Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser


In Memoriam: Virginia Torres Garcia

We hold in our hearts Lisa Garcia-Sampson following the final illness and death of her mother-in-law, Virginia Torres Garcia, who died in El Paso, Texas on October 23, 2020. Lisa and her spouse Ry were able to be with their family in El Paso over the past two weeks.


November 2020
In This Issue

Justice Matters

Three Post-Election Scenarios

Forward Together News & Events

Forward Together Fall Gathering
NC UU the Vote Update
Post-Election Action Hours

Spiritual Nourishment for Activists
All Souls Unitarian $10,000 Donation
Year-End Support for Forward Together

Justice Partners News & Events

UU the Vote Post-Election Vespers
CJJ Post-Election Rally in Durham

UUCSJ Election Defense Resources
Faithful Resilience & Climate Justice

Dismantling White Supremacy in Our Congregations

Congregations Making Justice

UU Forward Together Fall Gathering, Nov. 22, 2020

   Although we've had to cancel Forward Together's in-person Annual Gathering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no virus can stop us from getting together for a social justice gathering to celebrate our work for electoral justice this year and recommit ourselves to giving life the shape of justice in the coming months.

   Join UUs from across the state and beyond who've been working to give life the shape of justice on Sunday, November 22 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm as we worship together, hear some really great justice music, and celebrate the work we've done through short videos from UU congregations in NC, video presentations by our state and national justice partners, and sharing stories of our work for electoral justice and voting rights, the joy of being together for Friday Action Hours, and the ways that our social justice work has transformed us and our congregations.

   Pre-registration is required for this year's Forward Together's on-line Fall Gathering. All are welcome. There's no registration fee (but donations are welcomed and encouraged).

   If you're a "Zoom guru" and can help with the technical logistics for our first on-line meeting, please email us as soon as possible.

   Hope to see you there in spirit rather than in person and looking forward to seeing your faces on Zoom!


Justice Matters

Three Post-Election Scenarios:
Preparing for What Comes Next

As I see it, there are at least three possible post-election scenarios.

  • One is that President Trump will clearly win a majority of the electoral college vote.
  • Another is that it will be clear when all the votes are counted (within 24 hours to a week or so after the election) that Vice-President Biden has won both the popular and electoral college vote.
  • And a third is that, despite losing the popular and electoral college vote, President Trump will attempt to steal the election.

Here’s the thing, though. Regardless of which one of these scenarios might come to pass, we (spiritual and secular progressives) need to be preparing now for what may come next.

Regardless of the election outcome (both nationally and here in North Carolina), we have our work cut out for us--from establishing a nonpartisan redistricting commission to end gerrymandering forever, preserving the reproductive rights of women, advocating for justice and compassion for immigrants and refugees, ending police violence, protecting the environment, addressing gun violence, protecting the right to vote, and more.

And if, God forbid, we don’t know who has won the election by the second week in November, one (or both) of the candidates dispute the election, and legal or extra-legal means are used to thwart the democratic process, we’ll have to be prepared to resist that threat—together and nonviolently—in whatever way we can. Because our democracy and the very soul of our nation are at stake.

So let’s work hard. Stay calm. Be patient. Stay grounded. Be alert. And be ready for whatever comes next.

Because the road to justice is long and winding and the struggle continues no matter what happens after this election.

Forward Together! Not One Step Back!

Rev. John L. Saxon
President, UU Justice Ministry of NC


Forward Together News & Events

NC UU the Vote Update

Thank you to all those who have been a part of our NC UU the Vote Campaign.

So far this year we have...

  • Engaged more than 600 people from 16 North Carolina congregations.

  • Written 28,880 postcards in partnership with Reclaim Our Vote and the NC NAACP.

  • Engaged more than 100 UUs from 10 states in over 350 hours of phone banking making more than 7,000 calls to NC voters. 

  • Distributed voter education materials as You Can Vote - Voting Rights Champions

  • Engaged in critical County Board of Election advocacy to ensure safe and fair elections. 

  • Recruited UUs to serve as poll workers and poll protectors.

Working together, UUs and our state and national justice partners have made a difference because you gave your time, energy, and commitment to make a difference!


Post-Election Action Hours:
Ready to Defend Our Democracy

Join Forward Together and UUs across the state in our post-election Action Hours on Zoom Wednesday, November 4th through Friday, November 6th at 11:00 am

On election night, our state-wide partners will huddle to determine if actions are needed to ensure the full and fair counting of every NC vote. For example, we may be asked to make calls to our county board of elections.

Whatever happens, let's be ready to take action.

Click the button for more information, Zoom link, and registration.


Spiritual Nourishment for Justice Activists (Nov. 8th @ 4:00 pm)

Join Forward Together next Sunday, November 8th at 4:00 pm for our monthly Spiritual Nourishment zoom call.

This is an opportunity every month to care for our spirits and reflect on our justice work through the lens of faith and our spiritual journeys.


