The Social Justice Council helps to facilitate various projects in which our council members and members of the congregation are interested. Our most recent project is the Guatemala exploratory trip. This July, several members of the congregation will be traveling to Guatemala to meet with people in the Santiago region, to a village called Chuk Muk. This region was devastated by civil war for decades and landslides in 2005. The purpose of the trip is to meet with members of their community to assess what needs they might want addressed in their community. The SJC would like to then facilitate future projects in this region based on the people's wants.
Other projects sponsored by the SJC are the first Sunday Food Drive. This food drive has happened the first Sunday of the month for over a year. The collected items are donated to Loaves and Fishes food bank. Another group affiliated with the SJC is Interweave. This group has sponsored three dances to raise money for their work advocating for LGBT issues. They also collaborate with the youth of our church at the Charlotte PRIDE festival and sell t-shirts designed by the youth and proceeds benefit Time Out Youth, a community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
The Social Justice Council also strives to involve congregants in various social justice causes in our community. We wanted to make everyone aware of a new petition that might interest our congregation. A community member, Charlotte White, contacted PUUC and the SJC recently about a petition she started to ban plastic bags in Charlotte. If you are interested in signing this petition or reading it, visit this website, http://www.change.org/petitions/plastic-bag-ban-in-charlotte-nc-stop-the-use-of-plastic-bags.
Amanda Armstrong and Brian Foster have been the co-chairs of the Council from 2011-2013. This July, two new co-chairs will be taking over the leadership of the Council, Darla Davis and Virginia Gil-Rivas. Both are current members of the Council. Darla has been a UU for close to 40 years and associated with five UU churches during that time. She joined our congregation in 1999 and was one of the original members to start social justice work at our church. Her activism interests are equality in human rights specifically the immigrant justice, the elimination of torture which includes repeal of the death penalty, economic justice in the global economy, and the impact of climate change. Virginia has been a member of PUUC for several years. She has participated on the Social Justice Council since joining our congregation. She also is a founding member of PUUC’s branch of Interweave. We welcome Darla and Virginia as our new co-chairs and thank them for their service to the congregation!
Amanda Armstrong, Co-chair, Social Justice Council