Spring opportunities for involvement

Annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace on Sunday, May 8

Please join a group from Belmont that will be walking in the 20th Annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace on Sunday, May 8 to support the work of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute.  To register for the 6.8-mile walk, from Fields Corner to City Hall, please go to www.mothersdaywalk4peace.org  and sign up as an individual or as part of the Belmont group.  Ask  your friends and family to sponsor you. Donations can be made on-line or by checks payable to LDB Peace Institute, mailed to 15 Christopher Street Dorchester, MA 02122. Belmont walkers will meet at the Alewife T station, in front of the entrance to Bertucci’s, at 7 a.m. to take the T to Fields Corner. For more information or questions about walking with the Belmont group, contact Priscilla Cobb at prilcobb@gmail.com . 


Anti-Racism Summit at the UU Urban Ministry

Please consider representing First Church at the network of congregational leaders in Anti-Racism work at the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry.
Here is the invitation we received:

Dear Colleagues,     
 A few months ago we hosted an Anti-Racism Summit at the UU Urban Ministry. More than 140 Unitarian Universalists from around the Boston area, including many of you, attended. It was a very successful and energizing day and we would like to keep the momentum going.
Here at the UUUM we would like to try forming a UU network of congregational leaders in Anti-Racism work. We imagine quarterly meetings that serve primarily as a way for UU’s to gather around this important issues and figure out how to stand with organizations and groups run by and in support of people of color in Boston. It may be educational or oriented towards action. We will figure it out together. Either way, we hope by coming together lay leaders will create a resource network that will strengthen the capacity of each individual congregation and the movement towards racial justice.

Can you think of 1-2 people from your congregation that would be a good fit for this group? We are looking for strong, creative, and thoughtful anti-racism leaders from each congregation and I welcome your suggestions. And/or please feel free to forward this note to whomever you would like to handle this (a social action chairperson, racial justice task force team, etc.) 
Our first meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 17th from 6-8pm.
Thank you! 
All best,

Urgent Campaign to Support Asylum-Seeking Families from Central America

FCB Social Action Committee has joined forces with our FCB member, Bev Freeman, who has established a link to RAICES, a Texas legal services nonprofit, to help asylum-seeking families who were once incarcerated there and have already migrated to Massachusetts. These are women and children who were imprisoned in Texas for seeking asylum in the US – and who are now being released due to U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee’s court order and public pressure.  

The goal is $35,000 to support a half-time case manager position at the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) in Boston. This professional would be a lifeline for the families, and would be sure they get needed services including legal help. To donate, go to http://www.iiicenter.org/2016/02/case-manager/ 

If you have questions, reach Bev Freeman who is organizing this fundraising campaign: beverlyjfreeman@gmail.com

The families are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala and they fled very dangerous conditions. 55 families have already arrived Massachusetts; many of the family members have suffered trauma and the women spouse abuse. This effort to help the families now here will hopefully serve as a model for other states.

Any amount is appreciated. Those who donate will receive a full report of progress in resettling these families and giving them a truly openhearted welcome to Massachusetts. Read a recent New York Times article concerning family detention in Texas: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/magazine/the-shame-of-americas-family-detention-camps.html


A History of the World Through Muslim Eyes

4 week course – Thursdays, May 5,12,19,26

We have been invited to join the FC Arlington in a course focusing on Islam. I will be attending and I am sending the information out for others to decide if you would like to join as well. the course will give us a good opportunity to get to know fellow UUs in Arlington. The information is as follows: 

A History of the World Through Muslim Eyes 
This 4-week course will begin in the centuries before Muhammad’s birth and end on the eve of 9/11.  Please join us if you want to learn about the historical roots of recent events. Thursdays, May 5, 12, 19 & 26 7-9 p.m. at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington, 630 Mass. Ave. in Arlington Center. This course is based on Tamim Ansary’s Destiny Disrupted, and doing the reading before each gathering is important for getting maximum benefit from this course.  Please read the introduction and chapters 1-4 before the May 5 class.   This course is free, but pre-registration is required.  Please email star@firstparish.info to register. No knowledge about Islam is required, just a willingness to learn. 

The instructor, Lori Kenschaft, is a life-long Unitarian Universalist with a deep interest in Islam, a Masters in Theological Studies, and a Ph.D. in American history.  She will begin each gathering by offering some perspectives on the day’s topics and then facilitate an interactive conversation based on the reading, opening words, and participants’ other experiences.  

Posted in Opportunities for Action, Social Action Events, Volunteer