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 Affiliates. 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.
Interfaith Community Services (ICS):
Since 1985, the ICS mission—“To help Pima County seniors, disabled individuals, and people in financial crisis achieve healthy, stable, and independent lives”—has been supported by volunteers from 93 partnering faith communities. Programs, like the Food Bank, Mobile Meals, and Job Resources Center, provide needy Tucsonans a lifeline in hard times. CONTACT: Anne Jagnow, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers with Literacy Connects impact learners’ lives by building improved literacy skills, positive behavioral change, and confidence to succeed. Through “Reading Seed” and “Reach Out and Read,” children of all ages improve reading skills and love of reading and writing stories. Adult programs teach literacy and English language skills. CONTACT: Mary Nell Hoover, email@example.com.
Pima County Interfaith Council Education Organization (PCICEO):
Since 1990, PCICEO has promoted structural change to bring about inclusive democracy and economic opportunity for Arizona families. Through a wide coalition of citizen groups, PCICEO has improved local schools, neighborhood safety, health care, and investment in community facilities like parks, libraries, and safe playgrounds. CONTACT: Richard Kopp, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Tucson Together:
An all-volunteer organization, Keep Tucson Together assists immigrants with documentation for DACA and citizenship and provides legal assistance regarding immigration issues. MVUU provides volunteer support, as needed, and funds to help with items such as office overhead and related expenses. CONTACT: Mary Nell Hoover, email@example.com.
Youth On Their Own (YOTO):
For over 31 years, YOTO has supported the high school graduation of homeless youth through financial assistance, basic human needs, and guidance. Upon graduation, YOTO offers career development, including mentoring and training in scholarship opportunities, skill assessment, and preparation for job placement. CONTACT: Jane Paul, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Primavera Foundation (PVF):
PVF’s mission is to provide pathways out of poverty through safe, affordable housing, work-force development, and neighborhood revitalization. Primavera also promotes economic and social justice while working to build a future in which all people are assured basic human rights, a livable income, and independent housing. CONTACT: Anne Tatum, email@example.com.
UU Justice Arizona (UUJAZ):
UUJAZ voices UU values by nurturing and connecting 13 Arizona congregations’ justice ministries and by energizing UUs through work with the Legislature (“Day at the Legislature”). UUJAZ also sponsors other annual programs, including “Issues and Action Day” (workshops on Education, Immigration, Racial Justice, Economic Justice, and Water) and Pacific Southwest District (PSWD) Assembly (excursions and informative speakers on local issues). CONTACT: Cynthia Chaffee, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Humane Borders (HB):
HB, a largely volunteer organization, saves desperate people from death by dehydration and exposure through maintaining a system of water stations on both government and private lands, for use by migrants seeking a better life. They also assist next-of-kin with a continuingly updated death map. CONTACT: Gene McCormick, email@example.com.