All Souls Unitarian Church of Washington, DC Donates $10,000 to Support UU Forward Together

Over the years, UU congregations in North Carolina and the UU Justice Ministry of NC (UU Forward Together) have worked with All Souls Unitarian Church of Washington, DC and All Souls' Reeb Voting Rights Project to protect democracy and voting rights in our state.

They've marched with us in the cold and rain at HKonJ in Raleigh and knocked on doors in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Charlotte to register voters. And now, they've donated $10,000 to support Forward Together continuing work to "give life the shape of justice" in North Carolina.

We're grateful beyond words for All Souls' support and know that the work of justice is work that we have to do together, not alone.


Make a Year-End Contribution to Forward Together

Here are three good reasons you should make a contribution to Forward Together before December 31st.

First, the federal CARES Act increases the federal income tax deduction for charitable donations.

  • For individual donors who itemize deductions, the adjusted gross income (AGI) limit for cash contributions has been increased. You can now deduct up to 100% of your AGI (up from 60%) for 2020 cash contributions. This makes cash contributions fully tax-deductible.
  • For individual donors not itemizing deductions, the CARES Act allows for an additional, “above-the-line" deduction for charitable cash gifts of up to $300. You can claim this new deduction if you are not itemizing on your 2020 taxes.
  • To qualify for these charitable giving incentives, donations must be in the form of cash (or check or credit card) gifts. Donor-advised funds do not qualify for the 100% of AGI deduction limit.

Second, several other federal laws provide additional tax benefits for charitable donations.

  • Donor-advised funds. Donor-advised funds allow donors to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax deduction, and recommend grants from the fund over time. There are no changes with the CARES Act to existing deductions for contributions made into a donor-advised fund. Individuals can still deduct up to 60% AGI in cash and up to 30% AGI in appreciated assets. Existing carry-over rules still apply. Suppose your 2020 donations exceed your AGI deduction limits. In that case, you may carry forward excess deductions for up to five subsequent tax years.

  • IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD). Qualified Charitable Distributions are funds taken directly out of your individual retirement account (IRA) and given to an eligible charity. The CARES Act did not change the rules around QCD, which still allows individuals over 70½ years old to donate up to $100,000 annually in IRA assets directly to the charity and exclude taxable income distribution.

  • Gifts of Appreciated Securities (Stock or Mutual Funds). You can gift appreciated stock or mutual funds held over one year and receive a charitable deduction for tax purposes. Forward Together is a tax-exempt institution and pays no tax or gains.

But the third and best reason to donate to Forward Together is that your contribution, no matter how large or how small, will help us "give life the shape of justice" in North Carolina.


Justice Partners News & Events

UU the Vote Post-Election Vespers

Join UU the Vote, Side with Love, and UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray for a post-election vigil and gathering, Thursday,November 5th @ 8:00 pm (ET).

Whatever the results--including no clear results--of the elections, we know that we will want to gather in community.


Post-Election Rally in Durham, November 4th

For UUs living in or near the Triangle, Carolina Jews for Justice, Durham for All, and other justice organizations are planning a post-election rally on Wednesday Nov 4th at 3:00 pm at CCB Plaza, 201 N Corcoran St, Durham.

The spirit of this event is to celebrate the power of the Durham vote and mobilize to ensure that every vote is counted. More info on Facebook. 


UUCSJ Election Defense Resources

The UU College of Social Justice has curated a number of election defense resources for UU congregations and social justice activists.


Faithful Resilience and Climate Justice

UU congregations in North Carolina that are working for environmental justice can download Creation Justice Ministries Faithful Resilience Guide to integrate teaching and action on climate resilience into their congregation.

The six-part guide includes theological reflections for sermons, questions for reflection or conversation, action steps for your church, and examples of churches who are building resilience in their community.


Dismantling White Supremacy Culture within the Congregation

The UUA's Southern Region is offering a webinar on Dismantling White Supremacy Culture within the congregation on November 10th, 2020 @ 7:00 pm (ET).

The cost of the webinar is $15.00 per participant. Click below to register.


Congregations Making Justice

The Eno River UU Fellowship will be holding a post-election vespers service, Wednesday, November 4th.

The UU Fellowship of Raleigh will be streaming a post-election vespers service on its You Tube channel on Thursday, November 5th @ 7:00 pm.

The UU Fellowship of Winston-Salem is offering a number of drop-in gatherings via Zoom on November 3rd and 4th to provide a space for reflection, caring, sharing, and sanctuary from the noise surrounding the election as well as safe socially distanced post-election support on the Fellowship grounds during the week after the election.

The UU Church of Greensboro's minister (Rev. Sadie Lansdale) and the congregation's Justice Action Team offered two "election chats" via Zoom this past month. The first focused on "Social Media and Anxiety." The second focused on "Politics and Family Differences." Both offered an opportunity for UUCG members to talk about how the upcoming election has affected their lives, relationships, and mental health and to return of our values, speak the truth in love, and be real with ourselves and one another.

Please 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

Follow Us