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February 2021
In This Issue

Forward Together News & Events

Spiritual Nourishment Gathering Feb. 7
Friday Action Hours
Forward Together in 2021
The Legislature's Back in Town!
Leadership Transitions

Justice Partners News & Events

UUA/BLUU: Call to Impeach Trump
UUA: New Day Rising - February 27
Democracy NC Statewide Meeting Feb 9
Action Alert - $15 Minimum Wage
UUSC's Rev. Kathleen McTigue Retires
Green Faith: Sacred People, Sacred Earth, March 11th  

Justice Matters

Congregations Making Justice

HKonJ: Hope in Action February 6th & 13th 

For the past 14 years, North Carolina UUs have joined the NAACP, labor unions, and social justice advocates for the annual HKonJ Moral March in Raleigh, marching and singing for justice in the rain and bitter cold of early February.
This year's HKonJ event will be virtual and socially distanced due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
But we can still show up for justice on February 6th for the HKonJ Motorcade and Feb. 13th for the virtual HKonJ march in solidarity with the North Carolina Poor People's Campaign and Forward Together's other social justice allies. 

Click the button below to learn more!

Forward Together News & Events

Spiritual Nourishment Gathering - Sunday, Feb. 7th

Join us this Sunday, February 7th at 4:00 for our monthly Spiritual Nourishment Gathering where we come together to care for our spirits and reflect on our justice work through the lens of our faith.  

We’re excited to announce that this month’s session will led by the wonderful Rev. Patty Hanneman (former minister of the UU Congregation of Hillsborough) and our theme will be: What it means to be a people of Beloved Community.

You can join this Sunday (and the first Sunday of every month) with this zoom link.


Friday Action Hours 

Join UUs from all across North Carolina every Friday at 11:00 for Forward Together's Friday Action Hour on Zoom https://zoom.us/j/91029655107. And if you can't make it, visit our Action Hour Google Doc to see what actions you can take this week to move in alignment with our state and national justice partners. 


Forward Together in 2021!

UU Forward Together did some really great work in 2020 (read our 2020 Annual Report) and we're getting off to a great start in 2021!

During the coming year, our work with our state and national justice partners will focus on

  • NC for Black Lives & Dismantling White Supremacy
  • Voting Rights and Fair Maps
  • Climate Justice & Support of the Green New Deal
  • Fight for $15 Minimum Wage 
  • Southerners for Medicaid Expansion 
  • Immigrant Justice

And to build on the work we've done, Forward Together's Board of Directors has approved a budget of $55,431 that recognizes Rev. Lisa Garcia-Sampson's leadership by increasing her compensation, makes investments in communications, social media, and branding, and emphasizes our relationships with UU congregations in North Carolina and our state and national justice partners. 

Thank you! Your generous contributions in 2020 made this possible! 


The Legislature's Back in Town!

Our state legislature, the NC General Assembly, has reconvened in Raleigh for its 2021 legislative session. 

As the NC General Assembly comes together to begin its work, it is sitting on $4.2 billion in available funding beyond anticipated revenues and expenses.

That $4.2 billion is there for emergencies -- like the economic suffering of North Carolinians who are out of work because of a raging and deadly pandemic, or the suffering of small business owners who don't know whether they can stay afloat, or people who could lose their housing and workers who make less than $10/hour, when more than $15/hr is required to live in any county in the state, or the half million North Carolinians who have little or no access to health care because they work full-time, but still live below the poverty level.

North Carolina's people are hurting, and that $4.2 billion would go a long way toward alleviating that. 

The simple act of expanding Medicaid would actually bring billions of additional federal dollars into the state, and it would allow over 500,000 people to gain access to health care. Even better, Medicaid expansion would save three lives in North Carolina every single day.

A coalition of social justice groups, led by NC Team Democracy, invite you to remind our state lawmakers that it is their job to provide emergency aid to help all North Carolinians survive and thrive. 

Coalition partners have created a toolkit with everything you need -- phone numbers, hashtags, links, scripts and more.


Leadership Transitions: Thank you John and Jessica!

Jessica Lin joined Forward Together's Board of Directors in 2019 and, among other things, was a key player in planning Forward Together's Fall Gatherings in 2019 and 2020. Having completed her two-year term on the Board, Jessica is leaving to focus on other passions and commitments in her life. We're sorry to see her go but grateful beyond words for her energy, perspective, and commitment to Forward Together and the cause of justice. 

Rev. John L. Saxon, who currently serves as Forward Together's President and was Forward Together's first Executive Director (2017 - 2020) has announced that he will be stepping down from his position as President (as well as his responsibilities as volunteer newsletter editor, website manager, and financial manager) later this year--so there'll be plenty of time for John to say his farewells and for us to thank him for his service to Forward Together. 


Justice Partners News & Events

UUA & BLUU: Call to Impeach Trump

The UUA and Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) have joined over 100 organizations to call on Congress to impeach former President Trump and to protect democracy by holding the eight senators and 139 representatives who voted against the election results accountable for their actions.

Trump and the GOP representatives that fomented the insurrection are a threat to democracy! Call your US Senators and Representatives to let them know there is no healing without accountability. 


UUA: New Day Rising - Saturday, February 27th 

Is your congregation ready to take a new step in racial justice work? Want to learn what your fellow congregations are working on, and how you might apply it at home? Join a continent of UUs as we explore next steps in creating Beloved UU Communities.


