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Leader Resource 2: Social Justice Resolutions
Here are a few sample resolutions.
1. END OF TOBACCO PRICE SUPPORT PROGRAM—1978
WHEREAS, tobacco smoking is harmful to human health; and
WHEREAS, the world needs more food crops grown on the limited areas of fertile land; and
WHEREAS, the United States Department of Agriculture spends many millions of dollars each year to support tobacco production; and
WHEREAS, such tax money should be used for more constructive purposes, not for the encouragement of farming practices that are ultimately detrimental to consumers;
BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1978 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association urges the United States Congress to terminate all price support programs for tobacco, beginning with the 1980 crop of tobacco, and to establish a program funded over a four-year period by part of the money thus saved to assist small farmers to convert from tobacco to the production of other commodities.
2. ABOLITION OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT—1973
BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1973 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association opposes the corporal punishment of children in schools, juvenile detention facilities, and other public institutions where children are cared for or educated and urges that members of UUA societies work actively through school boards, legislatures, and courts to help arouse public opinion to bring an end to the practice.
3. AGAINST CENSORSHIP IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS—1988
Because Unitarian Universalists have historically affirmed the value of public education in a pluralistic society; and
Because we believe that free inquiry strengthens minds in the individual search for knowledge; and
WHEREAS, recent history shows a continuing series of attacks on access to information and ideas in the classroom as well as attempts to promote sectarian ideology in public education at national, state, provincial, and school-district levels; and strategies are being pursued to eliminate from public school curricula any material considered by some parents to be offensive to their own religious beliefs; and
WHEREAS, a broad-based, multicultural public school system requires that teaching instruments, including textbooks, film, video, speakers, and student publications exhibit a varied and open exposition of historical, scientific, and cultural fact;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Unitarian Universalist Association, mindful of the roles played by religious movements throughout our history, encourages its members to affirm that educational excellence rather than the promotion of sectarian ideology is the proper business of public education and calls upon congregations and individual members:
1. To educate themselves and the public on censorship and sectarian interference in education;
2. To organize groups to monitor religious intrusions affecting public schools, especially curricula and educational materials;
3. To encourage teachers, parents, students, librarians, and other school officials and community residents to remain vigilant in the fact of censorship challenges;
4. To advocate laws, regulations, and policies in educational, legislative, and judicial arenas ensuring freedom from sectarian based censorship of curriculum and extra-curricular activities, which include student publications;
5. To oppose vigorously efforts to make public education conform to any group's sectarian beliefs;
6. To support the development of curricula designed to teach the historic and cultural influence of religious movements and religious motivation while excluding the teaching of specific sectarian doctrine.
4. ACCESSIBILITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES—1997
BECAUSE Unitarian Universalists affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person; and
BECAUSE Unitarian Universalists promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; and
BECAUSE Unitarian Universalists believe in the importance of religious community; and
WHEREAS people with physical, psychiatric, and developmental disabilities are becoming more involved in all areas and levels of the Unitarian Universalist Association; and
WHEREAS people with inabilities to see, hear, or maneuver around allotted space are often excluded from full participation in and leadership of our worship services and other activities because of the inaccessibility of our buildings;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the 1997 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association undertakes an aggressive plan to address accessibility within the Association for people with disabilities by:
1. Establishing written policies and practices, providing staff training, and creating an accessibility manual for the Unitarian Universalist Association, allowing the Association to serve as a model of physical and attitudinal accessibility for its member congregations;
2. Encouraging congregations and districts to become more accessible by providing a variety of resources, including information on the Internet; and
3. Assuring that a Board-appointed standing committee, supporting congregations in their efforts to become more accessible, address matters of disability concerns and report annually to the General Assembly on these issues.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association acts as an advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities both within its own association and globally.