Planning for Actions of Immediate Witness at General Assembly
Planning for Actions of Immediate Witness at General Assembly
Social Witness Process

To assist Unitarian Universalists (UUs) in organizing Actions of Immediate Witness (AIWs) at General Assembly, the Commission on Social Witness (CSW) encourages you to plan and collaborate online. Find a list of criteria for successful AIWs.

If you are interested in proposing topics and planning together, email socialwitness [at] uua [dot] org with:

  • Potential AIW title
  • Two-sentence description, and
  • Contact information for primary organizer.

The information will be posted here (scroll down for list). People interested in learning more about a particular topic or collaborating on drafting an AIW can communicate with the organizer listed. If you prefer to simply propose a topic for others to consider, send only the title and description to be posted. If another person wants to coordinate planning for an AIW on that issue, they can notify us at socialwitness [at] uua [dot] org.

Please note: This list of AIWs is for planning and organizing purposes only! To be formally considered, proposed AIWs must be submitted at General Assembly as described in Part 2 of the Proposer's Guide.

Proposed AIWs

Title:  Build the Movement for a Green New Deal

Description: Climate catastrophes are becoming ever more frequent and costly, with ecological overshoot hitting ever harder at key ecosystems and resources, while the benefits of affluence have been captured by the few, leaving the many feeling left behind, vulnerable to demagoguery. Therefore this AIW calls on UUs to educate themselves on the accelerating threats to humanity and to commit to replacing extravagance for the few by universal benefits and productive employment for the many, as envisioned by the “Green New Deal”, to transform our infrastructure and lifestyles away from fossil fuels and toward sustainable practices and the restoration of critical ecosystems.

Contact: Dr. Richard H. Burkhart, Ph.D., UUs for a Just Economic Community, dickburkhart [at] centurylink [dot] net


Title: Disaster Preparedness: Immediate and Ubiquitous

Description. We agree to increase our disaster preparedness at all churches, homes, and places where our ministries take place (e.g., prisons and neighborhoods). In order to prioritize safety for all, we agree to align efforts on climate change, civic engagement, economic justice, disability equality, and human rights with disaster preparedness. 

Contact Information: Rosario “Shanti” Carrillo, Ph.D., UU Church of the Desert, Rancho Mirage, CA - ani19cv [at] gmail [dot] com (ani19cv @


Title: Endorse Back from the Brink! 

Description: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has set the hands of the Doomsday Clock to 2 minutes to Midnight and former Pentagon chief William  Perry says the risk of nuclear calamity is greater today than during the cold war.  Yet Pres. Trump has withdrawn the US from the INF treaty, is threatening Iran and is poised to launch a new nuclear arms race.  Nuclear war by reckless intent or catastrophic accident represents an  existential threat to life on Earth, even more imminent than global warming. But  there is a way back from the brink, and UU’s must join other religions of the world to provide the moral leadership in this space.  This Action of Immediate Witness calls on the UUA to endorse the Back from the Brink Campaign and for UU’s to engage with friends, members of the public and political leadership  to demand the US undertakes these concrete steps to reduce the danger of Armageddon:

  1. Renounce first use of  nuclear weapons
  2. End unchecked authority of U.S. president to launch a nuclear attack
  3. Take U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert
  4. Cancel the $1.7 T plan to upgrade the US  nuclear arsenal
  5. Actively pursue a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals

Contact: Jerry Ross, First Parish Bedford, MA - jeraldpross [at] gmail [dot] com (jeraldpross @


Title: Resolution Declaring a Climate Emergency and Urging an Immediate and Just Transition to Restore a Safe Climate

Description:  We are proud of the actions approved over the past thirteen years including "Threat of Global Warming/Climate Change" (2006 Statement of Conscience), the importance of "Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice" (2011 SOC), a business resolution to "Fossil Fuels Divestment" (2014), and a 2015 AIW to "Support a Strong, Compassionate Global Climate Agreement in 2015: Act for a Livable Climate."  Sadly, in the four years since the Paris Agreement, the urgency of this issue and its existential impact on our planet and all people makes it imperative that the UUA use its track record to re-emphasize the immediate need for a broad global effort to restore a safe climate.

Contacts: Debbie Mytels dmytels [at] batnet [dot] com, Alex Stagner astagner [at] gmail [dot] com, and Peter Hartzell pdhartzell [at] gmail [dot] com; UU Fellowship of Redwood City, California


Title: Support Our First Amendment Right to Boycott

Description: Since 2014 over 100 measures have been introduced at state, local and federal levels targeting the use of boycott and divestment in support of Palestinian human rights, even though the United States Supreme Court declared in 1982 that the right to boycott is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution. This Action of Immediate Witness calls on Unitarian Universalists and the Unitarian Universalist Association to defend the time-honored, non-violent and constitutional use of boycott and divestment to achieve social justice in all human rights concerns, and to oppose all efforts to prevent or criminalize their use.

Contact: Dr. Curtis Bell Ph.D., Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East. Curt [dot] c [dot] bell [at] gmail [dot] com


For more information contact

Like, Share, Print, or Bookmark