After the Immigration Vigils: Next Steps
From Love Resists
Action taken in your local community will have the most powerful impact. As the media reports that raids are possible this weekend, take a look at our newest Love Resists resource: 6 Ways to Be Proactive About Immigration Raids in Your Community and make a plan to respond to raids with loving, steadfast resistance. This work takes courage and fortitude; these can be renewed with spiritual centering. Explore and share our resources for justice-centered spiritual practices, prayers and readings, faith development, and small-group ministry.
Check Out Our Facebook Page for the Latest @UUJusticeOhio
In this current chaotic political climate, rallies, marches, protests, and more pop up overnight. Many of us are dismayed at the dozens and even hundreds of emails we receive each day - all important but all way too confusing.
To avoid adding to the confusion of way too many email notices and action calls to all of our wonderful UUJO members, we will instead post most upcoming events, new resources and breaking information notices to our UUJO Facebook page.
And we will ask you all to then forward relevant information to your congregational networks. Please let your networks know and please "LIKE" our page HERE.
Where Does Your Church Stand re: White Supremacy??
Free Curricula Available
Being White in the BLM Movement
First Unitarian Cincinnati is engaging in discussions on Black Lives Matter using a curriculum developed by First Unitarian Portland. This is the same curriculum shared with attendees at GA 2016. Contact Rev Joan VanBecelaere, , if you are interested in having a copy.
White Privilege: Let's Talk
The United Church of Christ (UCC) has made available to everyone their excellent curriculum on White Privilege. This adult curriculum is designed to invite everyone to engage in safe, meaningful conversations on race. More Info.
This project is funded in part by the
Unitarian Universalist Fund for Social Responsibility.
UUJustice Ohio is a 501(c)3 statewide action
network for the 38 UU congregations in Ohio.
To organize justice seekers statewide
To promote education, service, and advocacy consistent with UU principles
To witness with and on behalf of marginalized groups and individuals
New UUJO Website Coming Soon
UUJO is creating a new website and expects to launch it in January 2020. Watch for an announcement in the Newsletter and on Facebook @UUJusticeOhio.
Ohio Legislature Update: Webinars Each Month
Next is January 22, 2020
7:00 - 8:15 pm
December 2019 Update is published now. See the notes HERE.
UUJO is holding monthly Ohio Legislative news/resource updates on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 pm. through June. (not during July or August during the Legislative summer recess)
Webinar facilitators are Rev. Joan Van Becelaere, Executive Director, UUJO, Tadd Pinkerston of R..T. Pinkerston Law, and special guests.
And check out the Statehouse Update tab on this site for the latest written reports.
We will also send you reminders each month if you register HERE:
Suppressed: The Fight to Vote
Webinar and Discussion
Monday, January 27
Register HERE or at:
Join others across Ohio to view online and discuss this new documentary from Brave New Films that weaves together personal stories from voters across the state of Georgia to paint an undeniable picture of voter suppression in the 2018 midterm election where Stacey Abrams fought to become the first Black female governor in the U.S.
The issues Georgians faced included polling place closures, voter purges, missing absentee ballots, extreme wait times and a host of voter ID issues – all of which disproportionately prevented many students and people of color from casting their ballots.
Suppressed: The Fight to Vote features experts, poll watchers and everyday Georgians speaking to the reality of voter suppression and the threat it poses in 2020. The video exposes how the basic constitutional right to vote continues to be under siege in America.
After viewing, we will discuss how we can all prepare to meet these same threats here in Ohio n the lead up to the 2020 elections in Ohio.
Please register for these webinars to receive reminders and easy-click Zoom online connection information.
or use Zoom Meeting Information
Meeting ID: 390 983 1611
or One tap mobile
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Dial by your location
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Meeting ID: 390 983 1611
UUJO 2020 PRIORITIES
On January 4, 2020, the UUJO Board updated our priorities for the coming 2020 year.
Our first priority will be Voter Advocacy work. This includes Voter Education, especially around impact of voting and dealing with voter suppression tactics; Voter Registration; and Voter Support and networking to help folk get to the polls or filling out absentee ballots correctly. We are already working with a number of collaboration partners is developing trainings and teams.
Please see our Facebook page for more information on these Voter Advocacy activities. @UUJusticeOhio
Please support UUJO and click to donate HERE.
