Unitarian Universalists have a rich history of putting our beliefs into action for social justice. The Mountain Vista UU congregation is no exception. For many years, we have worked for justice in a variety of community endeavors. Members of our Justice Coordinating Council (JCC) help to ensure that we are making the most of our resources by coordinating with selected social justice organizations, which are chosen by our membership.
Currently, our justice focus is on youth and families and non-profit organizations that serve them in the quest for social justice.
Every two years we choose four Partnering Organizations. Each of these four partners receives two months of focused attention at our weekly Practice, as well volunteer assistance. Four more organizations we support are known as At-Large Recipients. They receive weekly recognition at our Practice and donations to the charity basket for one month each year.
We strategically select partners and affiliates in order to balance our support between organizations who offer short-term aid and longer-term systemic change.
Here’s more about how Justice Outreach is organized and implemented at MVUU:
Justice Coordinating Council (JCC)
The JCC acts as a steering group for building strong relationships with partners and affiliates. The group also organizes JIA Meetings as described below.
Justice Issues Assembly (JIA)
The JIA, which meets three times a year, emails invitations to all MVUU members and friends to inform and inspire the congregation’s enthusiasm for justice outreach.
Strategic Change Agents
Pima County Interfaith Civic Education Organization (PCICEO):
Non-profit interfaith association of some 28 religious and civic organizations, affiliated with Arizona Interfaith Network. MVUU’s “Team” educates and mobilizes citizens to advocate for systemic change in an inclusive democratic society. Issues include public education, health care and nutrition, immigrant integration, workforce development, and economic justice for poor and marginalized people. Learn through “civic academies” how to support issues and help get out the vote to hold public officials accountable.
UU Justice Arizona Network (UUJAZ):
Engages UUs in justice making by strengthening justice ministries; connects UU activists/congregations across the state; partners with like-minded justice organizations; and empowers UUs to work for justice public policy. Efforts include immigration and public education. Special worship services tie justice work to UU values; and two statewide events empower UU youth/adults to take action for just public policy.
Keep Tucson Together (KTT):
All-volunteer organization that aids those seeking to apply for citizenship, youth under DACA, and families needing legal assistance with immigration/deportation. Keeps families together, rather than having the parent or parents deported. Donations help office overhead and provide paper in abundance for form instructions and completing forms.
Youth On Their Own (YOTO):
Support high school graduation and continued success of homeless youth by providing financial assistance, basic human needs, and guidance. YOTO serves a specific group of homeless youth in need, stressing the importance of immediate assistance, high school graduation, and career development through a well-managed, dedicated organization.
Interfaith Community Services (ICS):
MVUU is one of many faith partners, a non-profit since 1985, which has helped people in need achieve stable, health, independent lives. ICS runs a food bank, jobs resource center, meals on wheels and provides for the elderly in many ways. Other programs assist single mothers, prevent homelessness, help hospital patients with home care and support and many other services related to the health and safety of Tucson area children, youth and families.
Provides pathways out of poverty through safe, affordable housing, workforce development and neighborhood revitalization. Men, women and children are served by its shelters and programs of work development and home placement.
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC):
UUSC has three areas of Justice Focus: Economic, Environmental and Rights at Risk. When the environment and rights are being destroyed, UUSC serves people worldwide who often have to abandon their homes and flee, uprooting family and children. They focus on needs of groups at risk, like current aid for the Rohingya in Burma and on many areas that make headlines due to war and environmental disasters. They also work to empower women in Nepal, who lack the power to adequately help their family in an area that gets little publicity.
Arizonans for Gun Safety (AZFGS):
AZFGS, the oldest state-based gun violence organization in Arizona, engages individuals, organizations and public officials from diverse communities in a statewide effort to prevent gun violence, as well as advocating for sensible gun laws.
For more information on Immigration Organizations doing good works in Southern Arizona, please click here.