Minutes of the Social Action Committee May 15, 2016

Minutes of the Social Action Committee May 15, 2016

Attending: Nikki Moore, Susan Barnard, Linda Weltner, Jean Hamburg, Mary Anna Purello, Gordie Corzine, Jack Weltner, Jay Morrison, Susan Morrison, Christine Krom, Carolyn Corzine

  1. Request for brief summaries of activities in your area of special interest to be included in the annual Meeting Report. Annual Meeting is June 12th. Christina Aubin is requesting our Report ASAP to go to the printer in time. I need your information likewise ASAP to put it all together.
  2. The Welcoming Congregation group will participate in the Pride Day Parade June 11th. All are welcome to join in. The group will go to the service at the Arlington Street Church and then blend in with the marchers.  Contact Bill Smalley or Holly Jaynes for info.
  3. Racism Task Force Susan and Nikki said that no big events were being planned for the time being. The group is investigating an approach originating in Winchester to use in Marblehead.  The local group is focused on White Privilege which is not the same as the Black Lives Matter movement.  Nikki observed that many issues are overlapping, when I asked if anyone would like to work on Prison Reform which is one of the topics identified by the UU MA Action group.
  4. Nepal Update  Jack reported for Trisch that there had not been any new money forthcoming for the project at this time although Trish had a number of requests out to big donors.
  5. Climate Change Gordie and Carolyn attended the UUMA advocacy day organized by UU MA Action, and visited our representatives, Erlich and McGee, supporting sustainable energy development in MA. Both sets of aides said that their bosses were supportive. According to them and to speakers at an educational forum at St. Andrews last week Senator Stan Rosenberg is attempting to pass S1747 which is a carbon tax bill.  We are urged to create political pressure by calling Sen Rosenberg’s office and asking him to bend every effort to get this bill out of committee in this session.
  6. UUJME has been successful in getting a Business Resolution on the Agenda at GA which asks the UUA to divest of stock of four companies which violate the human rights of Palestinians in the West Bank. They are Caterpillar, which has designed specially equipped bulldozers to crush Palestinian houses, two parts of Hewlett Packard and Motorola who create security systems which restrict and monitor the movements of Palestinians. Prior to GA the UUA decided to create a Human Rights Investment Screen to check on the behavior of companies in “conflict zones” and divested from the stocks mentioned in the Business Resolution.  UUJME wants to broaden the discussion about the behavior of companies in the West Bank using the Business Resolution as a springboard.  Gordie and Carolyn are going to GA as delegates with this mission in mind.  Carolyn is working to contact other delegates on the Northshore and provide them with information about the Resolution, and the situation for the Palestinians on the West Bank.
  7. Meetinghouse News Series Jay reported that on May 25th Bob Booth will be presenting the last of the historical talks connected to the Tricentennial and will be talking about his new book about women in Marblehead. Next year Jay hopes to open up the range of topics to be offered.  It was suggested that we invite Jessica Garcia-Rizzo who is doing her PHD work on support programs for inmates after release from incarceration to speak about prison reform. Linda said we should offer controversial topics to generate more interest and participation.

Minutes of the Social Action Committee Meeting, March 13, 2016

Minutes of Social Action Committee Meeting March 13th 2016
Next Meeting May 1st 12-1 Nichols