Democracy NC: Statewide Advocates Meeting
Tuesday, February 9th

With a new year, a new Congressional session, and a new state legislative cycle well under way, it's time we talk about our 2021 democracy agenda.

North Carolina UUs are encouraged to join Democracy North Carolina's staff and super-advocates as we share the latest on:

  • this year's BIG issues like redistricting, local elections, and COVID's impact on both,
  • how your voting rights and maps may be influenced on the local, state and federal levels, and
  • where North Carolinians like you are making the biggest difference for our democracy in 2021. 

Click here to register for our February 2021 Statewide Advocates Meeting — coming up on Tuesday, February 9, at 6 p.m.

Once registered, you'll received a detailed email for ways you can join us via video or by phone — however you're able or most comfortable — that evening.


Tell Lawmakers - We Need a $15 Minimum Wage 

Join our parters Fight for $15 and UUs for Social Justice in calling on our lawmakers to pass the Raise the Wage Act and raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour

You can participate through UUSJ's Action Alert for February and spread the word through social media with the help of Fight for $15's Toolkit.

The minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 for over a decade while costs of living soar. Raising the minimum wage to $15/hr would boost pay for more than 23 million Americans and lift wages for nearly 40% of Black workers. It is one of our most powerful tools to raise the standard of living for the nation’s poorest workers, reduce the racial and gender wage gap, and rebuild the economy in the wake of COVID-19.  


UUSC's Rev. Kathleen McTigue Announces Retirement

We join in congratulating Rev. Kathleen McTigue and thanking her for her leadership as the UU Service Committee's Director of Activism and Justice Education.

In her farewell message to leaders and members of UU State Action Networks across the country, she wrote: "Knowing how much good work is in process and still to unfold in the coming months and years — including with our amazing State Action Networks — I feel some ambivalence about this decision, but I also think this transition comes at the right moment. I’m proud of the work the UU College of Social Justice has accomplished over the almost nine years it has existed, and it has been immensely satisfying to be a key part of binding together the justice initiatives of the UUA and UUSC. I have loved the synergies we’ve built across staff teams and institutions, and feel great confidence in the staff capacities and leadership that are in place right now."


GreenFaith: Sacred People, Sacred Earth

On March 11th people of faith around the world will engage in actions of solidarity to raise awareness and highlight the urgent need for a more just and sustainable world for all. 

This mobilization is called Sacred People, Sacred Earth, and we invite you to join us! 

Here's the link for a beautiful video of people from all over the world reading our statement and demands. And here's the link to read and sign onto the statement.

Please, share this widely with your faith community. In the last two weeks nearly 1,000 people have signed, including high-level religious leaders whose names you will recognize. In addition, we invite you to join us by hosting an event in your faith community! Visit greenfaith.org to sign up to receive a planning tool kit.

Email (amy@greenfaith.org) Rev. Amy Brooks Paradise, a member of the UU Forward Together Board of Directors and the GreenFaith NC organizer, for questions or support.

Help us push forward one of the most pressing justice issues of our time!


Justice Matters

Another World Is Possible

We say it, again and again, even when the proof lies somewhere beyond the horizon, beyond our reach, beyond our imagination.

This is our faith: Another world is possible.

Not somewhere else--another world, another lifetime--but here, and now, for us and for all.

Another world is possible. There is no single path toward that world; no one strategy or approach that will restore balance, heal brokenness, sow wholeness, free creation. There are many routes toward liberation; toward freedom But the abundance of options does not absolve us of the responsibility of acting.

Another world is possible.

The call—the duty-of each moment in history Is to discern: Who are we, and what can we bring with humility, integrity, faith? What is the context, and how can we address it with agility, resilience, skill? What is the vision, and how can we realize it with accountability, relationship, joy? Another world is possible.

In this time of despair, of fear, of collapse--this time that is both like every other era and like no other time in history--it is audacious to declare our faith and to commit our work to a world that is more free, more just, more whole.

But we are an audacious people in good company, with many kin, and we are ready to show up and work hard and stay humble and make friends and hold the vision starting here, now, today, with us and persevering--however long it takes-until that other world Is not only possible, but Another world is here.

Rev. Ashley Horan,
UUA Organizing Strategy Director


Congregational News

The UU Fellowship of Winston-Salem hosted (virtually) Forward Together's Executive Director, Rev. Lisa Garcia-Sampson, as its guest preacher on January 29th and has designated Forward Together as the recipient of its February "Share the Plate" offering.  

The Eno River UU Fellowship of Durham's Restitution for Racism Group
will be hosting a virtual brown bag dinner forum on Narrowing the Racial Wealth Gap on Monday, February 22nd from 5:00 - 7:00. The sessions's focus will be WEALTH and ECONOMY - What is the history of the black economy in Durham? And based on the Durham Racial Equity Task Force, where are we now? You can register by emailing RRG@ERUUF.ORG.

We invite you to share your congregation's social justice news by adding UU Forward Together (news@uuforwardtogether.org) to your congregation's social justice mailing list or sending your news to news@uuforwardtogether.org.


Forward Together is the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of North Carolina - 
an independent, nonpartisan, progressive faith-based social justice advocacy organization that works with Unitarian Universalists, Unitarian Universalist congregations, and other progressive faith-based and secular social justice organizations to "give life the shape of justice" in North Carolina through education, organizing, mobilization, witness, protest, advocacy, grass-roots lobbying, and direct action. 

Contact Us

Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of North Carolina
225 West Tryon St., Hillsborough, North Carolina 27278

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