First UU’s Justice Action Ministry (JAM)
The purpose of First UU’s Justice Action Ministry Team (JAM) and JAM’s Focus Groups is to help First UU live our vision: “to transform and heal ourselves and our world through reason and love” as well as our mission: “to fulfill our vision by creating community, working for justice, and engaging diversity,” using the guiding phrase, “help us do justice, don’t do it for us.”
Our spiritual lives are inseparable from the struggle for equal access to food, clean air and water, housing, education, employment, health care, and legal defense as well as respect for the rights of women, people of color, immigrants, religious minorities and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered humanity. This is based on our belief in inherent worth and dignity of every human being and in the interdependent web of life. Working for justice is therefore as much a spiritual practice as prayer and meditation.
Each of JAM’s Focus Groups build relationships within their spectrum of concern, using education, reflection, and partnership building (within the congregation and beyond). The JAM Team is responsible for the structure as well as oversight of the JAM budget.
JAM has 6 Focus Groups
Click on a focus group to learn more:
First UU is also a member congregation of several local justice organizations:
BREAD (Building Responsibility, Equality, and Dignity)
First UU is a founding member of BREAD, a congregation-based community organization of many different religious congregations in Central OH. These congregations are united through BREAD 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.
Faith in Public Life
“Faith in Public Life is a national movement of clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality and the common good. Together, we are leading the fight to advance just policies at the local, state and federal levels. Our network of 50,000 leaders engage in bold moral action that affirms our values and the human dignity of all.
We are committed to racial equity and are on an intentional, transformational, accountable journey toward internally and externally living out these values and deconstructing white supremacy.”
IACO (Interfaith Association of Central Ohio)
“The Interfaith Association of Central Ohio (IACO) is made up of nine diverse faiths who have come together for one purpose: To create an interfaith community based on understanding, friendship, and trust.”
Ohio Fair Food
Fair Food groups partner with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to support and expand the Fair Food Program that protects farmworkers from abuse, exploitation, and modern-day slavery. Farmworkers, growers, and buyers who participate in the Fair Food Program ensure that workers receive fair wages and have decent working conditions. Ohio Fair Food, the local organizing group for the Fair Food Program, raises awareness about the FFP and takes actions calling on corporate buyers to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in their struggle.
Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio (UUJO)
“Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio, (UUJO) is a volunteer organization of UU activists, committed since 2014 to facilitate the weaving together of individuals, congregations, Ohio communities and organizations, with the larger world to serve justice, equity, and inclusion.”
In keeping with the Board of Trustees ministry goals for 2020-21, a Justice Coordinator position was created to increase visibility and engagement in the greater Columbus community and beyond through supporting the church in following its call to justice work. The Justice Coordinator will also help foster a deeper sense of living our values in terms of justice among First UU members.
Connect with JAM (Justice Action Ministry)
JAM Team Contacts:
- Justice Coordinator: Amanda Hays, firstname.lastname@example.org
- JAM Chair: Lynda Smith, email@example.com
Focus Group Contacts:
- BREAD: Alice Rathburn, firstname.lastname@example.org, (614) 563-0536
- Democracy & Human Rights: Chris Johnson, email@example.com
- Environmental Justice and Sustainability: Brian Hagemann, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Food (In)security: Jacques Angelino, 614-439-0245; 617 Woodsfield Dr., Columbus, OH 43214
by email: Stuart Smith, email@example.com
- Healthcare: Alice Faryna, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Racial Justice and Immigration: Jan Phillips, email@example.com