Social Justice Pillars and Areas of Focus

We stand for care of the Earth.

We will focus on protecting the natural systems that sustain life, and mitigating the impacts of unsustainable behavior. Our faith’s longstanding spiritual call to stewardship of the Earth has truly become a moral imperative, part of our covenant with future generations. Our current consumption patterns require the land and water of 1.5 Earths, which means our planet can’t regenerate the resources that sustain life. Climate change caused by fossil fuel consumption is already doing irreversible damage. Many environmental problems disproportionately affect people of color and those who are vulnerable, and increasing resource scarcity is a historical source of societal violence.

We stand for economic justice.

We will focus on restoring the dignity and economic viability of work, and equity in how society meets basic human needs and pays for the common good. Research shows that everyone is worse off in societies with high economic inequality and low social mobility. Yet economic inequality has grown, wages from work have stagnated, and wealth and income have become intensely concentrated. When they distort political participation and power, these extreme economic disparities undermine healthy democracy. Disparities are greater and more entrenched for people of color. Critical safety nets have been dramatically cut despite historically low tax rates on wealth and commerce.

We stand for racial and gender justice.

We will focus on dismantling structures that perpetuate inequity based on race and gender. Racism and gender bias alienate us from one another, perpetuate systemic inequities, and touch the well-being of all. Today, people of color are criminalized and dehumanized through racial profiling, unequal prosecution and sentencing, mass incarceration, exploitation of immigrants, and legalized discrimination against people with felony convictions. Disenfranchisement limits communities’ ability to challenge policies through political processes. Gender justice addresses inequities experienced by women, girls, and LGBTQ people, often in a racialized context. Equal rights in marriage and reproductive choice are longstanding Unitarian Universalist priorities.

We stand for peace and reconciliation.

We will focus on reducing violence and building healing community. A peaceful society must be able to make decisions and resolve problems respectfully and compassionately. Today, our civil discourse and political processes are plagued by intense polarization, while violence and war are leaving scars at home and abroad. To deepen both our spiritual and social justice work, we want to become more compassionate, and more adept at resolving conflict and fostering restorative justice.

We stand with our neighbors.

As we work to change the underlying systems that create and sustain injustice, there’s always a need to care for the hurts of the world. We contribute to efforts that address pressing human needs, through collaborative efforts in our community and our denomination.