Gathering to Renew Our Faith in the Power of our Movement!
Thank you to everyone who joined us on October 7th online and in-person for our State-Wide Annual Gathering! It was a joyful celebration of all the ways we have contributed to the movement for justice in 2023, and a sobering look at the growing threats we face as a democracy. It also called us to renew our faith that a New North Carolina is possible, if we have the courage to create it.
In 2024, the stakes will be even higher. Hate and anti-democratic values will be on the ballot in our local, state, and national elections. And, in order for us to powerfully show up for this moment, we will need to activate more North Carolina UUs than ever before in our history. That work begins today, through our investment in this urgent, life-saving ministry.
Will you consider making a donation to UU Justice NC today?
Coming Soon! The Launch of UU the Vote 2024!
In 2020 UU the Vote became the largest activation of UUs in the history of our faith. New technology brought us into deeper relationship with our justice partners, and with fellow UUs across the state, and across the country. And we reached out to over three million people. That is the power of our faith. That moment pushed us to interrogate the limits of our imagination for what is possible. What we are capable of.
Last year’s 2022 UU the Vote Campaign, we went even further. Here in North Carolina - 22 UU congregations wrote 34,000 postcards with Reclaim our Vote. We made 36,000 phone calls to voters with Carolina Jews for Justice and the New North Carolina Project.
Finally, we contributed to voter safety, security and joy at the polls through four layers of volunteer opportunities during early voting and election day as, election workers through your local Board of Elections, Vote Protectors through our friends at Democracy NC, You Can Vote Help Desk Volunteers, and Volunteers at a Blueprint NC Safe Sites. In 2024, we ask all UUs in North Carolina to discern how they can contribute to safety, security and joy at the polls!
This spring, we are excited to launch our 2024 North Carolina UU the Vote Campaign. During this critical election cycle, we know that hate and anti-democratic values will be on the ballot in our local, state, and national elections. In order for us to powerfully meet the moment, we'll need to activate more North Carolina UUs than ever before in our history. Stay tuned for more information on how to get involved!
Celebrating Medicaid Expansion!
In 2023, we celebrated the largest win that our state justice ministry has ever been a part of - the expansion of Medicaid to over 600,000 people across North Carolina! Since 2021, UU Justice NC has been proud to contribute to the movement for Medicaid Expansion as part of both the NC People's Budget and Health Action NC Coalitions.
Together, UUs across the state have written letters to the Editor, postcards, made hundreds of phone calls, participated in rallies and vigils and the state general assembly, and showed up at the offices of our elected officials to demand action. Even our children and youth have gotten involved - making "Love thy Neighbor! Expand Medicaid!" Valentines that were distributed to state elected officials during out February 2023 Advocacy Day at the General Assembly. This is faith in action.
In September of 2023, we lived our values by showing up in solidarity with North Carolinians who were directly impacted by the healthcare coverage gap. UUs from across the triangle accompanied two individuals with life threatening medical conditions to the offices of Sen. President Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore. In partnership with the NC Justice Center, we sent a loud and clear message to Stop gambling with people's lives! Enact Medicaid Expansion NOW!
On December 1st, 2023, Medicaid Expansion was finally enacted in our state. Now the work begins to help get people across the state enrolled. In 2024, we will continue to work in close partnership with the North Carolina Justice Center, and encourage NC UUs to become Medicaid Expansion Ambassadors! For more information about this opportunity, check our their Toolkit on Outreach and Education Strategies.
As Unitarian Universalists, we believe that our bodies are sacred, and that we are each endowed with the twin gifts of agency and conscience. Each of us should have the power to decide what does and doesn’t happen to our bodies at every moment of our lives because consent and bodily autonomy are holy.
In 2023, Unitarian Universalists across North Carolina showed up to fight for our reproductive rights in the face of the monster abortion ban, SB20. UU Justice NC was proud to partner with Pro-Choice NC, Planned Parenthood, SACRED and others in writing postcards and Letters to the Editor, making hundreds of phone calls, and showing up at rallies and lobby days fight for bodily autonomy.
