Working for Justice
The mission of the Economic Justice Task Force is to engage our Society’s members, friends and the greater community to identify, understand, and move beyond classism and a system which perpetuates growing inequality and economic injustices within us, our faith community, and society. The task force’s current goals include
- Counter growing inequality through a Raise the Wage campaign
- Promote an Economy of Health & Caring through support for Paid Family & Medical Leave
- Protect the most vulnerable among us – low income, women & children, people of color, refugees, seniors
Contact: Gene Bergman
The mission of the Racial Justice Task Force is to engage Society members and friends in the work of identifying, understanding, and undoing racism within ourselves, our faith community, and our broader society. While racism affects many different groups of people, at this time in our history the task force recognizes the urgency of racism as it affects black people in America.
We seek to understand and address the underlying attitudes and habitual responses to anti-black racism in America in our times, including white privilege and white fragility. We engage in this work through discussion, supporting racial justice work in the larger community, and participating in direct action. The task force’s current goals include:
- Deepen the congregation’s understanding of and engagement around racial justice issues to ensure that they’re well prepared to be active and outspoken advocates for racial justice
- Continue the process for engaging the congregation in discerning our Society’s work in Racial Justice and identify one or more projects for the FUUSB to pursue
- Bear public witness to our support for Black Lives Matter and hang a Black Lives Matter Banner outside of the Meetinghouse
Solidarity and Sanctuary
In response to the targeting and victimization of fellow Vermonters, in particular Muslims and immigrants, some members of the FUUSB are in the process of forming a Solidarity and Sanctuary team. In an effort of solidarity, the team intends to create personal relationships with members of other area faith communities irrespective of the differences in our traditions and beliefs, so that we are ready and able to provide mutual moral and material support in times of need. First UU Society members and friends have already participated in building relationships with our local Muslim neighbors by attending community pot luck suppers at the mosque. There is wide consensus that physical sanctuary is not a pressing need in our area, but there may be a role for the First UU Society in offering emotional and spiritual sanctuary for Vermont’s migrant workers.
Mother Up! is a collaboration of 350Vermont and the First UU Society of Burlington. It is a gathering for families concerned about the climate crisis and interested in taking action together. We meet monthly on the third Thursdays from 5:30-7:30 pm. We hope you will find in our gatherings: fellowship, mutual support, healing, and encouragement for action. We live in a time of deepening crisis in many forms – environmental, social, and economic. Many of us feel overwhelmed and powerless, but we recognize that we are stronger, more resilient, and more serene when we are in community with each other and in connection to a spirit, god, or higher power, however you conceive of that. Joanna Macy writes, “This is a dark time, filled with suffering and uncertainty. Like living cells in a larger body, it is natural that we feel the trauma of our world. So don’t be afraid of the anguish you feel, or the anger or fear, for these responses arise from the depth of your caring and the truth of your interconnectedness with all beings. To suffer with is the literal meaning of compassion. It is a privilege to be alive in this time when we can choose to take part in the self-healing of our world.”
Contact: Heather McGrath
Love & Justice
The Love & Justice team organizes the First UU Society’s weekly Love & Justice vigils. Vigils are held every Wednesday at 5:15 in front the of the First UU Society Meeting House with a different focus each week – Racial Justice and Black Lives Matter (1st Wednesday of the month), Economic Justice (2nd Wednesday), Climate Justice (3rd Wednesday), Immigration and Refugees (4th Wednesday), and Peace (5th Wednesday).
Vermont Interfaith Action
Members of the First UU Society have had a close working relationship with Vermont Interfaith Action (VIA) for many years. As an institution, the First UU Society shares loose plate collections with VIA, provides low-rent offices for the organization, and helps publicize its social-action priorities and events. The Economic and Racial Justice Task Forces work actively with Vermont Interfaith Action.
Contact: Gene Bergman