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

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

 

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.