Social Justice Council – March 2018


Date: March 14, 2018

Place: RE classroom, First Unitarian Church

Present: Finley Campbell, Marie Cobbs, Evan Freund, Kennie James, Ellen LaRue

Board Representative: none

Documents & Handouts: Notes from Feb. 14 meeting taken by Finley Campbell.

Opening. Chairman Evan Freund opened the meeting at 6:15. After opening words we went around with checkins.

Minutes (notes) of the Feb. 14 meeting were reviewed and approved with the addition of Joe Harrington as present, representing the Board.

Discussion of proposed first forum on proposed 8th principle. Evan has contacted Board President Joan Peterson. She thinks its a good idea to have a forum. We had thought that the forum could be March 18, the customary SJC 3rd Sunday of the month, but we cannot be ready by then. We decided to organize a forum around the idea of Beloved Community, which is referred to in the proposed 8th principle. This is a theological term and we would need presenters, perhaps a panel, who are conversant with the concept. The forum would take a theological rather than a political approach. We would aim for a forum on April 8. Evan will take our proposal to the Board meeting on March 15, and also talk to Richard Pardo. The Spiritual Adventures Task Force and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Task Force may also want to present future forums.

Task Force Reports. See also!forum/firstusjc

BLM Task Force. No report.

Spiritual Adventures Task Force. No report.

Racial Justice Task Force (RJTF). On April 4, the movie “Montgomery to Memphis” will be shown followed by remembrances and discussion. The event will be open to the community. RJTF membership and activity is declining, while UUMUAC (Unitarian Universalist Multiracial Unity Action Caucus) is growing. Down the road maybe First Unitarian should have a chapter of UUMUAC instead of the RJTF.

Global Studies Group report was submitted to the SJC Google Group.

Criminal Justice Task Force report also submitted to SJC Google Group. In addition, Evan also told us about

  • Proposed rule changes in the Illinois Supreme Court. One is to establish privilege for statements in restorative justice proceedings (comparable to lawyer-client privilege) so that people will feel free to participate. The other is to assure that plea bargain communications cannot be used later in court. A group of Catholic lawyers are working to promote these rules.
  • Restorative justice hubs. There are a number of hubs around Chicago.
  • A forum giving opportunities for involvement in criminal justice work being planned for April 22.
  • The potential formation of an interfaith criminal justice group.

Denominational Affairs Committee. The minutes of the DAC meeting are posted to the SJC Google Group. Marie Cobbs also reported that the UUSJ (Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice) has scheduled a retreat for March 24. Now that CAUUC (Chicago Area Unitarian Universalist Council) has ended its affiliation with UUSJ, the disaffiliation will be discussed at the retreat. Also due to the disaffiliation, Allan Lindrup has resigned as First U’s delegate to CAUUC. Evan will remind our Board that they need to appoint another representative to CAUUC.

First Forums (FF).

March 18: The RJTF will present the Nature of Racism class during the FF time. The topic will be an autobiographical analysis of the rise and triumph of neo-racism in the United States and the UUA.

April 22: The Green Sanctuary Group will present a forum on household energy audits. (Note this is the 4th Sunday, not the 3rd, but it is Earth Day.)

Next meeting: Wed. April 11, 2018, 6PM.

Adjournment at 8:14PM..

Submitted April 11, 2018, by Ellen LaRue, acting scribe