Our UUA "Side With Love" campaign challenges: What is Love Calling Us To Do?

Be an Agent of Change!

"If not now, when?"–Primo Levi 


Our passion for social justice manifests in a variety of activities.
We approach our initiatives through direct service, policy and procedural work, and fighting for systemic change.

Share-the-Basket

The UUFP supports its Food and Shelter ministries, some of its environmental justice activities, and other social justice organizations through our "Share-the-Basket" program. Each Sunday, a different, highlighted organization/ministry receives half of the cash offering from our collection basket as well as designated Share-the-Basket gifts. Contributions to Share-the-Basket and other programs can be made during the worship service, online and/or via mail.

 

 

National Association for the Advancement for Colored People (NAACP) Newport News – First Sunday

The mission of the NAACP is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. Among its goals are:

• removing all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes,
• enacting and enforcing federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights,
• informing the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and seeking its elimination
• educating persons about their constitutional rights and how to take lawful action to secure the exercise of those rights.


Virginia Interfaith Power & Light (VAIPL) – Second Sunday

Virginia Interfaith Power and Light (VAIPL) works with faith communities across the Commonwealth of Virginia to achieve sustainable living. Reaching across sectarian lines, participating congregations collaborate with other people of faith to grow healthy communities and advance climate justice through education, advocacy and worship. VAIPL is an affiliate of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. UUFP has rallied to host Climate Care workshops sponsored by VAIPL


 

 


Living Interfaith Network (LINK) – Third Sunday

LINK provides a multitude of resources for the less fortunate of our community. Of significant focus is their People Offering Resources Together (PORT) winter shelter program, in which UUFP heartily participates! November through March, various faith communities in Newport News serve as host PORT sites. One weekend each in January and March, our UUFP team partners with a host site to render aid to the homeless. We buy, prepare, and serve the food for meals and supply volunteers for both kitchen tasks and check-in. Have clothes to donate? Consider offering them to LINK, as they extend these items to their clients through PORT and their Professional and Casual Clothing Closet.

Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) – Fourth Sunday

Founded in 1982, VICPP is the largest statewide advocacy voice for the faith community in Virginia.  The organization focuses primarily on issues of racial, social, and economic justice. Historically VICPP has been a leader on poverty issues, working on expanding school breakfast programs, reducing predatory lending, and advocating Medicaid expansion. Today it focuses on racial justice, immigrant rights, and economic justice issues like requiring employers to offer paid sick days. VICPP engages people of faith and goodwill in advocating for justice in Virginia's policies and practices through education, prayer, and action.


Parishioner Assistance Fund – Fifth Sunday

UUFP's Caring Ministry is important to the health of this fellowship. The Parishioner Assistance Fund is used to help those in need within our membership. The money is distributed confidentially, so if you are facing serious financial difficulty, please get in touch with our minister.

In addition to our Share-the-Basket volunteer and financial contributions, consider joining our congregation in support of the following initiatives.

Black Lives Matter

Sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Side with Love (see video on Justice & Service Initiative page) and Black Lives Matter are two public advocacy campaigns that seek to harness love’s power to stop oppression.

Boys & Girls Club

Aqueduct Boys & Girls Club is in our immediate neighborhood. Reaching out to families in need, members of our congregation have provided hands-on education onsite at Aqueduct. Arts and crafts and science experiments are among the activities that have been shared with the children and youth.

Citizens for Riverview Farm Park

Citizens for Riverview Farm Park is dedicated to preserving the last stretch of undeveloped riverfront in Newport News. This includes the old City Farm property, land which has been designated as future public parkland in city planning documents. The Citizens encourage everyone, especially Newport News residents, to attend Newport News City Council meetings and speak out against development of this land. Writing City Council members is also effective. On April 24, 2017, the UUFP hosted a large crowd that turned out to hear the Newport News city manager speak about this topic, which was covered by the Daily Press.


Crop Hunger Walk

Customarily slated for a Sunday in October for the Newport News/Peninsula event, the Crop Hunger Walk inspires walkers across Hampton Roads to raise money to support local and global hunger relief and sustainable agricultural development. Our Fellowship supports this mission through walkers, financial gifts, and donations of cookies and shoes (all types and sizes), helping make a global, local and environmental impact!


Equality Virginia Phone Bank

Equality Virginia believes in a truly inclusive Commonwealth where all are equally valued, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and a Virginia that is a safe, welcoming, and equal place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their families to live, work, and play. Supporting this mission, UUFP volunteers have actively served through the EV phone bank, helping to pass pro-equality bills!
Contact: dre@uufp.org.


Legislative Efforts

The Virginia UULM (Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry) researches state legislation involving social justice issues (e.g., raising the minimum wage, expanding Medicaid and reforming the redistricting process). Join our UUFP team as it lobbies for positive change.


Moral Mondays

UUFP actively joins the voices of Moral Mondays! We gather in peaceful protest on Mondays, in front of the UUFP office building (corner of Warwick Blvd. and Youngs Mill Ln.), to witness for Black Lives Matter. Join us in showing the community who we are as we work to dismantle systemic racism and white supremacy.

Moral Mondays BLM Witness is usually held in the evenings (but sometimes moves to the mornings during seasonal heat waves). Check out the Monday listings on our UUFP Event Calendar. Wear masks; socially distance; bring signs!


PrideFest

Sponsored by Hampton Roads PRIDE, PrideFest is an LBGTQIA+-centered event scheduled annually in June in Norfolk. Affirming inclusion, dignity and equality of all people, UUFP volunteers have staffed an information table in support of this important event.


 

Voter Registration – UU the Vote!

As progressive people of faith, Unitarian Universalists can take up a meaningful role in election years without being partisan. We have opportunities to meet and talk with our neighbors, fight for our values, expand democracy, and help others who are promoting justice. Redistricting reform is another vital area of concern. If you would like to share in this effort, please join us as we work to "UU the Vote." A few of the many ways to do this include: talking with your neighbors about your yard sign (“In this house, we believe..”), providing rides to the polls, encouraging young people who will be 18 by the time of the election to register to vote. To learn more, please stop by the Social Justice Table on Sunday mornings, or email socialjustice@uufp.org, and look for articles in the E-Flame in the months ahead.

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