Put Your Faith in Action: Concrete Steps You Can Take! People of Faith Respond to September 11
Show Your Support!
For Arabs, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Immigrants, and others who are at risk for harassment.
Individuals in Action
- Patronize businesses and restaurants owned by people in at-risk groups (such as Middle Eastern restaurants).
- Engage individuals who make hateful comments about these groups.
- Wear buttons that show your support, and/or post signs at your home, work, or in your neighborhood. Have a slogan to suggest? Email us your ideas!
- Talk to children and youth about the issue of racial profiling, and the importance of standing up with innocent people during tough times.
- Learn more about the cultures and traditions of the at-risk groups. Learn about Arabic, Muslim, and Sikh Culture and Traditions.
Get to the Media
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about the importance of supporting members of at-risk groups. The more letters on a given topic a paper gets, the more they’re likely to print some of them. We’ll have a sample letter soon. Please also share it with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Washington Office.
- Write letters to your local television and radio stations, and even anchors and DJs, encouraging them to speak of the need for viewers/listeners to respect members of at-risk groups. Please share your letters with the UUA Washington Office.
- Get on talk shows. Phone into local and national shows—not just NPR, but commercial stations as well, to tell of your own reactions, a relevant incident, or what an organization you belong to is doing (this suggestion comes from the Positive Future’s Network.)
Reach Out and Organize
- Contact local interfaith organizations and ask what you can do to help. We recommend this rather than contacting at-risk group organizations directly because we have reports that they are overwhelmed.
- Organize people in your congregation (group, business, etc) to do some of the things listed in the next section. Also, coordinating efforts will mean less work for local at-risk partner organizations.
Congregations in Action
- Pass a resolution in support of targeted peoples, calling on law enforcement to avoid racial profiling and declaring the church a welcoming place. Share this resolution with local mosques and other target-group related institutions (community centers, etc), and the media. Please also share it with the UUA Washington Office.
- Invite leaders from local at-risk organizations to speak to the congregation (or to a particular congregational group).
- Post a sign or signs of support for at-risk populations outside your church, on your marquee, and around the neighborhood.
- Facilitate learning about the cultures and traditions of the at-risk groups. Learn about Arabic, Muslim, and Sikh Culture and Traditions for links. Include these lessons in your Sunday school and adult education programs.
- Encourage your members to engage individuals who make hateful comments about these groups.
- Talk to children and youth about the issue of racial profiling, and the importance of standing up with innocent people during tough times. Have children in your congregations write letters to children in neighboring mosques or other at-risk organizations. Bring youth from local target-group related institutions together with the youth group.
Get to the Media
- Send a letter of support to local target-group related institutions. Offer assistance. Share this letter with the media. Write an open letter of support and share it with the media. Please also share it with the UUA Washington Office.
- Write letters to your local television and radio stations, and even anchors and DJs, encouraging them to speak of the need for viewers/listeners to respect members of at-risk groups. Please also share your letters with the UUA Washington Office.
- Coordinate a letter-writing campaign to political leadership and local media in support of at-risk communities. Always respond to incidents of discrimination. Papers often publish based on the number of letters received on a given topic, so the more the better.
Reach Out and Organize
- In partnership with other organizations, provide escorts for members of at-risk groups to their religious, cultural, or educational institutions (including colleges and universities).
- Connect with other UU congregations or interfaith efforts in your area. Consider preparing an ad, or writing an open letter to be published in your local paper. Ask for free space from the paper. Even if that doesn’t work, you should be able to easily raise the money for a sufficient ad.
Middle East Peace
- Pastoral Letter (March 27, 2002) from the Rev. William G. Sinkford: Contributing to a Richer Imagination That Can Lead to Peace
- UUA Action of Immediate Witness, 2002: Toward Peace and Justice in the Middle East
- The UUA is a member of Religions for Peace.
- The UUA is a member of Churches for Middle East Peace.
- Tikkun online has many articles on mideast peace and the current conflicts.
- The Shalom Center has many resources focused on seeking peace; pursuing justice in the Middle East.
- The Friends Committee on National Legislation also offers resources on waging peace in the Middle East, and presented an ad for peace in the Middle East which ran in the New York Times and included the Revs. William Sinkford and Meg Riley as signators.
- A convocation of Unitarian Universalist ministers, held in Birmingham, AL, issued a petition on peace in the middle east on March 10, 2002.
- The UUA hosts an email list for civil discourse on the Middle East conflict, called UUsMiddleEast
For more information on the Middle East: