In these especially challenging times, it can be overwhelming to decide how to make a difference. The Racial Justice Action Committee wants to help FPB members increase our collective impact in the critical work of racial and immigration justice and, at the same time, build a supportive community.
Recognizing that it is harder to take action "out in the world" right now and that many of us still yearn for ways to make an impact and support those who are most vulnerable, we are also sending, through our First Parish in Brookline communications such as the weekly update, a number of ways to get involved. Look for posts on food insecurity, the UU Mass Action Advocacy Day on April 14, and UU the Vote, among others.
Stay safe, know that you are not alone, and reach out for connection when you need it. First Parish in Brookline is a caring community and we can be there for each other as well as for the world beyond our doors.
We encourage you to save this link and check it early in the week. Action opportunities will be posted on the website each Monday. However, during rapidly evolving situations, we may add action opportunities during the week. Even a five minute call can make a difference. You will notice the sense of urgency for action from the groups posted below, and less editing down than usual!
1. Virtual Phonebanking for Justice!
2. Ban Evictions and Foreclosures
- Search for your lawmaker here; contact them by phone or email and urge them to get on board.
- Sign onto City Life/Vida Urbana's petition for moratorium on evictions during COVID19.
- Contact Governor Charlie Baker directly and urge him to pass HD4935. Call him at (617) 725-4005, and send him a message.
- When you reach out, you might also want to suggest the possibility of rent forgiveness or rental assistance, which could help prevent a spike in foreclosure at the conclusion of the current public health crisis.
3. Our congregation has raised funds and members have showed up in multiple ways through the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network. Below is a portion of BIJAN's messages in response to COVID-19.
4. From the BLACK LIVES MATTER Certified Working Group
If you’ve never been able to join an in-person Black Lives Matter Working Group, Now’s your chance! The April meeting is a zoom video meeting - all our welcome!
We are going ONLINE for our next quarterly meeting, which will be: Saturday, 4/4/20 10:00 AM - 12 noon ONLINE.
Please do join us, especially if this is your first time. We are always open to new members and you don't even have to leave your home. Instructions to join the video call (via zoom) are included on the Proposed Agenda at the link below. Also, here is a link to quite a few one minute instructional videos from zoom that may be of use to first time users: https://zoom.us/resources
5. Legislative Action Alerts
Recommended by the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, Harvard Law School
- Join Families for Justice as Healing's ongoing week of action for decarceration. Make calls, emails, and post on social media every day this week to demand release right now.
- Participate in this letter campaign organized by Progressive Mass with seven legislative actions
- Sign on to this National Letter for Public Health Responses, Not Militarism, to COVID-19 from Human Impact
- Ask your MA state legislators to co-sponsor House Docket 4951, Act to Provide Short Term Relief to Families in Deep Poverty, with this campaign from Greater Boston Legal Services
6. Resource Redistribution Phonebank
When: Saturday, April 4, 12-2pm
Where: Zoom invite
Join Showing Up for Racial Justice - Boston for a virtual phonebank to get our neighbors connected to resources! As the crisis continues to escalate, community members in predominantly people of color neighborhoods of Boston need to get connected to resources from various mutual aid efforts in the city. Liz Miranda and other state representatives, are providing us with lists to call our communities and get them connected: we will provide a brief training, script, and encouragement. You'll be on mute during the meeting, making calls together to combat isolation. YOU MUST REGISTER here so we can send you materials
7. Five anti-racist actions for white people in the time of COVID-19
Showing Up For Racial Justice
- Join a group or deepen your commitment to one.
- Support efforts in your community to get people out of jails and detention centers.
- Interrupt racist stories about who is to blame.
- Fight to protect our elections.
- Participate in a mutual aid project or fund.