Family Promise No one from the Family Promise group was able to attend, but the next week that we have committed to is Aug. 21st to 28th. There was a lot of discussion about how the experience could be improved the next time. It was acknowledged that making this work is not easy and that for a first effort it was a great success. A number of suggestions were offered by the group and Susan Morrison said she would transmit them to the principals. It would be helpful to our guests to post WIFI information. We should send a member of our group to the previous site and get menu requests, and allergy information the week in advance. For our own benefit we should be sure we know how to operate the thermostats in each room, and presumably info about fans in the summer. It would be helpful to have a meeting of all the volunteers a week in advance to coordinate menus and duties and timing of different roles. Overnighters need to know when to arrive. Cooks need to have their food used and leftovers need to be donated to the Salem Mission e.g. It would be important next time to make sure that volunteers from other churches get called and included if they have offered their services as cooks etc.
Seventh Principle Linda reported that she had not pursued the idea of solar panels on the church roof with the Historic District Commission but she will. It may be difficult to find an area that is not facing a road but we do not know that yet. It is apparently possible to install the panels thru a leasing company but the church would not get as much benefit financially as if it was able to own the panels. Jeff Cohen could supply more information about this.
Racism Susan reported that the Jan. 31st event based on the book Waking up White by Debbie Erving was a great success. It would have been better if her dialogue partner Shay Stewart-Bouley who is the Executive Director of CommunityChange Inc. and anti racist organization had been there. Nonetheless it had started the ball rolling with the police (members of the Racial Justice Team plan to meet with the Chief) and teachers at the HS who would like to incorporate this information into their curricula. The Ministerial Association is considering the idea of offering an Interfaith Book Group on the theme of racial awareness to Marblehead congregations
Nepal Disaster Response- Rehab Nepal, Inc. Jack and Jean reported that Trish continues to work hard on the Nepal project and so far has raised $4.600. She is seeking much larger sums from corporations and has sent many letters to charities and churches. The UUA has been approached. There is a donate button on the web page and monies will go to an account at the National Grand Bank in addition to donations that can be mailed to the business address.
UUJME Carolyn reported that there had been enough signatures collected nationally to get the BDS resolution placed on the agenda of the Business Meeting at GA. The next goal is to recontact all the churches who sent petitions in to the UUA in the first place, and get them to appoint delegates to GA who will vote for divestment. There will likely be education offered to delegates and she listed many events being planned over the next months to prepare. She also pointed to a UUMass Action Newsletter that UUJME had signed onto that lists those efforts, but also other action efforts being carried out by the denomination. Among those projects was one on the Environment and another on Mass Incarceration which we should perhaps get involved with. For their newsletter, sign up here http://www.uumassaction.org/sign-up-for-email/.
Meetinghouse Series Jay reported that his effort to book Lori Erlich is still in need of focus, and people suggested talking about the legislative process would be great. April 13th Wed. at 7PM Judith Black will offer her storytelling piece for the Tricentennial Celebration. May 25th there will be a talk about the Female Humane Society. In the future Jay would like to move away from strictly historical programs. For the Fall people suggested another program about Israel Palestine, preferably led by someone with Jewish background, like Alice Rothchild MD or Rabbi Brian Walt.

Carolyn

Rehab Nepal

January 2016

 

Social Justice assumes that we recognize the inherent worth and dignity of every person. This overarching principle applies to the equality of providing health care to those in need. Need is dramatic when a catastrophe hits. In April of 2015 23,000 people were injured by the earthquakes and landslides in Nepal. The immediate medical care was remarkably good considering the numbers of persons needing treatment and the rural locations of many of the injured. Now, 8 months later, thousands still require rehabilitation to recover from the multiple fractures, amputations, spinal cord and brain injuries sustained in the quakes and landslides. This portion of our world community needs our support to achieve justice for all who cannot access rehabilitation services and who because of disabilities cannot work.

 

The Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead has a long standing commitment to social justice work. We responded quickly to disaster relief after Katrina sending members to rebuild homes. Our minister, Rev. Wendy von Courter, was imprisoned when leading the call for justice for immigrants. And we have led in the call for racial justice and housing for homeless.

 

Now we are calling for social justice in providing rehabilitation care and vocational training to those injured in the Nepal earthquakes and those in the general public needing rehabilitation. Patricia E. Sullivan, DPT, PhD a member of the Social Action Committee of UUCM has 25 years of providing physical therapy services, education and consultation internationally. For the past few years she has consulted at Kathmandu University’s Dhulikhel Hospital to improve their physical therapy services and teaching methodologies. After the earthquakes she was asked by her Nepalese colleagues to assist in disaster relief. To that end she established Rehab Nepal, Inc. to provide that support and to provide a mechanism to collect donations and oversee fund raising.

Dr. Sullivan has the full and unanimous support of the UUCM Social Action Committee. Last year we recognized her remarkable international contributions which include providing service, teaching and consulting in 17 countries, by presenting her with the Social Justice award. She as President of Rehab Nepal Inc. is submitting this proposal for your consideration.

