Motivated by our faith and inspired and sustained by religious community, we have a strong tradition of social justice within Unitarian Universalism and our Fellowship. Ours is a faith of deeds, not creeds, and we believe social justice work is a vital facet of congregational life. In small groups and, when we vote to act collectively, as an entire congregation, we strive to build a better, more just world through our Social Justice Ministry.
Our Social Justice Ministry has three principal goals: 1) to provide opportunities for meaningful social justice work; 2) to involve many Fellowship members and friends of all ages in this work; and 3) to give members and friends an opportunity to connect with each other as we work side-by-side on building a better world. Fellowship Social Justice Action Teams will educate their own members as well as other members and friends of the Fellowship about their mission and design their actions accordingly.
Fellowship Action Teams
Social Justice Core Team: The Core Team’s purpose is to help the Fellowship fulfill the part of our new mission Leading in Social Justice. To do this, we will rely on our strong partnership with ESTHER. The trainings and methods that ESTHER offers give us the ability to be effective agents of change, while building relationships within our own congregation and with others who are our allies in building a better world.
Essentials: Food and Shelter for All Action Team: This group’s purpose is to ensure adequate food and shelter in the Fox Valley and beyond; to work to address obstacles which stand in the way of people being able to meet these needs for themselves.
Racial Justice Action Team: Our Racial Justice Action Team seeks to educate the congregation on issues of white privilege and ally-ship. We respond when asked by people of color to participate in activities, but we do not presume to lead or give direction. Members of our congregation also continue to support the work of racial justice, both in the congregation and in the wider community. We facilitate conversations about diversity, and support the efforts of those seeking to break cycles of systemic inequality, e.g., in prisons, schools, government, and various for-profit and not for-profit organizations.
Partner Church Committee: Our Fellowship’s partnership with Deva, Romania, began in 1999, and since then there have been many pilgrim visits between the two congregations. More recently, we have also established a partner church in the Philippines.
Other Social Justice Groups and Projects we Support
Shared Sanctuary Fellowship Committee: Be it resolved that the Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship declares itself a Sanctuary Congregation, committing ourselves to the practice of radical hospitality, offered to those who are targets of the unjust immigration laws of our government. We commit to providing safe and welcoming living accommodations and helping to provide essentials, such as food and legal assistance, as we are able, in our building, as a place of refuge to any person or family in need, as our ministers and governing board so declare. Additionally, this declaration of sanctuary lies both within and beyond our walls, through collaboration with other community organizations, working toward a more equitable, safe and just community for the immigrants and refugees who live here.
Green Sanctuary Task Force: The purpose of this group is to raise awareness of our changing climate of the earth, with special emphasis on local effects and actions. The team will identify activities people can do and work to see those actions come to fruition.
Greater Good: The Greater Good Project at Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is an endeavor involving all ages and created to bring meaning back to the holidays. We ask participating members and friends of our Fellowship to tally up what they spend on the holiday season, including presents, wrappings, trimmings, travel, food and entertainment. Then 50% of their usual holiday spending becomes a gift to the Greater Good. The funds are distributed to carefully selected projects voted for by the children and youth of the Fellowship.
ESTHER: ESTHER is a interfaith social-justice organization. We are grassroots and non-profit basing our work in the Fox Valley region in Wisconsin.
UU Service Committee: The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a nonsectarian organization that advances human rights and social justice in the United States and around the world, partnering with those who confront unjust power structures and mobilizing to challenge oppressive policies. UUSC’s innovative approaches and measurable impact are grounded in the moral belief that all people have inherent power, dignity, and rights.
Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce: As part of our efforts to promote the Fellowship as a congregation that welcomes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members and attendees, we have become members of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. This organization works to create a fully inclusive state by promoting economic growth and opportunities among LGBT owned and allied businesses, professionals, and corporations in Wisconsin.