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Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson

Social Justice

Envisioning a world where justice and compassion cross all borders, we pledge energy and resources to transform ourselves, our community, and the world around us.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson furthers it mission through various programs.  The social action program is one of those.  The program is directed by a Social Action Council which coordinates groups involved in homeless hospitality and social action.  UUCT is active with the No More Deaths movement.

Social Justice Council

Additional Links

Social Justice and Educational Opportunities


We welcome diversity. We commit to undo racism and all other oppressions in ourselves, our church, 

and our community.


Social Justice and Educational Opportunities
April 27, 2021 

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
― Benjamin Franklin
Some of you received an email this past week asking for gift cards from Rev. Bethany. This is a scam! Rev. Bethany will never ask for money, or gift cards, in an email. 
There will be no Social Justice email next week. 
Our Congregational Administrator, Mary Wiese, will be away on bereavement leave from May 4-11. There will be an email sent next Wednesday, so if there is a pressing social justice announcement, it can be posted there. Social Justice announcements may also be found on our church website: SJCE
Mary will be available by email for emergencies only. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
8th Principle Decision is May 2, 2021
The annual meeting is right around the corner! Are we ready to affirm the 8th Principle? If you are having doubts, the board and others behind changing UUCT to be actively anti-racist is willing to listen.
If you are not ready to vote to "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 institutions,” email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and cottage meetings will be made available.
Using both sides of our UUCT sign, we hope to post a new message every week. Each message will be posted for two weeks, moving from the west
side to the east side of the board after one week. Thanks to everyone who has submitted ideas. We now have a list that will last for many months, though we will, of course, remain flexible in order to respond to current issues. In order to change the message every week, WE NEED VOLUNTEERS who can help every Tuesday morning at 9:00 for about 20-30 minutes. Let Bob Gordon know if you can help occasionally: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
General Assembly: The Unitarian Universalist Association's Annual Meeting
General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Participants worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend and our congregation will have six voting delegates.  Would you like to be a voting delegate? If so, contact MaryHolly Allison: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Howard Tolley: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The UUA Board of Trustees has passed a resolution making the 2021 UUA General Assembly a 100% virtual event. Let's reach record-breaking attendance June 23-27, 2021! Register now!https://www.uua.org/ga/registration
BorderLinks Legal Immigration Simulation Workshop
Monday, May 3rd, 1-3 pm, Cost: $25
Using a new, creative, interactive virtual platform, the Legal Immigration Simulation is a workshop that turns participants into potential immigrants navigating the US immigration system. It is designed to be a tool for responding to the frequently asked question, "Why don't they just get in line and come over legally?" 
Share the Plate
Our Share the Plate donations for the first half of May, will go to Casa De Los Ninos. 
Casa de los Niños’ mission is to promote child well-being and family stability in our community.
Our deep-rooted community connection acts as a guiding force for Casa de los Niños’ vision to increase the number of children and families living safe and healthy lives. We deliver a continuum of services –evidence-based and best practice models meld together prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies to effectively address the needs of at-risk children and their families within our community.
Casa de los Niños partners with families so every child can be raised in a healthy home. Last fiscal year, our programs served over 5,000 kids and over 4,000 families, which is a testament to the great need. Success is due to the efforts and dedication of over 250 employees, along with a corps of community volunteers who work together to comprise a formidable team dedicated to making child well-being and family stability the norm throughout our community.
Learn more about our historyBoard of Directorsstaff and partners.
Love & Justice: Abolition and Alternatives to Policing
Every first Wednesday, 6:30pm.
UUs proclaim that no one is outside the circle of love, therefore, our goals are also abolitionist goals. Join UUJAZ team member Thoi every first Wednesday of the month in actively resisting the systems of policing and incarceration while building relationships and community with other passionate UUs in Arizona. Register for our next meeting here:
Book GroUUp
3rd Fridays, 12-1:30 pm
What legacy will you leave your beloved: your children, grandchildren, congregation, community, and/or country about how you worked to dismantle systemic racism during your lifetime? What will you bequeath to your beloved? What is your hope for their future, for Beloved Community?
Join Rev. Tina Squire and Steve Kraynak on Friday, April 16 for a justice-centered book discussion from the perspective of our Unitarian Universalist values. Here we will use reading, conversation, and writing to answer these questions. 
  • May 21, 2021: Read aloud our own letters we've written to our Beloved.
Purchasing your books from the UUA Bookstore, InSpirit, supports the work of our faith tradition. 
Come, join UUs from around Arizona as we discuss the current UUA Common Read: BREATHE - A Letter To My Sons by Imani Perry
All are welcome. Register here.
Cafe Justo Coffee
Sales - and delivery - of Café Justo coffee are continuing. This Social Justice Council (SJC) project benefits small-scale, shade-grown organic coffee growers in Chiapas, Mexico. 
Please contact Sue Watts for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tuesday Morning Vigils
Every Tuesday Morning | 8:00am
The Social Justice Council is sponsoring vigils in front of our church each Tuesday morning from 8:00 to 9:00. We have dozens of signs covering current topics which align with UU Principles. We also encourage the sincerity and creativity of home-made signs. We are supporting causes UUs believe in and advertising the values of our congregation. Please don a mask and join us.  
The Social Justice Council, chaired by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., meets on the 2nd Saturday of each month at 9am.  All are invited to participate.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 823 1979 8034
Passcode: 483148
Join by telephone (voice only): +1 669 900 6833, Meeting ID: 823 1979 8034
UU Quest
Whether you're looking for details on current Religious Education programming or at home resources to do with your family, UU Quest is the place! It is filled with information, links, activities, chalice lighting words, and more.
Explore World Religions
May 9 | 12:15 pm | Zoom 
Have you ever wondered about what people around the world believe? Here’s your chance to explore a few of the world’s religions! One of the favorite programs in UU Religious Education is always our study of World's Religions. 
Join any time!
Then, register with Baja 4 here! You'll get the password for videos after you register.
POP Curriculum Trailer
Parents and Caregivers of Preschoolers
Join any time!
Join the Baja 4 families in this POPs is a video-based, at-home curriculum grounded in Unitarian Universalism and designed for parents and caregivers of children ages 2-5.
By engaging with POP videos, parents and caregivers will come to understand their child's spiritual development, to build rituals that support this development, and to see themselves as spiritual teachers. 
Each month, 
  • On your own, watch three short videos on the theme of the month. 
  • With our POPS adults, meet once a month to check in and share.
  • With our children, join other kids for story and crafts time!
All activities are optional and free for Baja 4 families!
Questions? Contact Jamili at:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
**Seeking 2nd Hour Workshop Leaders**
We have one more month of 2nd Hour workshops on May 9, then we'll take a break for summer. I would love to include you as a workshop facilitator in May or when we start up again in August! 
What do you have to share with the world? Bring me an idea and we’ll work together to develop it! No need to worry about technical support. I’ll have assistants available to manage the Zoom, so you can simply lead.
If you have any questions or want to lead a workshop, please contact Jamili at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cafe Justo Coffee Program