 

Full proposal is available here UUA Nepal Proposal a

 

Minutes of the Social Action Committee Meeting, January 10, 2016

                                 Minutes of Social Action Committee January 10th 2016

                                               NEXT MEETING March 13, 2016 12-1

Present: Gordie Corzine, Christine Krom, Stathi Stratis, Susan Barnard, Jean Hamburg, Nicki Moore, Susan Morrison, Jay Morrison, Trish Sullivan, Sheila Cran-Berry, Carolyn Corzine

Family Promise: Nicki reported that the first round of guests will be in residence from January 24-31st. 56% of the slots for volunteers have been filled both from inside and outside the church. The mechanism for doing that has been an on-line tool called Volunteer Spot to avoid duplicate sign-ups for the same dates and times. Nicki will be expanding her outreach this next week to complete the roster. Cheryl and Christine have agreed to shop for food and supplies not included in the evening meal. Trained volunteers can sign up for slots involving contact with clients, but others can provide meals or set up and break down. Further trainings will be offered in the future, and providing that this goes well, a second residency will happen in the summer. Nicki is studying to be a trainer.

Seventh Principle: Linda Weltner was informed that the Historic District Commission would not allow solar panels on any portion of our roof. However two individual members have been exploring using solar panels on their residences.

Nepal Disaster Response: Trish reported that Rehab Nepal Inc. is now a 501c3 tax deductible organization, and has collected nearly $5000 to date. Trish is currently writing proposals to the Nepal -American Medical Foundation, which can contribute between $30,000 and $50,000. A proposal will also be sent to the UUA. We as the Social Action Committee of the UUCM voted unanimously to officially sponsor the submission of Rehab Nepal Inc to the UUA. The goals of Rehab Nepal are: 1) to build an in-and outpatient Rehabilitation Center on the Dhulikhel Hospital campus 2) to expand 14 existing rural clinics operated by the hospital to provide consistent rehabilitation services and 3) to provide education and training programs for rehabilitation staff and community health workers. The amounts needed to accomplish these goals are $1,500,000 for the building, and $500,000 for its equipment and staffing. Additional monies will be required to equip, and staff clinics and train staff.

Racism: Susan Morrison reported that plans for the Racial Justice event were going ahead smoothly with the joint efforts of the Marblehead Racial Justice Team and the Marblehead Ministerial Association. On Sunday January 31, 2016, from 2-4 PM at the Marblehead High School Auditorium, Shay Stewart-Bouley Executive Director of Boston based Community Change Inc, and Debbie Irving author of Waking Up White will engage in an honest dialogue about activism for racial justice, and white privilege. A number of church book groups are reading Debbie’s book in preparation for this event and high school students are being specifically invited to attend. The event is being widely publicized.

The UUA Urban Ministry is offering Anti Racism Workshop Saturday January 23rd from 10-2 at 10 Putnam St. Roxbury. The panel discussion will address both “Black Lives Matter” and ” Islamophobia”. Nicki, Carolyn, Susan Barnard, Sheila Cran-Berry, and Stathi plan to attend.

UUJME: Carolyn reported that she attended a follow up meeting to the New Day conference which was directed to residents of the 6th congressional district. The group plans to develop a phone tree to contact Markey, Warren and Seth Moulton up to twice a month about congressional bills that relate to the Israel/Palestine conflict. Currently there is a Bill in the house seeking to penalize the EU for demanding that goods manufactured in the West Bank be appropriately labeled as such and not Made in Israel. She is hoping to recruit volunteers for that phone tree. Also UUJME is currently working to get a BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Business Resolution on the Agenda at GA. Some of you may already have signed the Petition from UUCM asking for that to happen. 250 signatures are needed in all, and only10 can come from each church, If that Business Resolution is place on the Agenda, then UUJME will work to inform delegates to GA about the Resolution and the reasons why they should vote for it.

 

Meetinghouse Series Jay Morrison talked about the plans for the Meeting House series. So far, b/c it is the Tricentennial Year all of the presentations have been historical, and the previous speakers would like to return. Attendance has been about 20 per visit. Jay wondered about branching out to other topics, and also discussed timing of those meetings. Lori Erlich agreed to come to present but would like us to suggest a topic. Stathi suggested as an alternative topic to show the film Black Orpheus about Carnival in Brazil, and demonstrate how people cope with poverty thru dance, music and song.

Communication Alissa, who was not present, manages the church web site as a whole, has asked Gordie to manage the part of the site dealing with Social Action. If people want to announce matters related to their particular interest they should send the data to Gordie to list it.

Please edit for omissions and corrections before the Minutes are posted on the Web Site.

