MUUSJA , Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance, is pledged a matching grant of $7,500 to support our 2022 “Wider Circles” initiative, if we raise that same amount during 2021. The pledged match is from the UU Funding Program ($5,000) and from a Minnesota philanthropy ($2,500).
MUUSJA unleashes courageous leadership and collective power to build a more just and loving world. We organize 30 UU congregations across Minnesota, North and South Dakota in spiritual reflection, learning, connection, and action for social and environmental justice. In 2021, our work to #StopLine3, #ProtectImmigrantWorkers, & #UutheVote mobilized hundreds of volunteers, mostly UU’s, co-leading with frontline community partners, and attracted national support.
Our 2022 Wider Circles initiative will broaden the scope & impact of MUUSJA’s justice work & coalition-building. Wider Circles will require additional staff hours to communicate, recruit, train and organize with our congregations. We aim to sustain existing programs while exploring three new areas of social justice which MUUSJA has not previously addressed:
- “Making the Koolaid” will be a social justice teaching/learning forum for children, youth, and parents focused on how to engage young families in social justice action.
- “Access for All” will be a forum for all UU’s centering people with disabilities, including elders, focused on how to make social justice work accessible.
- “All Ages Need Apply” will be a forum focused on strategies for engaging seniors in the work of #UUtheVote in 2022.
Throughout the year, MUUSJA also will continue our regular programming. We amplify opportunities and organize UU congregations & teams regionally to participate in events and forums for learning, reflection, connection, and action to resist oppression and exploitation, and build Beloved Community with local, regional, and national partners. This work includes:
- March 15th, 2022, Day on the Hill with people of faith for affordable housing and anti-poverty legislation, with the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition;
- Earth Day observance with Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light;
- Truth and reparations work related to Dakota, Lakota, and Anishinaabe genocide, with Honor the Earth and the Dakota 35+;
- Pride parades and festival booths across our region, with OutFront Minnesota and the Welcoming Congregations committees of UU congregations;
- Collaboration to share, apply, and amplify programming from the UUA Organizing Strategy Team (Side With Love), UUSC, UUCSJ, UU-Rise, and UU Ministry for Earth/Create Climate Justice.
The planning/partnering/debrief teams associated with particular events or forums are ongoing participants in bi-weekly Convening Circles which currently include four groups:
- Climate Justice and Honoring Treaties (which grew out of the StopLine3 work);
- Defending Democracy (regional work to implement #UUtheVote);
- Sanctuary and Immigration Justice (resisting detention & deportation);
- Racial Justice (anti-racism and Eighth Principle implementation).