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Social Justice and Outreach

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    The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly (GA) will convene in Kansas City, Missouri, June 20-24, 2018. General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Each year thousands of attendees from congregations in the United States gather to worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Last year a record number of members from our church attended the historic first-time GA in New Orleans, including our largest number of official delegates.  If considering repeating the experience or attending for the first time, it’s a good idea to secure your hotel room when housing reservations open at 10am EST on March 1. Early registration is the best opportunity to choose hotel accommodations based on lower rates and proximity to the Kansas City Convention Center, where sessions will be held. The cost of attending GA can be reduced by being a volunteer, for which financial aid toward registration is available. Click on   https://www.uua.org/ga  for more information about GA 2018, and scroll down for links to  volunteer opportunities and economic accessibility.  Look for more information about GA 2018 in forthcoming  newsletters and the spring issue of UU World.

    Save the date.  The Annual Sounds of CommUNITY Concert,  presented by the Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge,  will be held at Broadmoor United Methodist Church at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 29. More information about the concert will be carried in the April newsletter and weekend announcements and on the bulletin board in the Coffee Room.

~Becky Cureau, Director of Outreach 

 

    Our shared offering for March is Days for Girls EBRLA Team, the UCBR team developed in late 2017.  DfG is a grassroots nonprofit creating a more dignified, humane and sustainable world for girls through advocacy, reproductive health awareness, education and sustainable feminine hygiene.  The solutions are a simple and effective way to enable girls to go to school and women to go to work without interruption each month.  The UCBR DfG is starting up this spring and is in need of sewing machines, materials, sergers and other items to facilitate their work.

    The "Next Step" Chronology Committee will begin posting its revision work on the Chronology of Social Justice Issues and Events for UCBR in late February and throughout March, a focus batch at a time, for the congregation to review and offer any additional edits as needed.  These will be posted in time for the Sunday services on large sheets in the fellowship hall and in the book area of the main kitchen.  Please take time to review and offer comments to next step group, Dave Comeaux, Mary Ellyn Hale, Janet Moulder, Bobby Thompson, Mija Thompson, and Jane Webb.

    The Days for Girls EBR LA team will begin meeting regularly Friday, March 2, from 6:30-8:30pm, room 5. Marcia Shannon reported to SJT that a sewing machine, cotton fabric and small bars of soap have been donated.  She is purchasing additional machines, a serger, materials needed for the work and the shared offering will help provide those additional necessities.  Please contact Marcia if you can help locate further donations for this cause.  The official Facebook page is Days for Girls East Baton Rouge LA Team.  Our team hopes to make connections with the Department of Corrections so that our materials may be given to women in Louisiana prisons.  She is also trying to contact local women's shelters for the same purpose.  The book Periods Gone Public by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf is the recommended book to understanding the issues which are fueling this project. 

    UCBR cooked a lasagne dinner for the St. Vincent de Paul Women's Shelter February 27.  Becky Cureau coordinated the team of women who cooked the meal and served it. 

    After meeting with Justin Zyla of the YWCA, Bobby Thompson and Jane Webb are interested in our congregation becoming involved with a project to help fund and support people in need of bail funds.  Research shows that a disproportionate number of the poor end up in prison when they are unable to produce the funds needed for bail.  A training session occurred in February sponsored by LEAN to teach attendees how to develop social movement/advocacy groups.  Krista Bordelon of UCBR attended and will present ideas to the SJT as we work to best support this YWCA initiative.

    The next Social Justice Team meeting will be Sunday, March 11, 12:45pm, church office.  The group has agreed to a BYOF policy should anyone be unable to grab a bite before. 

~Bobby Thompson, Director of Social Justice with Jane Webb, Co-chair