Respectfully,

Carolyn Corzine, Chair

 

Let’s Talk About Racial Justice

Let’s Talk About Racial Justice

Exploring the Heart of Cross-Racial Conversations

Sunday, January 31, 2016 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Marblehead High School Auditorium

Free and open to all!

speakers

Photo supplied by Debby Irving

Shay Stewart-Bouley, Executive Director of Community Change Inc., a Boston-based anti-racist organization

Debby Irving, racial justice educator and author of “Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race

 

Join Debby and Shay in an open and honest discussion about activism for racial justice.

  • What is “white privilege”?
  • Why does it matter?
  • What can I do?

 

Sponsored by the Marblehead Racial Justice Team and the Marblehead Ministerial Association

 

Racial Justice is a project of UUCM Social Action Committee.

Family Promise host week January 24-31

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At our annual meeting in June 2014, the UUCM congregation voted unanimously to become a host congregation for the Family Promise program. This program enlists religious congregations to host up to 4 homeless families for one week several times each year. The vote to join the program was taken after Gordie Corzine urged each us to vote for the proposal only if we thereby pledged to volunteer to help out when the time came.
The time has now finally come. The families will arrive on Sunday January 24 and will be with us until Sunday January 31. The families will have dinner each evening at the UUCM, spend the night, and then grab a quick breakfast as they are picked up in the morning to go to school, or work, or the Family Promise space in Beverly for the day.

A large group of us have been trained as volunteers for the program. In addition, there are many jobs which do not require the training, such as setting up the rooms on January 24, providing dinner or doing laundry.

You can sign up on-line using Volunteer Spot. Go to Volunteer Spot entry or see one of the committee members on a Sunday morning at church beginning 12/20. Committee members are Nikki Moore, Cheryl Woolf Variam, Patrice Helmuth and Christine Krom.

Minutes of the Social Action Committee Meeting, November 8, 2015

 NEXT MEETING JANUARY 10,2016 12-1.

Attendees: Alissa Manning, Jean Hamburg, Trish Sullivan, Susan Morrison, Jay Morrison, Carolyn Corzine. (Reported in absentia, Chris Krom, Linda Weltner).

Family Promise: Chris Krom reports that here is hope that we will be able to host our first family in January although no date is set as yet. Mark Wilhelm reported that he has, what he hopes will be, a final meeting with Bob Ives to obtain a Special Occupancy Report on Thursday at 2 PM. As soon as that permit is in hand the project can go forward.

Seventh Principle: Linda Weltner has obtained an electric bill from Christina Aubin and forwarded it to Jeff Cohen who will offer advice to the church about the usefulness of installing solar panels on the church roof. She is next going to meet with the Historic District Commission to determine their attitude toward the project.

Nepal Disaster Response: Jack Weltner and Jean Hamburg have met with Trish Sullivan to consider which resources might be tapped to provide transport for accumulated clothing, and assist with a Capital Campaign to raise funds for the projected rehab facility. Trish presented a slide presentation to the Harbor Rotary that was well received. She also sent a letter to the Carter Foundation. Other contacts have been made with Julia Fitz-Randolph, and alumni from Northeastern. She was advised to get a “fiscal agent” that is larger than UUCM to manage the Capital Campaign. Alissa offered to explore possibilities at MGH. Christina will be asked to put up a heading on the bulletin board for Nepal actions.

Racism: Susan Morrison reported that after the second showing of Making Whiteness Visible next Sunday, the 15th, the racism team will make some plans for the Jan. 31st event. Debby Irving will speak about her book Waking Up White, and there will be an effort to organize readings of the book in advance.

Justice in the Middle East: Carolyn Corzine announced a half day workshop organized by Mass Peace Action to be held at Harvard next Sat. Nov. 14th from 12:30 – 4:30 called A New Day: Organizing to Change US Policy on Israel and Palestine. She invited others to attend with her and Gordie. Transportation and dinner afterwards to be planned.

Communication: Alissa Manning raised the question about what we should be promoting on our web page, and how best to format the information. She reported that the UUA has just issued a new template for websites. We are using a 2014 layout. A small task force has been identified, including Jane Kasler, Mary Gardner, Nicki Moore and Kathy Sands Boehmer , Linda Enrico, and herself will be working on establishing the steps to be followed to market church events i.e. best practices. There was a discussion about whether we should publicize events that don’t arise here at UUCM. It was agreed that we should have a different way of listing events that match our list of topics of interest but take place in other venues as “Recommended Activities or Other Related Activities.”

Carolyn Corzine   Corrections and Edits Please.

 

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

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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!