Cafe Justo Coffee
Benefit two causes at once! Purchase Café Justo’s warm restorative coffee for Casa Alitas.  
Benefit yourself too! Purchase Café Justo coffee between January 20th and March 15th and you will be entered into a raffle to win a beautiful, gently used, women’s Trek bicycle (original purchase value $400). Each $10, 1 pound coffee purchase earns one chance to win. Purchase 3 pounds of coffee and get 5 chances to win. The winner will be announced on March 15th.
How to order/donate:  Place your order for a pound or more of Café Justo coffee with Sue Watts. Indicate that your order is for Casa Alitas and Sue will ensure that the coffee is delivered directly to the Casa Alitas Welcome Center. Coffee bought for yourself between January 20th and March 15th will also qualify as a raffle purchase.
Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.s for more information:.

Border Patrol Raids on NMD

NMD Breaking News:
Second Military Style Raid in Two Months: Border Patrol detains 12 people receiving care at humanitarian aid station.
Arivaca, AZ: After sunset on October 5th, US Border Patrol entered No More Deaths’ humanitarian aid station Byrd Camp with a federal warrant for a second nighttime raid in two months. Volunteers were held for 3 hours while 12 people who were receiving medical care, food, water, and shelter from the 100+ degree heat were detained. (Photo credit to the Tucson Sentinel: http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/)

Tuesday Morning Vigils for Justice

The Social Action Committee is sponsoring vigils in front of our church each Tuesday morning from 8:00 to 9:00. We have dozens of signs covering current topics which align with UU Principles. We also encourage the sincerity and creativity of home-made signs. We are supporting causes UUs believe in and advertising the values of our congregation. Please don a mask and join us.  


Homeless Summit Meeting - Aug 12, 2020

10:32 pm

Welcome (27 attendees) - Rex

Rex Graham, Sam Meyer, Darlene Matthews, Beth Britton, R. Russell-Lowe, Seve K., Ken Asch, Alma, Carolyn & Frank Valdes, Jody Bergedict, Margo Newhouse, Barb Ricca, Celeste Rodgers +1, Micke Gould, Hanet Moore, Mary Wiese, Georgia Conroy, Sue Watts, Chuck Gould, Julie Olson, Aston Bloom, Judy Jessing, Kurt Reuter, Jan Mulder, Margi Magruder, Bon Gordon, Cindy, James Hannley, Judy Jessing, Kurt Reuter, Tawmess Hatfield)


