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Racial and Immigration Justice: Take Action This Week

Dear Friends:

Many of us continue to feel mobilized in response to the ongoing history of racist brutality and more emboldened white supremacy in our country. We know that our community wants to find ongoing ways to respond and that actions unfold in real time. Feel free to email Martha or Almas with information we may want to include.

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. 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 with a justice, anti-racist mission. We can be there for each other as well as for the world beyond our doors. For more information, contact Martha Leader or Almas Dossa.

Information on this page is updated on a bi-weekly basis. It is an aggregation of current actions, education and donation opportunities. The following organizations are key resources and can be accessed at any time. To stay current with their work, sign up for their mailing list and/or newsletter.


1. INDIGENOUS SOLIDARITY

Take Action and Watch a Video about the MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda

Watch this powerful one-hour video of a January 11 MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda panel speaking about the need to support Indigenous-centered bills in Massachusetts!LINK

 TAKE ACTION  AND SHARE:

  • Go here and send an automated letter to the members of the legislative committees where the bills are currently sitting, asking that the bills be reported out of committee favorably. You can customize the letter if you want. Please share and get your friends and organizations to write, too!
  • Learn more about the bills and get updates here
  • Email for more information: info@MAIndigenousAgenda.org or info@uaine.org

2.  PRISON, POLICING AND RACIAL JUSTICE

Note: We often include instances of people of color, activists and others unfairly swept into the criminal justice system for whom there is a community effort to act in solidarity with their cases. Most of these posts come from Building up People not Prisons, Families for Justice as Healing, and Showing up for Racial Justice. 

A.  JANUARY ABOLITION ACTION HOUR

When: Sunday, January 30, 2-3pm

This month’s abolition action hour will support community-based and immigrant-led organizing efforts to shut down Plymouth County’s ICE jail. The detention and deportation regime is one arm of the giant machine that is the prison industrial complex, and closing ICE jails is part of the larger goal of abolition. Register online at bit.ly/abolitionjan2022.

B. MASC ACTION ALERT!

Solitary is Torture and Torture is never an option

Help us end solitary confinement in Massachusetts and send letters to the members of two Joint Committee today

Send a letter to the members of the Joint Committee on Mental Health LINK

Send a letter to the members of the Joint Committee on Public Safety LINK 

Senate Bill: S.1578 / House Bill: H.2504 FACT SHEET 

Senate Bill: S.1283 / House Bill H.2089 FACT SHEET

C. GET INVOLVED – FIGHT TO PAUSE PRISON CONSTRUCTION!

Take action in support of the moratorium bill! Canvass, phone bank, or text bank! Dates and more info via google form!

D. Next Quarterly Meeting for the UU Mass Action Certified Working Group: Black Lives Matter

When: Sunday, February 13, 2022, 3-4:30 PM
We are always open to new members and you don’t even have to leave your home. You do have to register to attend the meeting but you can contact Patty Shepard if you have questions.

A proposed agenda can be found here

Here’s the current link to register:

A member will send a private zoom link to everyone who has registered the day before the meeting. Please do not post it publicly. 

3. IMMIGRATION JUSTICE

A. Mass Safe Communities Coalition

Pass the #MASafeCommunities Act

UU Mass Action members have been fighting for basic protections of the rights of immigrants here in Massachusetts for close to ten years.  Each session, state legislators failed to pass this important bill – with your help, we will not let that happen this year!

The Safe Communities Act had a public hearing on December 1st.  The next step is to get the bill reported out of committee with a favorable vote.  Here’s how you can help:

Send an email to the Joint Committee on Public Safety chairs today  LINK

Reference:  Safe Communities Act Fact Sheet

Safe Communities Act Talking Points

B. MARCHA PARA CONDUCIR! MARCH TO DRIVE: LICENSES FOR ALL

When: January 31st at 3:30 PM

Join Never Again Action and Cosecha at the Massachusetts State House to demand that the committee vote and pass An Act Relative to Work and Family Mobility (H.3456 & S.2289) to guarantee licenses for all regardless of immigration status

4. HOUSING JUSTICE 

CALL, EMAIL, AND RECORD TESTIMONY FOR THE COVID HOUSING EQUITY BILL

Over 24,000 eviction cases and counting have been filed in our state during the pandemic. Let your legislators know how urgently we need protections from evictions and foreclosures in this continuing pandemic and economic crisis!

