Social Justice

Social Justice

Our Fargo/Moorhead church is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), which works on a number of social justice issues.  Top priorities are:

  • Immigration Justice
  • Reproductive Justice with a focus on Comprehensive Sex Education
  • Bisexual Gay Lesbian Transgender Equality
  • Environmental justice

Economic disparity has driven 11 million (1 in 10) Mexicans to improve their lot by crossing our border illegally to harvest our crops and wash our dishes.  These workers are essential to our economy, but unrealistic immigration quotas leave the desert as our southern gateway, where people walk for days, blister their feet, and often die trying for the privilege of cleaning our toilets. They live in horrible conditions so they can send the lion’s share of their earnings to their families in Mexico. While they are here, they have no access to legal due process with their employers.  If they are captured for the civil offense of an improper border crossing, they are usually treated worse than convicted felons.  Our system isn’t simply broken.  It’s immoral.

We participated in the One Read discussion of Margaret Regan’s The Death of Josseline.  We also studied the Introductory Curriculum for the Congregational Study/Action Issue: “Immigration as a Moral Issue.”  The study guide is at uua.org.

Other immigrants did not leave their homes by choice.  A group of UU’s tutor Bhutanese and other refugees in English, driver education and citizenship.  The Bhutanese are ethnic Nepalese who were ejected from Bhutan and spent 17 years in refugee camps in Nepal.

Within the framework of ‘reproductive justice,’ the Unitarian Universalist Association works against the cultural, political, economic, and structural constraints that limit women’s access to health care and full reproductive choice.  Reproductive justice, a concept put forth by coalitions of women of color, promotes the right of all women to have children, not to have children, and to raise their children in safe and healthy environments.  It does not isolate or pit important social issues against each other; rather it works to promote these rights across many areas:

  • reproductive choice;
  • eradication of violence against women;
  • comprehensive sex education;
  • discrimination based on race and sexual orientation;
  • economic justice;
  • environmental justice; and
  • immigration justice.

Find out more about reproductive justice and the important differences between it, reproductive health and reproductive rights.  The first step to effective action is education.  The Unitarian Universalist Association’s new reproductive justice Curriculum for Congregations introduces these topics and their theological principles.  We are completing a six-week study on Friday evening starting at 7 p.m.

Garden Plot produce for the Food Pantry

Last year, we formed the Homeless and Hungry Task Force to deal with these problems locally.  We have renewed our lease on a plot at Probstfield Farm that produced 150 pounds of organic vegetables for the Dorothy Day Food Pantry in 2012.  We donated 468 razors to the Coalition for Homeless Persons Project Community Connect at the Fargo Dome.  They were used in “goody bags” of food and toiletries that were given to participants.

 

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About Mike Headrick

Mike Headrick is a theological mutt. He is the grandson of a Southern Baptist minister and the grand nephew of a Methodist Minister. He was raised Methodist and raised his daughters Catholic. Bill Cosby said if you marry a Catholic, then you are one, whether you want to be one or not. He taught Catholic religious education for five years. While in the Peace Corps in Nepal, he had a strong feeling that the Bhagavad Gita and the Bible were saying the same things. He came into Unitarian Universalism in 2008, and was delighted to learn that such feelings are just fine. He is chair of the Social Justice Council at Fargo-Moorhead UU. Nowadays, his Ph.D. in Zoology and career in fisheries biology and environmental consulting are just ways to enhance fishing.

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