Social Justice Steering Committee Activities

The Social Justice Committee is an umbrella organization overseeing the work of many subcommittees.

If you’d like to know more or get involved, please contact
Andrew Sorbo, Social Justice Chair
CLEAN WATER COALITION SUBCOMMITTEE

We have a liaison who is a member of this organization who informs us of opportunities to support their activities. – Judy Orcutt

COALITION FOR RACIAL JUSTICE SUBCOMMITTEE
Barbara Lipton

In 2019-2020 we presented: “The 1619 Project” Saturday Discussion Sessions on the history of racism in America (3 held, 1 canceled due to covid). “Great African Civilizations” video/discussion (5 evening sessions in February/March). 

In 2020-2021 we presented: “The Reconstruction Era & Today,” 4 Saturday morning video and discussion sessions.

Planned and introduced for “Time For All Ages” portion of the weekly service: 4 Black Female Authors in 2021; 4 Black inventors in 2020.

 Planned participation in MLK Sunday service: chose and introduced the Time For All Ages video; wrote and delivered the 3-part sermon. 

This subcommittee has also created other learning opportunities for our congregation, ran a Florida Humanities Council Book Read, held workshops on racial justice issues, worked in the Gifford Middle School, advocated for racial justice issues with the county school board, and now is dispersing money from a grant to those seeking to pay to take their GED test.

FAIR TRADE CORNER SUBCOMMITTEE

Volunteers staff the store which sells items on a fair trade basis; Gale Parmentier, who until this year ran the FTC, received an award from UUSC for her work growing our store into one of the most successful in the entire UUA. The FTC provides all our hot beverages for Sunday Coffee Hours and other social activities as well as donations to environmentally sustainable improvements to our building facilities. We buy our items from UUA and UUSC, and they use the profits to support local growers and artisans from around the world. – Pam Pelliccia

Please click here, to  access more information about the Fair Trade Corner.

FOOD PANTRY OF IRC SUBCOMMITTEE

In 2021 we donated over $6,000 to this non-profit through monetary contributions as well as food collected on the second Sunday each month. – Cathy Katrovitz & Jack Siplak

GREEN SANCTUARY SUBCOMMITTEE

On hold during the pandemic but has worked to make our facilities an offical Green Sanctuary. -Karolyne Lucero

LEND-A-HAND AD HOC SUBCOMMITTEE

(for coastal cleanup projects)

This subcommittee was organized in 2/2021 and held its first activity in January when 6 members joined volunteers from other organizations to help with a beach cleanup. – Coco (Sue) Burt

LITTLE FREE LIBRARY SUBCOMMITTEE

This group provides books and helps maintain the LFL for those in need. -Nancy Stiefel initiated this project.  Barbara Lipton maintains the library.

MEALS FOR PEOPLE IN TRANSITION SUBCOMMITTEE

These volunteers meet in our kitchen once a month to cook meals for the Meals For People in Transition county organization.- Rachel Hanks

MLK JR. HOLIDAY SUBCOMMITTEE

Each year we participate (80+ people) in the annual MLK Jr. Parade, giving out about a thousand items as souvenirs and carrying our Black Lives Matter banner. This year, the parade was cancelled, so we set up a table at the January Gifford Vendors’ Market and gave out MLK refrigerator magnets and MLK fans. – Richard & Denise Haight

PROJECT NINOS SUBCOMMITTEE

Annual Christmas fundraiser to buy Gift cards for the families of migrant and farm workers – 2020 amount raised $13,000 and distributed to 78 families; 2019 amount raised $7,000 and distributed to 40 families; 2018 amount raised $4,000 and distributed to 31 families. – Joan Roth

SUNDAY FUND SUBCOMMITTEE

This subcommittee vets local non-profits for us to support as a second collection each Sunday. Every 5 weeks the recipients rotate and checks are sent out twice a year. The recent recipients and our contributions are as follows: 2020-2021 year to date are Pioneering Change ($1004), Gifford CC&R ($1,220), Gifford Youth Orchestra ($2,400), Volunteer Ambulance ($1481), and Coalition for Attainable Housing ($948).

For the 2019-2020 year we donated to Dogs For Life ($1,485), Gifford CC&R ($1,780), Gifford Youth Orchestra ($1,561), Volunteer Ambulance Squad ($2,328)) and Samaritan Center For Homeless Families ($1,505).

 For the 2018-2019 year we donated to Camp Haven ($1,269), Gifford CC&R ($1,714), Gifford Youth Orchestra ($2,057), Literacy Services of IRC ($1,380) and St. Francis Manor ($986).

Please click here, to access more information about the SUnday FUnd.

UUSC (UU SERVICE COMMITTEE) SUBCOMMITTEE

“Guest At Your Table” annual fundraiser for UUSC national and international self-help projects – 2020 raised $3,250; 2019 raised $4,000+; 2018 raised $4,000 +. – Jack Stiefel & Andrew Sorbo.  Please click here, to access more information about the UU Service Committee.

WELCOMING CONGREGATION SUBCOMMITTEE

This subcommittee was created in February 2021 and is planning to begin running workshops and sponsoring activities during June (LGBT Pride Month) – Johnna Swendsen & Barbara Lipton

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