I’m excited to see some of you face-to-face again at the end of this month when we return to a hybrid format!

Although living through a pandemic can be exhausting in its unpredictability, there are also new opportunities that come with everything being thoroughly shaken up. Everyone knows now that sometimes, big changes can happen rapidly. While everything is in flux, we have a new opportunity to create the community we always imagined, but have never quite brought into reality.

Rather than trying to go back to our old normal, what if we found a new normal that was even better?

What would it look like if we aimed for more than being “not racist,” for becoming truly anti-racist, and multicultural, as a community? What would it look like if we found ways to work together for justice in our community, as a whole congregation?

At our most recent Justice Action Ministry (JAM) meeting, multiple Focus Groups agreed to work together this spring on on voter registration. The primary this spring and election this fall will have a huge impact on every aspect of justice work in Ohio and the US – from racial justice and immigration, to environmental justice, to healthcare and women’s reproductive rights. We have a US Senator seat open, and the U.S. Congressional and Ohio House and Ohio Senate districts are in the process of being redrawn according to our amended state constitution. Our Ohio Supreme Court has continued to uphold the constitution’s requirement of fair, representative districts – and yet, Ohio continues to strike voters from the rolls whenever they miss voting in a few elections.

If our community joins others in Ohio to ensure that those who have been unjustly struck from the rolls can register, who knows what might change?

Thinking of you and wondering with you,

Amanda Hays
Justice Coordinator
amanda@firstuucolumbus.org
616-350-1409

Voter Registration

The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus, in partnership with a number of other organizations, is having a special voter outreach week from March 21 to March 26 at many different sites ahead of the spring primary, and our Democracy & Human Rights Working Group is planning to be a part of that.

Get trained before the outreach week:
Watch Recorded Voter Registration Training
Register for Next Live Voter Registration Training  – March 14 at 7:00pm. With any luck, there will be more information about possible primary date changes and new district lines to help answer voters’ questions by this training.

Let us know if you’re interested in participating on any day that week, or if you have any questions. Shifts would be approximately 2-3 hours, depending on the location. The LWV is lining up new outreach sites based on the number of volunteers available. We’d love to have a big First UU contingent.

Email us at: contact-democracyandhumanrights@firstuucolumbus.org

Faith in Public Life Year-in-Review

First UU is a member congregation of Faith in Public Life. Watch now to find out what we’ve accomplished together in 2021!

HOW CAN UU TAKE ACTION?

There’s more ways to contribute to social justice work than can fit in one email! That’s why we have a website page devoted to justice opportunities. We keep it updated so that opportunities to take action that you see are current. Click here to check it out!

FEATURED JUSTICE OPPORTUNITIES

BREAD Organizing Meeting

Saturday, March 12, 1-2:30 PM
Virtual or Hybrid

All First UUers are invited to meet together for an update on BREAD’s work and to plan for the Nehemiah Action! The next day, Network Members will be commissioned during our Sunday service.BREAD stands for Building Responsibility, Equality, and Dignity, and First UU is a founding member. BREAD is a congregation-based community organization of many different religious congregations in Central OH. These congregations are united through B.R.E.A.D. to research proven solutions and apply non-partisan pressure on local decision makers to improve housing, health care, employment, education, and other poverty-related problems in central Ohio.

Contact Alice Rathburn for Zoom information, eulala1905@me.com

Learn about the Columbus Climate Action Plan

Wednesday, June 30, 2:00 PM at Bricker Hall on OSU Campus

On Demand: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EntWlvlGGw&t=1s

A recorded presentation on the Columbus Climate Action Plan, thanks to Simply Living for sponsoring. Erin Beck, Assistant Director for Sustainable Columbus explained that the city’s 2030 goal is to reduce greenhouse gases (GHC) by 45% for all sectors, not just city owned. Their goal for 2059 is to reduce GHC by 100%.  Here is a link to the plan: City of Columbus Climate Action Plan

February: Undies Sundays + Baby Clothes, Diapers, Feminine Pads

Anytime in February

Donations of children’s underwear, all sizes, requested! There is also great need for baby clothes of all sizes, diapers, and feminine pads.

You can also always donate food or other high-quality items you no longer need. Donations go to populations in Columbus and Athens county who have the most difficulty accessing food pantries and social services.

Drop off donations to Feed & Read Ohio outside Jacques’s house, 617 Woodsfield Dr., Columbus, OH 43214.

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Network

As part of our goal to live into the ideas and dreams of Beloved Community, we acknowledge that for too long, People of Color have struggled silently within our community. We also acknowledge our part in perpetuating an insider/outsider culture and want to all we can to create space for those in our community who far too often find themselves on the outside looking in. As part of our effort to live into the 8th Principle’s call for accountability, we are working on building a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Network here at First UU.

If you identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color, we would love to share more with you about this developing group, hear your thoughts about what would be most supportive for you, and connect you with others. Please email contact-bipoc-network@firstuucolumbus.org get in touch with Tamara Parson, our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Network leader.

Call our US Senators in support of the Women’s Health Protection Act

The act has already passed the House, and will soon be up for a vote in the senate!

Senator Sherrod Brown: (614) 469-2083
Senator Rob Portman: (614) 469-6774

“On Friday, three weeks after the state of Texas passed the most extreme abortion ban in U.S. history, the House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA)—federal legislation that would codify Roe v. Wade in law and establish the legal right to abortion in all 50 states under federal law.

First reintroduced on Tuesday, June 8, the WHPA guarantees a pregnant woman’s right to access an abortion and protects the right of abortion providers to deliver these services free from medically unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s individual choice or the provider-patient relationship.”

-Ms. Magazine

Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio “Big Sky Platter”

Order: by emailing naicco1975@gmail.com

Order Before: Tuesday, Feb 15 or 200 orders are reached

Pick-up: Saturday, Feb 19 at NAICCO, 67 E Innis Ave, Columbus, OH 43207

Support the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio Cuisine in their work by enjoying this delicious meal! This month’s platter will allow your taste buds to travel to Big Sky Country without leaving Ohio. “In addition to serving as a vehicle for sustaining NAICCO programming, [NAICCO Cuisine] also allows us to engage the general public, raise awareness, build relationships, and create a real sense of visibility as Native Americans in today’s world.” -NAICCO Project Director Ty Smith

Tech Help Needed!

Help Button, Keyboard, Button, Help, Computer, Support
Would you like to contribute your skills in web design or social media to First UU’s Justice Ministry?

Contact Amanda Hays at amanda@firstuucolumbus.org

CONTACT JAM

Justice Coordinator: Amanda Hays, amanda@firstuucolumbus.org
JAM Chair: Lynda Smith, rev.lyndasmith@gmail.com

Focus Groups:
BREAD Contact:
Alice Rathburn, eulala1905@me.com, (614) 563-0536
Democracy & Human Rights Contact: Chris Johnston, contact-democracyandhumanrights@firstuucolumbus.org
Environmental Justice and Sustainability Contact: Elaine Fujimura and Erica Barnett Morrison,  contact-ecojustice@firstuucolumbus.org
Food (In)security Contact: Jacques Angelino, 614-439-0245, by email:Stuart Smith, contact-foodinsecurity@firstuucolumbus.org
Healthcare Contact: Alice Faryna, alice.faryna@gmail.com
Racial Justice and Immigration Contact:  Jan Phillips, contact-racialjusticeandimmigration@firstuucolumbus.org