5. Voting Rights and National Legislation

A. From Rep Ocasio-Cortez

**19 states have passed 33 laws to make it harder to vote.  And, many election officials who refused to bend to pressure from Trump have been pushed out of power and replaced by people who openly say the last election was fraudulent.There’s a bill in Congress right now that would address some of these antidemocratic reforms, but Republicans refuse to support it.

Please call your senators and ask them to support eliminating or reforming the filibuster so that this desperately needed voting rights legislation can pass with the support of the Democratic-majority in the Senate.

B.  WELCOME BACK TO SURJ BRUNCHES: REVOLUTIONARY LOVE AND OUR FRAGILE MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY

When: Sunday, February 13, 12:30-2:30PM

Join us for a discussion of what it took to get voting rights for all, at least on paper, and where that struggle is now. We will glance at the national scene but dig in on efforts to increase voter participation in Massachusetts.

Zoom link coming soon. Save Sunday, 2/13, 12:30-2:30pm. Contact amelie.ratliff@gmail.com with questions or for information.

6. Oppose White Supremacy

ACONFRONTING WHITE SUPREMACY IN NEW ENGLAND WEBSITE

Before the end of 2021, share this resource about local far-right groups on social media and email us at surj@communitychangeinc.org to let us know that you’ve shared it!

B. ONE YEAR AFTER THE JANUARY 6 INSURRECTION – from SURJ (Showing up for Racial Justice) – Learning opportunities

NEWS AND RESOURCES

Take some time this week to educate yourself and others and re-commit to combating organized white supremacists.

C. SURJ NATIONAL: UNITED VISION PROJECT

When: Kickoff Call: Wednesday, January 26, 8:00PM
The United Vision project will organize SURJ members across the country to do text outreach to white people vulnerable to right-wing recruitment

7.  Climate Justice

Day Of Action! UU Mass Action and Mass Power Forward

When: Thursday, January 27th

We have until July to pass new policies to   achieve state wide solutions for climate and environmental  justice.  January is a key month in   this process to ensure our policies move forward!

In the morning we will gather to kick-off the day together and review how to take action. Midday we will convene for a fun, celebratory, creative gathering. This Day of Action is for UUs and others across the state to take action together. Zoom link for both here 

Morning Action Hour! 9-10 am, join the morning action hour to call your legislators, link here

Afternoon Action Hour! 12-1 pm, join the afternoon action hour, take a post a selfie for a photo petition, post on twitter to push our legislators, link here

8. Donation Opportunity

Stable Housing and Reintegration Pilot (SHARPP)    #DeCriminalizeHousing
Posted by Showing Up for Racial Justice “WE ARE KEEPING FAMILIES CONNECTED!”for more information and to contribute go to this Go Fund Me link: Stable Housing and Reintegration Pilot
Want to join in making a difference? Justice 4 Housing is actively seeking support from individuals, foundations, and corporations wanting to make a meaningful investment in housing equity and stability.

Family separation due to parental incarceration has become the number one reason children are separated from their mothers,  and placed in foster care.  Even after a parent completes a prison sentence, the children will remain in DCF custody. 

9. Learning Opportunities

A. Tema Okum: White Supremacy Culture – Still Here

DePaul Women’s Center (online)

When: Wednesday, January 26, 7-8pm

Tema Okun will share her project (divorcing) White Supremacy Culture: Coming Home to Who We Are, guiding us in a collective conversation about how white supremacy culture shows up in our institutions and culture as well as in our interpersonal and inner personal lives. We will explore what we can do to honor and create authentic belonging and community as we work to individually and collectively transform our conditioning. Register here.

B. Local History and Black Experience of Slavery and Freedom

Cambridge Historical Society. (online)

When: Thursday, February 3, 7-8:30pm

Dr. Barbara Brown of Hidden Brookline, an organization dedicated to bringing to light the history of slavery and freedom in Brookline, will discuss the group’s founding and the challenges and successes they have encountered. She will also share the story of teacher, writer and activist Florida Ruffin Ridley, whose life and work intersected closely with that of Cambridge’s own Maria Baldwin. Register here.

C. The Cost of Whiteness

Boston Knapsack Antiracism Group (online)

When: Tuesday, January 25, 6pm

Rev. Dr. Thandeka (Learning to Be White: Money, Race and God in America) writes about how white-assigned people are threatened, humiliated, and shamed from childhood into identifying with whiteness, and about the resulting psychological, spiritual, and political damage. We will read together sections of her article, “The Cost of Whiteness,” and remember and explore our earliest bodily and emotional experiences of our induction into whiteness. Register here.