Updated June 16, 2022

This page shows current opportunities to “Work for Justice” as our church mission statement calls us.

June 2022 Share the Plate Partner:

Kaleidoscope Youth Center

Kaleidoscope was founded in 1994 and remains the largest and longest running organization in Ohio solely dedicated to supporting queer youth. They provide a safer place, leadership opportunities, and programming – so that youth are empowered to explore who they are, and become their confident, truest selves.

Our donations have a bigger impact when we give together. Please go to www.firstuucolumbus.org/donate to support our church and our Share-the-Plate offerings.


Coming Church Year 2022-2023: Living the Pledge Anti-Racism Training

We are so excited to announce that we are kicking off First UU’s new anti-racist program, called Living the Pledge.  Living the Pledge workshops are in-depth workshops that delve into various aspects of racism.  Developed by the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond, Virginia, Living the Pledge will now be First UU’s own anti-racist program. There will be three trainings this year, on a variety of days, times, both in-person and virtual. If you have any questions, feel free to email Living the Pledge Leaders at LTP-leaders@firstuucolumbus.org

See Dates and Register Now for Living the Pledge


Building Responsibility, Equality, and Dignity

Contact: Alice Rathburn, eulala1905@me.com



Mark Your Calendar Now!

Plan to attend BREAD events for this year today!

BREAD Celebration & Investment Drive Kickoff: Monday, June 27, 2022, 7:00 p.m.

  • 5 minutes
  • Virtual


Democracy & Human Rights

Contact: Chris Johnson, contact-democracyandhumanrights@firstuucolumbus.org



Connect with the Democracy & Human Rights Focus Group

Email us to let us know you’re interested in joining the team or receiving email updates. 

  • 5 minutes
  • Virtual


Environmental Justice and Sustainability (Eco-Justice)

Contact: Elaine Fujimura and Erica Barrett Morrison, contact-ecojustice@firstuucolumbus.org



Stay In Touch with Eco-Justice

Sign up for email updates from First UU’s EcoJustice group by emailing contact-ecojustice@firstuucolumbus.org.
Sign up for email updates from UU Justice Ohio’s state-wide Environmental Justice group by requesting to join the Google group here: https://groups.google.com/g/environmental-justice-ohio/
  • 5 minutes
  • Virtual

Learn About the Columbus Climate Action Plan

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 and people involved. Jenna Tipaldi presented the Equitable EV Ready Parking Plan whose goal is to prepare EV parking/charging stations in all areas of the city, not just the higher income areas currently available. They anticipate the upfront cost of EVs will reduce and don’t want access to charging to be a barrier in the future.   City of Columbus Climate Action Plan
  • 1 hour
  • Virtual

Learn More about Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Click here to watch a video by Greta Thunburg about the intersection of industrialized agriculture, animal welfare, and climate change. (5 min)

Click here to listen to this episode of the How to Save a Planet podcast about what the climate movement can learn from Black Lives Matter and the intersection of Racial and Climate Justice. (45 min)

Click here to view free online courses by Project Drawdown on climate solutions (13 min-2 hours+)

  • 5 min-2 hours+
  • Virtual


Food [In]security

Contact: Jacques Angelino, 614-439-0245; 617 Woodsfield Dr., Columbus, OH 43214
by email: Stuart Smith, contact-foodinsecurity@firstuucolumbus.org



June: Undies Sundays:

Anytime in April

Donations of children’s underwear of 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.

  • Family Friendly
  • 30 min
  • In-Person, Outside

Volunteer to sort Feed & Read donations

Socially distanced options available. To arrange a time, call Jacques at 614.439.0245

  • 2 hours

Cook at the YMCA

Back in Person Beginning in April!*

  • Dates: 4th Fridays
  • Times: 5-7:30 PM

*Must sign up ahead of time and be at least 18 years old.

The YWCA Family Center serves homeless families and connects them with resources to obtain stable housing. While at the center, families receive 3 nutritious meals per day, along with job search, transportation, and child care support. On the 4th Friday of each month, a small crew of First UUers prepare and serve a meal for the families. Currently, the time commitment is 2 1/2 hours, from 5-7:30 PM. You don’t need to be a chef, just willing to work as a team and get food ready to be served. Service credits are available for high school and college students who need them.

Limited to 4 volunteers, make meal (spaghetti w meat sauce, salad, fruit), put in styro containers and YWCA employees will deliver them to the rooms.

Contact Tim Hooks, hookstj “at” gmail.com to be added to the email list for alerts about opportunities to cook at the Y.

