Justice Action Ministries – Let’s JAM!
Any group that wants to focus on addressing social injustice can become a JAM if they agree to follow some guidelines to keep our work moving in a meaningful direction. The goal is to empower people in our congregation to live our Fellowship’s mission of Leading in Social Justice. Our JAM Facilitator team has been meeting regularly for half a year to create a process of support, mentorship, and integration for all of the JAMs, so no one is left feeling unprepared or unsupported. We will ask all JAMs to communicate regularly with the JAM facilitators about what they’re doing and what they need, so the facilitators can coordinate our resources, space, money, and communications as effectively as possible. We hope this model will also encourage more cross-JAM cooperation—working together to address injustices that are often more complex than our simple categories allow for.
Each JAM will also be responsible for one month out of the program year to offer two events: one Sunday of Religious Education (RE) on the first Sunday of each month for all our children and youth, and one teen and adult-focused Saturday afternoon offering on the third Sunday of each month (childcare provided). Through these offerings, our JAMs will help connect you to their work. Please come find out what our JAMs are doing, and ask your kids what they learned in Justice Sunday RE!
If you want to start a JAM, reach out to our Startup JAM Mentor at email@example.com for his help. He’ll guide you through the process, which includes hosting some info sessions to see who else here at the Fellowship wants to join you in your work. Then, you’ll need to complete a JAM Application that will help you, and us, know what your focus is, and who is involved. JAMs can form at any time and do not require congregational vote to be approved! They can also be long term or short term, depending on the injustice being addressed. If interest and commitment for the JAM wanes, that’s ok, it can also dissolve at any time. We hope this process is organic!
For more information about our JAMs and JAM Facilitators, check out the JAM Cover Sheet.
Check out our Justice Hub email. This is a once-monthly email sent to everyone who currently receives the Scroll weekly e-news. Everyone will automatically receive the Justice Hub, but you can unsubscribe at any time. Since our Scroll is already so long, we have a policy that we don’t include any community events that aren’t Fellowship sponsored. But, the Justice Hub will be a place to find out lots of ways to be active in our community and live your UU faith, whether or not the Fellowship is sponsoring it. To submit something to the Justice Hub, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or submit your information to this form HERE.
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. 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 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 that the Fellowship is a member of. They are a grassroots and non-profit basing their work in the Fox Valley region.
UU Service Committee: The 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 joined 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.