2009 Recipient UU Congregation of Phoenix
The Unitarian Universalist (UU) Congregation of Phoenix is the 2009 recipient of the Bennett Award for Congregational Action on Human Justice and Social Action.
In response to persecution of immigrants, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix partnered with immigrant rights groups and joined a successful effort for a federal investigation of Sheriff Arpaio of Phoenix, AZ. Rev. Frederick-Gray and fifty members joined thousands in a protest march. Their work includes immigration reform advocacy, support of day laborers, and witnessing against human rights violations.
Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray wrote: "In Phoenix in particular, crime associated with human and drug trafficking across the border is a reality. Gang activity, assault, murder, robbery and rape are all effects of illegal trafficking across the border and they are serious problems. Unfortunately, Sheriff Arpaio's raids neglect the far more difficult and dangerous work of addressing these criminal elements. Rather, his tactics target people whose only crime is being in this country without papers. He is going after people with few rights, while turning a blind eye to dangerous criminals."
As a denomination that believes we should 'Stand on the Side of Love', the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix has demonstrated our commitment to this promise.
Rev. Frederick-Gray spoke at a workshop at General Assembly, Welcoming Our Neighbors: The Path to Immigration Reform, about what her congregation has done and has others can replicate their efforts.