With the passage of SB20, and abortion access significantly reduced in out state (and across the south) we are called to work in deep partnership with the Carolina Abortion Fund and the 14 abortion clinics across our state through our volunteer time, our continued advocacy, and financial contributions.
For more information about how to connect with one of our Reproductive Justice partners, or to make them a Share the Plate recipient in your congregation, contact Rev. Lisa at email@example.com
For additional theological grounding historical context on the issue of Reproductive Justice, see the UUA Side With Love – UPLIFT Resource Guide.
Join the Friday Action Hour Community!
Since May of 2020, North Carolina UUs and friends havegathered on Fridays to take action and experience the joy and power of community. Every Friday at 11:00am we recap the past week and take action on the issues impacting our state and country. And there is always great music to help us feel the justice movement in our bones!
ALL are welcome! Over the past two years, our Friday Action Hour community has grown to include justice partners like Carolina Jews for Justice, The People’s Budget Coalition, The Poor People’s Campaign, the New North Carolina Project, and many more! We are also blessed to be joined by dear friends from outside our state (shout out to our West Virginia fam!) and a mascot, Cameron the Conure bird! Can you spot him in our Zoom photo?
You can join us every Friday at 11:00am via this Zoom link.
And sign up for our Weekly Friday Action Hour Email that includes a promo of the week's actions, the Zoom link, and the link to our Actions Google Doc.
Introducing the Raleigh Rally Squad!
Now more than ever, we need to be organized and ready to show up at our state capital when our partners call us to action for our democracy, our earth, reproductive justice, racial justice, Medicaid Expansion, and so much more. UU Justice NC is excited to create this "Rally Squad" of UUs who are in relatively close proximity to Raleigh and wish to receive notifications about rallies, protests and vigils in our state's capital. Sign up for the Rally Squad here!
This is much more than just a listserv. It's a community of UUs ready to turn out and powerfully represent our faith - all while deepening our relationships with one another and our beloved justice partners. This community will also help UUs to have a positive experience at rallies in Raleigh.
When we promote an event, we will also note an optional meet-up location and time (approximately 15 minutes before the event) so that we can briefly enjoy fellowship and receive any necessary information to help us participate safely, powerfully and appropriately.
Expand Medicaid Now!
This fall, we continue the fight for Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina in partnership with our friends from the Health Action NC and People’s Budget NC Coalition. Over the past few months, we have participated in rallies and vigils and the state general assembly Watch the short video from the vigil here.
We have also led Friday Action Hours and special Action Hour events, calling our elected officials and writing Letters to the Editor about the human and financial cost of failing to expand Medicaid. A big thank you to Rebecca Cerese, Health Policy Advocate for the North Carolina Justice Center for frequently joining us at Action Hour to provide updates about ongoing negotiations at the NC General Assembly.
As people of faith, we know that continued inaction on this issue is morally unacceptable. In the past few months we have seen both State Senate Leader Phil Berger and State Speaker Tim Moore announce their enthusiastic support for Medicaid Expansion, and yet we still don't have a deal.
The inaction of our legislators has already caused unnecessary suffering and death. Expanding Medicaid is an urgent, lifesaving policy that can't wait. We need our elected officials to stop playing political games with people’s lives and Expand Medicaid Now!
Carolina Jews & UUs Faith in Action Phone Bank: 8 Nights of Phone Banking with The New North Carolina Project Foundation
This fall, The Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of NC and Carolina Jews for Justice are teaming up with The New North Carolina Project Foundation to host 8-straight weeks of non-partisan phone banking on Thursday nights from September 15th through November 3rd (6:30 - 8:30 ET / 3:30 - 5:30 PT) Jews, UUs and other people of faith are invited to join us in calling North Carolina voters of color about the mid-term elections. We will be helping voters to feel empowered and equipped to vote love and defeat hate this fall.
Thursday, September 15th
Thursday, September 22nd
Thursday, September 29th
Thursday, October 6th
Thursday, October 13th
Thursday, October 20th
Thursday, October 27th (Halloween Edition!)
