says Rev. von Courter. “Some are turned off by the word ‘privilege,’ believing themselves to have led anything but privileged lives. But what this film does is help us see how entire systems privilege people who are white. It isn’t about blame or shame or whether we as individuals believe we are not racist or are ‘colorblind.’ It’s truly about understanding how the black experience in our country, our schools, our stores and our lives is very different solely based on the color of their skin. I encourage everyone to attend and learn more.”

Traces of the Trade

Traces of the Trade: 
A Story From The Deep North 
Sunday, Oct 18, 2-4 pm

In this 86-minute-long film, Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine cousins retrace the Triangle Trade and gain powerful new perspectives on the black/white divide.


The film is being offered by the Marblehead Racial Justice Team and will also include a brief commentary from David Pettee, a local UU who also traced his history back to the slave trade and went on to meet some African American descendants related to him through that history. This event is FREE and open to everyone!

EYEWITNESS GAZA: From Disaster to Resilience With Alice Rothchild

Physician, activist, filmmaker, author of “Broken Promises, Broken Dreams,” and producer of the documentary film, “Voices Across the Divide.”


Boy sitting in rubble in eastern Khan Unis in the Gaza Strip                                             Photo by Alice Rothchild


Sunday, October 25, 3-5 pm
Gloucester City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue



from farmers to psychiatrists – try to rebuild their lives amidst such extreme devastation and political challenges.

Can the root causes of the conflict be addressed, or is the next deadly outbreak of violence only a matter of time?


Presented by the North Shore Coalition for Peace and Justice together with the Cape Ann Forum

Co-sponsored by the First Universalist Church of Essex, First Church in Salem, UU, Jewish Voice for Peace, Boston, Merrimack Valley People for Peace, Salem Peace Committee, the Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport, and Veterans for Peace Samantha Smith Chapter 45