Reading of Mission

Reading - Bethany

Introduction of speakers

R. Bethany- Background.  Since March attempt to uphold the “no overnight camping” policy.  Aggressive incidents began in April and in order to keep staff safe we needed to contact the police.  The police police is a no-hands policy due to covid. (At this point there were 10-12 people camping every night) There was an incident in July with a man with a machete (under the influence, dehydrated, refused to go to hospital) where the police cane to the campus and a trespassing charge was made with this person.  The Tucson homeless taskforce came out and talked with the campers within an hour of being contacted by police.  Homeless were given two days to leave the property (options were given for taxis & a hotel room).  Bethany & Jesus went out and over an afternoon homeless were escorted from the property.  Respect was increased with the visual of (collared) Bethany with Jesus so the homeless knew that Jesus was associated with the church.  The next day we are filing police reports with every incident (daily) so that a record is held for vandalism, trespassing, and/or camping.  The log is needed for tracking of future incidents.  Mary Wiese is the contact person if you see trespassing.


-Water (drinking, bathing, washing) is left on. $800 (2 month) water bill

-Holes in the Back Fence, the city is responsible for fixing the fence

-Need- resources list is needed for local homeless resources and keeping it up to date.

Barb Ricca- Landscaping (Chuck, Carolyn, Ken & Barb.  Help needed!)

Will take the lead in cleaning up the west camp.  Last week of August (24th) will clean up trash and debris.  A 40 yd dumpster will be delivered by the city.  Wed 8/26 starting at 7am until it gets hot, continuing Thursday and Friday if needed.- Volunteers Needed.  Sept 1-4 Landscaping will try to do some cutting to discourage camping in the area.  Carolyn will be the contact to organize volunteers.  Description of work to be done by volunteers.  [Hazardous materials organizing]. Signage posting for property collection.  Potted plants are dying as there is no weekly volunteer to water them.  

Questions:  address to Barb Ricca or Carolyn Valdes, contact the office for their email addresses.

Darlene Matthews Facilities Team (stand-in for Margo Garcia)

The electronic locks are broken periodically.  There is a single key for the manual locks.

Jesus has removed all the spouts on the faucets so water can’t be used a readily.  However, some have used pliers to open the faucets, a basket is recommended to prevent water usage.

Fence holes, no action has been taken

Environmental Services has been contacted to investigate cleaning up the debris and there are positives and negatives in having them come (there is a cost involved).

Electrical was damaged in the spring and outlets and breaker boxes have been hacked into.  The solar panels were turned off by trespassers.  Campers are using the electricity.

Aston Bloom

An understanding was reached that we cannot aid the homeless on our property.  Task Force resources should instead focus on helping and making connections with groups in the area.  Casa Maria.  Soup Kitchen. Gospel Rescue Missions (help needed serving food) new hotel building.   Sister Jose’s Women’s Center.  Southern Arizona Food Bank.  Any organization nearby who helps local homeless.  

Questions and Answers

Georgia Conroy- Acknowledge the meetings over the past 1.5 years of a homeless task force.  Feels that something needs to be done to empower these persons to have a better life.  Needs for a canopy.  Hope city church.  Georgia was upset because the work of the past years has not been acknowledged  or utilized.  

Sue Watts - multiple reasons for homelessness (mental health, etc.) Not every church has the resources to directly deal with the unhoused.  Ideas from St. Michaels’s:  boiling eggs for casa Maria, replacing them in the cartons, they are taking to Casa Maria.  Sue is offering to spearhead a program (if the congregation is interested in participating) to boil eggs. PBJ sandwiches are also being made at home and utilized.

Chuck Gould - there is no real place to sit down with people traveling across the campus to help them.  Mentioned a place on S. Palo Verde that helps both men and women.  Use of bus tickets, meal tickets, or cash.  

Julie Olson - public library keeps current lists of resources for the homeless

Bob Gordon- And organization that work with the root causes of homelessness rather than the effects.  (response from Aston) - Center for Opportunity (at GSM) includes counselors.  

Jan Mulder - send a list of resources that she received recently for responding to homeless folks.

Tawmess- Has been in an emergency shelter in Burlington Vermont during a spiritual exercise and lived with the homeless.  His take away was that he has no significant difference in people who are homeless or those who have jobs. 

Ken Asch- What should landscaping do day-to-day to keep the campus empty for landscapers?  Contact and coordinate with Jesus.

Wrap up

R. Bethany- It has been the purview of churches for centuries to help those in need.  UUCT offers water, mental health resources, and hopes to connect with people, genuinely, when necessary.  There is a way that we fulfill hospitality needs to those who use the pedestrian corridor of 22nd street.  Bethany is encouraged by the ideas.  She does not want people to fight over what to do… just go and do something, whatever, it is you feel moved to do. We are going to continue to make a positive difference in the world while keeping our campus clean and welcoming.

Rex- Importance of coordinating with Mary and Barb.  Volunteering- contact Barb or Aston.  

Email Rex or Bethany additional comments .

Thank you to all those who are working on this issue.  

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