  • NEW
  • 2 1/2 hours
  • In-Person, Inside

When will Faith Mission Cooking Resume?

On Faith Mission’s side, they are currently allowing groups to make food and drop it off, but not serve it to the residents yet. It will be up to Faith Mission to determine when they will allow volunteers to serve residents again.

On First UU’s side, our reopening taskforce has determined that small groups may only meet in the kitchen while the rate of new Covid-19 cases in Franklin County is below 10 per 100,000 population. (GREEN or YELLOW COVID Risk Levels). So, depending on the level of COVID risk in Franklin County, cooking may resume soon or not for a while.

We are doing our best as a community to follow the science and to find safe ways to reconnect in person. The first ways we will be able to meet in person will be in small groups outside, with small groups inside following as safety permits. In the meantime, we have been financially supporting Faith Mission, so they have been able to continue feeding residents during the pandemic.

  • On Hold



Contact: Alice Faryna, alice.faryna@gmail.com



Get Involved with Healthcare Reform

If healthcare reform is a priority for you, reach out to Alice Faryna to hear more about how you can get involved: alice.faryna@gmail.com

  • 5 min
  • Virtual

Support National Nurses United’s Campaign for Medicare for All

Email or call (202-225-4324) our Congressperson Joyce Beatty to ask her to sponsor HR 1976.  It can be that short and sweet, but if you have a personal story about a problem with our healthcare system, by all means, please share that story. Click here for more info.

  • 10 minutes
  • Virtual


Racial Justice & Immigration (RJI)

Contact: Jan Phillips, contact-racialjusticeandimmigration@firstuucolumbus.org



Sign up to receive email updates from RJI

by emailing Jan Phillips at contact-racialjusticeandimmigration@firstuucolumbus.org

  • 10 minutes
  • Virtual

Dialogue: Critical Race Theory – What Is It, and Why Is It Under Attack?

On Demand: https://wosu.org/dialogue/

Social justice protests have caused many to rethink what they know about the history of race in America. From the role slavery played in building the American economy, to a lack of knowledge about the Tulsa race massacre, many question the lessons they learned—or didn’t learn—in school.

This awareness has brought new attention to the nearly 50-year-old academic framework of Critical Race Theory which argues racism is embedded in the American legal and economic systems. Not everyone agrees, and they argue supporters of CRT are trying to divide America and re-write history.

Featuring Hasan Kwame Jeffries, associate professor of history at The Ohio State University, and Vince Ellison, author and member of Project 21 Black Leadership Network, this Dialogue discussion will explore Critical Race Theory and discuss why it has come under fire. The program will be moderated by Mike Thompson, WOSU News Chief Content Director.

  • NEW
  • 1-2 hours
  • Virtual

Video and Articles by Dr. Kevin McGruder

On Demand: https://firstuucolumbus.org/antiracist-worksop/

Dr. Kevin McGruder, Associate Professor of History at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, did a wonderful presentation for First UU via Zoom on Saturday, September 25 about “How to Be and Antiracist in Ohio!” the Anti-Racist Allies group who asked Dr. McGruder to speak is looking forward to releasing the recording for any who missed it! The presentation was free, but donations support our church fund for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who are members and friends of First UU to attend GA and other UU events.

You can also engage with Dr. McGruder’s work through his articles about systemic racism:

  • 1 hour
  • Virtual


Further Justice Opportunities

Contact: Amanda Hays, amanda@firstuucolumbus.org



Join our 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 BlackIndigenous, 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.

  • Virtual
  • 5 minutes

Join our Anti-Racist Allies Group

Usually Meets: 4th Fridays, 6pm-8pm

We are also creating an Anti-Racism Allies Group, which will help lift up and support the efforts and goals of our BIPOC community. We are asking all participants in this group to have gone through Beloved Conversations or our new program, Living the Pledge, which will hopefully begin being offered Fall 2021. The Anti-Racism Allies Group’s goal is to continue to work to dismantle systems of racism and oppression within ourselves and within our community, so that we can fully live into the Welcoming Congregation that we all dream First UU to be.

Please email Jan Phillips for Zoom information.

Please email our Director of Congregational Life, Kelli McNeal if you are interested in Living the Pledge.

  • 2 hours/month
  • Outside and Virtual Options

How Have UU Taken Action?

We would love to hear about how you’ve taken action for justice, either through the opportunities listed on this page or other ways! You can tell us about your work for justice through this Google Form.