When an international injustice has been identified, and a congregation exerts its power to bring it to an end, it is engaging in Justice-making and Advocacy. Often this is done successfully through secular or interfaith coalitions. Sometimes it involves participating with an organization that has already developed an action plan. Other times a congregation develops its own unique ministry.
Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations are invited to use the following check-list as a way of evaluating the inclusion of Justice-making and Advocacy in their international engagement:
- Our congregation’s social justice program includes an international focus.
- Our congregation offers letter-writing advocacy opportunities on global issues at least twice per year.
- Our Congregation organizes congregational responses to “Action Alerts”/Online petitions on global issues.
- Our congregation has selected a specific international advocacy issue to focus on for 12 months. We track its progress carefully and engages in it strategically.
- Our congregation has an active general liaison relationship with the UU United Nations Office (UU-UNO) and/or the UU Service Committee (UUSC).
- Our congregation partners with the UUSC, the UU Global AIDS Coalition (UUGAC), UUs for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME), UU-UNO or another international U/U organization on a specific matter of international justice.
- Our congregation has studied and implemented “Best Practices” for international engagement.
- Our congregation has studied the work of the UU Holdeen India Program (UUHIP) partners, and seeks to develop a relationship with UUHIP.
- Our congregation has held an “Inspired Faith, Effective Action” workshop.
- Our congregation’s international ministries are designed with “accountability” and “mutuality” as guiding principles.
- Our congregation participates in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Statement of Conscience process from an intentionally Sixth Principle perspective.
- In coalition with area UUs and other religious people our congregation organizes an annual lobby day on a specific international advocacy issue.
If your congregation fulfills two or more of these examples of Justice-making and Advocacy programs, you’re well on the way towards integrating this aspect of international engagement.
Please consider choosing one or two additional elements to grow into over the next 1-3 years.
If there are other ways in which your congregation is involved with Justice-making and Advocacy… Internationally, please share them with the UUA’s International Resources Office (IRO).
Justice-Making and Advocacy… Internationally Resources
Justice-making and Advocacy are very comprehensively supported by UUA departments and international UU organizations. Below are suggestions for organizations/departments to collaborate with:
- UU Letter-writing, Action-Alerts, and Issue Advocacy—UUA Washington Office for Advocacy (UUWOA), UUA Office of Congregational Advocacy and Witness (UUCAW)
- General Liaison/Justice partnerships—UUSC, UU-UNO, UUGAC.
- The UU Holdeen India Program
- The UUA Commission on Social Witness.
- Participating in Coalitions, Organizing Lobby Days—UUA Office of Congregational Advocacy and Witness, UUA Washington Office for Advocacy