Social Justice Council – April 2017

Minutes for meeting held on April 12, 2017

Attendance:  Anita Orlikoff, Andrea Freerksen, Marie Cobbs, Allan Lindrup, Kennie James, Finley Campbell, Michael Brunson, and Chris Tellez; plus guest Marie Claire Bietila of the Communications Committee

We began with check-ins at 6:10 p.m.

Minutes of the March SJC Meeting

The draft minutes of the March SJC meeting were distributed electronically.  Anita had submitted some suggested revisions, which were incorporated into a revised draft.  The revised draft was then distributed electronically.  Finley moved that the latest version of the draft minutes for the March SJC meeting be approved. Marie seconded the motion, which was approved by all who voted.

Communications

Marie Claire distributed copies of the church’s new 2017 Communications Plan and Handbook.  It includes a form for Events and Announcements.  However, fliers or other attachments can not be sent with it and must be sent separately.  The newsletter has been revived and has a deadline of the 15th of the month.  A new space reservation form has been developed, but it is still in draft status.

Black Lives Matter Task Force

Since Andrea had to leave early she was given time to report on the Black Lives Matter Task Force at this point in the meeting.  She reported that the task force has not been active for over a month because she has been quite ill and Ashley has been applying to graduate schools and not had any time for the task force.

SJC Retreat

After discussion we decided to shift the site of the April 15 SJC Retreat from Chris Moore Parlor to the Orlikoff household at 4744 S. Kimbark.  The time is still 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and we will order out for lunch.  Anita went around the room to gather ideas for the Retreat agenda.

April SJC First Forum and Movie

Allan again reported that the April SJC Firm Forum, sponsored by the Green Sanctuary Group, was coordinated with the church’s Earth Day Worship Service on April 23.  The forum will feature Arnold Randall, General Superintendent of the Cook County Forest Preserves, who also is a member of our church.  He will speak about the history, programs, challenges, and volunteer opportunities of the Cook County Forest Preserves. Allan reported that the Green Sanctuary Group was foregoing its claim to show an environmental movie the Friday before Earth Day, because the movie he wanted to show, which was reported to be available on Netflix, had in fact not been available after being at the top of Allan’s movie que for two months.

Denominational Affairs Committee

Marie reported on the committee’s April 8th meeting where the proposed 8th Principle was discussed.  After all committee members have had a chance to read the proposal and related materials, it will be discussed further at the committee’s May 14 meeting. The committee will seek to have the congregation discuss and give guidance to delegates at the annual meeting.  Finley, Marie and Allan were nominated to be the congregation’s delegates to the MidAmerica Region Annual Assembly, which is being held April 28 and 29 in Oak Brook, IL, with a regional worship service on April 30.

Task Force and Group Reports

Criminal Justice Task Force – Finley reported in Evan’s absence.  1) A vote on our church joining the Community Renewal Society, requested by the CJTF and endorsed by the SJC, is scheduled to be voted on at the annual meeting. 2) At it April meeting the task force approved coalition principles (with some suggested revisions) undergirding an effort to end money bonds in Illinois, which would be replaced with a risk assessment system along with enhanced pretrial services. 3) This task force will work to try to work with other Chicago area UU congregations to establish a UUSJ Criminal Justice Task Force.

Early Childhood Education – No one was present to make a report nor has any report been made since this task force was approved several months ago.

Refugee Task Force – There was no report from those working with the Syrian refugee family.  With regard to Ambroise Niyongabo, Allan reported that Ambroise had received his Work Authorization Card, had secured a Social Security Number and card, and had secured a State of Illinois ID card, so was in a position to start looking for work. (On the one hand he would like to start earning money soon, to send to his family.  On the other hand he would have better earning ability if he took DePaul University’s 17 week Paralegal Certificate course, or a free 17 week Customer Computer Support course, which Anne Holcomb knows about, or other short term para-professional training.)  He has been quite ill recently with a bad case of the flu.  The effort to scrub posts regarding him from the internet, so that his family can apply for passports, is still ongoing.  In response to questioning, Allan said that the Men’s Group, specifically Joe Harrington, Jim Proctor, Vince Vitullo and Stephen Stern, have acted as an informal refugee task force to help Ambroise with various items.

Green Sanctuary Group – Allan reported that the Environmental Book Club’s subject matter has been selected, by the UUSJ Environmental Task Force, as the program for the UUSJ Spring Quarterly meeting.  Some of the members of our book club will be the panelists for that program, which will be held in the afternoon of May 7 at the DuPage UU Church.

Racial Justice Task Force –  Finley reported that the last session of this year’s Nature of Racism course will held Easter Sunday, from 1 to 2 p.m.  Nominations for the Multiracial Unity Award are due May 3.

Closing

We adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

Minutes by Allan Lindrup, Secretary