Thursday, November 3rd
Congregations across the state and country are invited to sign-up to "host" one of our 8 nights of phone banking. This does not require you to actually run the event. Rather it's an opportunity for you to showcase your congregation's participation and offer the opening and closing words / prayer. We also encourage you to set a participation goal and challenge your faith community to turn out and reach the goal.
During UU Justice NC's 2020 phone bank, some host congregations upped the stakes of their participation challenge! One congregation's leader shaved "VOTE" into the side of his head when his congregation met their participation goal (shout out to Steve and University Unitarian in Seattle!). Another church's Religious Education Director dyed her hair the color voted on by her congregation - Purple! (shout out to Marion and Community Church of Chapel Hill). This really helped create buzz for the event... and it was hilarious.
Would you be interested in exploring a fun bet / challenge of any nature (pie your Rabbi / Minister in the face, wear something silly to your worship service, etc.) for your congregation's phone bank night?
8th Principle Learning Community
We are excited to announce the launch of our North Carolina 8th Principle Learning Community! This monthly Community of Practice gathering has been created for individuals who are playing a leadership role within their congregation around adopting or living into the 8th Principle. Beginning this fall, gatherings will occur on the third Sunday of the month from 4:00 – 5:30 on Zoom. We're excited to announce that our first session will be Sunday, September 18th. You can register here.
A big thank you to our co-leaders of this community, Ann Zimmerman from the Unitarian Fellowship of Winston-Salem. Allison Mahaley from the UU Congregation of Hillsborough and Rev. Charlie David from the UU Fellowship of New Bern.
The 8th Principle is: "A covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institution." You can learn more by clicking here.
Our work together began in the spring of 2022 with UU Justice NC’s 8th Principle event for North Carolina UUs in partnership with DRUUMM. Our incredible guest speakers were Paula Cole Jones, co-author of the 8th Principle, Mari Magaloni Ramos (DRUUMM and First UU San Francisco) and Susan Lithgoe (UU Church of Lancaster, PA).
The event was attended by 80 UUs across 18 NC Congregations – making it our largest virtual event ever!
2022-23 Learning Community Schedule
All gatherings will occur on the third Sunday of the month from 4:00 – 5:30 on Zoom.
Sunday, September 18th.
Sunday, October 16th
Sunday, November 20th
Sunday, December 18th
Sunday, January 15th
Sunday, February 19th
Sunday March 19th
Sunday, April 16th
Sunday, May 21st
Postcards are Back!
This fall, 20 UU congregations across North Carolina are coming together to write 27,000 Get Out the Vote postcards in partnership with UU Justice NC and Reclaim Our Vote. This is the largest collaborative effort in our state network’s history! Together we will be writing to registered but infrequent voters of color in Cabarrus County, NC with information about early voting for the 2022 mid-term elections.
This project is primarily funded through a joint grant from the UU Funding Program. A very big thank you to the Eno River UU Fellowship in Durham for serving as the lead grant applicant and the 19 other congregations who signed on as co-applicants. Each participating congregation has been awarded $500 for their UU the Vote postcard writing project, totaling $10,000 of financial support for this work!
Additionally, earlier this year seven congregations worked together to write 7,000 postcards to Union County, NC voters in partnership with our friends at the Munroe Democracy Center. That means, as a state-wide network, we'll be writing 34,000 postcards this year!
Faith in Action Phone Bank!
8-Nights of Phone Banking with the New North Carolina Project Foundation
We’re also excited to team up with Carolina Jews for Justice and the New North Carolina Project Foundation to host 8-straight weeks of non-partisan phone banking on Thursday nights from September 15th through November 3rd (6:30 - 8:30 ET / 3:30 - 5:30 PT). We’ll be empowering and equipping North Carolina voters of color to vote love and defeat hate this fall. Register Here!
Volunteer at the Polls
Finally, we’ll be contributing to voter safety, security and joy at the polls through four layers of volunteer opportunities during early voting and election day.