Social and Environmental Justice
Social and Environmental Justice (S&EJ) is a spiritual practice and a unifying force at First Parish UU in Milton. The Social and Environmental Justice Committee proposes and facilitates opportunities for service, education and public advocacy to empower members of First Parish to actively engage in our mission:
We welcome all to build a just and healthy world with faith, love and compassion.
Social Justice Themes for 2023-24
– Climate Action and Environmental Justice – In May 2021, our congregation voted to reach net-zero carbon emissions on the church campus by 2035. A Climate Action Team, along with several working groups, is continuing the critical work of creating and managing a multi-year plan to accomplish this ambitious goal. We also continue to educate our community on the evolving technology and strategies that are essential for preserving the health of our beloved planet.
– Economic Justice – Economic inequality has wide ranging impacts in the world today from environmental deterioration to homelessness, from mass incarceration to low-wage earner exploitation. We work for justice, equity and for systemic change in our world.
– Racial Justice – – Racial Justice – In May, 2023, our congregation voted to adopt the 8thprinciple, a UUA proposed addition to our denominational principles calling for congregational action against racism and other oppressions. The Racial Justice Task Force at First Parish is strategizing about how our congregation can best live into this imperative–starting within ourselves and moving out more deeply into our communities and beyond. For more information, talk to Pat Neves or Ellen Barr.
– Immigration Justice – We advocate for immigration reform, for an end to detentions and deportations, and for a world where no one feels forced to leave their home or must risk death in pursuit of a decent life for their whole family. In the coming year, members of First Parish will engage in a Milton/Mattapan community effort that focuses on supporting and welcoming Haitian immigrants to this area. For more info, talk to Pat Gallivan or Cynthia Guise.
Social and Environmental Justice in Action!
Justice in action takes many forms. Members of First Parish in Milton engage in social and environmental work in our work, in our homes, and in our daily activities. As a community, we expand our impact through a variety of activities. S&EJ defines and promotes opportunities for service projects and collaborations with area non-profit, non-partisan civic organizations such as:
Courageous Conversations toward Racial Justice: A series of events sponsored throughout the year which explore racism and privilege through education, discussions, and activism in Milton, Mattapan, and other local communities. These events are designed to address racial healing, equity and justice.
Fair Foods is a non-profit organization that rescues nutritious wholesale fruits and vegetables about to be discarded for distribution to members of the community. We volunteer filling bags of fresh produce for distribution at various sites in the Boston area. For info, contact Tony Dutzik at email@example.com
Share the Plate: Each month on the first and third Sundays, First Parish donates the proceeds of its collection plate to a non-profit which is addressing one of the identified themes of the Social and Environmental Justice Committee.
MainSpring/Father Bill’s: First Parish members provide support by assembling and providing lunches to the Brockton shelter twice a month. For more info, contact Pat Gallivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mother’s Day Walk for Peace: Each Mother’s Day, First Parish members join other churches and community groups to walk in an effort to create more peaceful communities.
Organized by the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, we join with families and individuals who have been impacted by murder to bring awareness to this issue and demand dignity and compassion for families impacted by this violence.
UU Urban Ministry is a social justice organization based in Roxbury. First Parish members work with volunteers from Boston-area congregations as well as local colleges and universities on a variety of programs.
UUUM seeks to build bridges of understanding and mutuality so that people from different social and economic backgrounds can work together to effect change.
For more information on the Social and Environmental Justice Committee, please talk to co-chairs Pat Gallivan or Tracey Robinson or call the office at 617-698-6329.