Social Action is a dynamic and important part of UUCW’s mission, one that has changed over time as both the needs of the community and our understanding of justice and injustice have evolved. Now we want you to know about some current changes happening with UUCW social action, what won’t be changing, and how you can continue to carry out our UUCW social action mission.
Social Action Survey Forty-four people responded to the recent Social Action Survey. Interest is high in our social action programs of UUCW and in the following priority justice areas of the UUA:
- Climate Justice (including Indigenous sovereignty and Climate Resilience)
- Decriminalization (including Racial Justice and Immigration Justice)
- Democracy and Electoral Justice (including Voting Rights and electoral participation)
- LGBTQIA+ and Gender Justice (including reproductive justice and abortion access)
Members of the social action council will be reaching out after the holidays to those who expressed interest in specific areas of UUCW social action work.
Leadership Changes – Social Action Council The Social Action Council oversees the social action ministry of UUCW, supports our social service projects and engages the congregation in work for systemic change to build a more just and equitable society. Council members Ann Heidkamp (chair), Joyce Cable, Stephanie Richardson, Tom Moore, Pascale Engelmajer, Jim Gerber, Karen Zimmerman, and Sue Schalig have provided steady and innovative leadership for social action for many years – especially spearheading our commitment to Black Lives Matter and to dismantling white supremacy culture within UUCW. On December 31, Ann Heidkamp is stepping down as Social Action Chair, and council members Jim Gerber and Joyce Cable will step down from the Social Action Council. All three will continue involvement in social action but not in leadership roles.
The Social Action Council needs a new Chair, and new members would be welcome. If you are interested in serving on the Council, or as chair, contact Ann Heidkamp
Ongoing Social Action Programs and Projects Our current Social Action Council projects will continue. If you’re interested in getting involved, contact the leaders below to find out how to do so.
- Guest House – We provide a meal approximately every six weeks to this shelter for homeless men. Contact Eileen Gleeson
- Food Pantries – We collect food for food pantries on a rotating basis. Chair Ellen Newbauer is seeking people who will take donated food from church to the designated food pantry each month. Contact Ellen Newbauer
- Split the Plate – This team raises funds via the Sunday offering that are split between a different non-profit organization and UUCW monthly. Chair Kathy Herrewig is seeking committee members. Contact Kathy Herrewig
- Earth Ministry – Earth Ministry helps us live more sustainably. Contact Chair Rob Zimmerman to learn more or serve on the team.
- SOPHIA and MICAH – These groups are ways we join with people in Waukesha County and Milwaukee County, respectively, to organize for positive change. Both UUCW teams are looking for people to join task forces, represent UUCW on their Boards, and attend periodic actions. For SOPHIA contact Eric Hoaglund; for MICAH contact Stephanie Richardson and Joyce Cable.
- Prison Reform – Tom Moore leads this work and is seeking people to join him in engaging with the MICAH or SOPHIA task forces and/or with EXPO – a community of formerly incarcerated persons working together in a statewide coalition to reduce mass incarceration in Wisconsin. Contact Tom Moore
- Bridges to Community International Brigades – UUCW has sponsored teams of volunteers to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic for many years. Contact Chair, Andy Boerner if you would like to help organize or participate in a UUCW brigade in 2022 or 2023. Contact Andy Boerner
- Black Lives Matter to Wisconsin UUs – BLM2WUU is a five-congregation coalition working together on anti-racism issues and education. A new UUCW representative to the BLM2WUU leadership team is needed. Contact Ann Heidkamp or Stephanie Richardson.
How Else Can You Be Involved?
Watch the weekly E-news and Member to Member posts in Realm (if you aren’t on that list, sign up with Vicki Banville) for announcements of social action activities sponsored by one of the above groups. These might be an educational program, an issue to write your legislators about, or an opportunity to participate in a one-time service activity or witness for justice.