Other priorities include: racial justice work with an initial focus on bail bond reform; immigration with our support of Ohio ITA Teams and protest of detention centers; and climate justice with work on SB 33, helping the Ohio Poor People's Campaign fall 2020 SE Ohio ecological devastation tour, and more at the Statehouse. We will continue to work with the Ohio Poor People's Campaign and our other collaboration partners.
As a volunteer-driven organization, we can only pursue these important priorities with participation by volunteers like you.
What can you do? Get involved! Engage!
Come out to UUJO events, especially our Fall Annual Assembly and Spring Gatherings and our pubic witness actions at the Ohio Statehouse.
Become involved in Voter Advocacy work - we hope to have teams through out Ohio.
Attend webinars and discussions.
Do some topic research. Find and share info about Ohio legislation and major developments and send to the UUJO office - firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate to enable UUJO to offer events and public witness as well as maintain our part time staff.
Apply to join the UUJO Board – help organize meetings, advocacy events and information sessions
Making a difference in Ohio depends on active participation by you. Get involved now by contacting Rev. Joan Van Becelaere at email@example.com or talk with one of our UUJO Board members. (Board members HERE)
And what about the other issues? They are important too. However, given our size, we are not able to organize to make other issues a priority focus yet. We do work with many collaboration partners with other foci and we will keep you informed of other issues, especially through our Ohio Legislative Update Page
And if a good witnessing opportunity or a key piece of legislation presents itself, we will certainly become involved.
We invite you to get involved to help build Beloved Community in Ohio.
Contact your US and State Legislators!
Call, email, and see them frequently on the issues you care about!
Let your voice be heard!
More information for contacting legislators is on our Resources page.
Ohio state legislators (findmylegislators Ohio
Volunteer & Help Asylum Seeking Immigrants Traveling Through Ohio
Donate to support the teams HERE.
Every day, hundreds of asylum-seeking immigrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, many with very young children, are placed on buses in border towns and sent north to stay with sponsors or other family members. They are traveling to cities across the country - New York, Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and on.
In Youngstown, there is an ICE detention center for men. Each day, asylum seeking men are dropped off at the bus depot to begin a journey to reunite with their families in the United States or with sponsors. They start their long journey with no money, food or hygiene items.
These immigrants will spend 3 or 4 or even more days on a bus or waiting in a bus station for the next connection. Most have no food, no money and no possessions beyond what they carry in slim backpacks. Most need simple necessities like soap, diapers, baby wipes, toothpaste, fruit for the children, etc.
This is why volunteers in Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, Cincinnati and Youngstown are organizing now to meet the buses at the Greyhound stations and offer bags of food, fruit, basic hygiene items, and more. When buses are late, as they often are, and connections missed, volunteers also help families rebook their tickets when needed.
In Youngstown, volunteers help the men obtain their tickets and give them backpacks full of supplies for their trips. On occasion, they are unable to get a same day ticket & arrangements need to be made for overnight accommodations. There have also been instances where tickets need to be changed.
A recent New York Times article traced the journey of a family over 85 hours and 1,600 miles on a bus. The author described one bus station in Texas: “Refuse had long before overfilled the available trash bins, and a rank odor wafted out from the restrooms. Mothers, fathers and children huddled together on scraps of cardboard, atop tattered blankets and splayed jackets. Feverish babies with runny noses fussed in their mothers’ arms.” See more of the story at this Link
You Can Help
There are many ways you can welcome these families and help supply some basic comforts for their long journeys.
You can donate to all or any of the city teams online or by check to help purchase basic supplies. Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio (a 501c3 organization) is handling your tax-deductible donations and also purchasing bulk supplies that volunteers then bag and take to the bus station.
Consider becoming a Volunteer to meet the buses, offer translation assistance, and/or help with bagging supplies.
Youngstown, in particular, needs assistance at this time.
We need volunteers to meet different buses at different times each day, including evening times. Please note that no special language skills are needed for this. Just your smile – and a sign.
We need Spanish speakers to greet and help with questions.
We need volunteers able to meet some of the buses that arrive at night.
We need volunteers to meet at ‘bagging parties” to put the supplies into bags
And we need volunteers of all ages and abilities.
Organizers are currently creating schedules and processes for volunteers. Please see the individual cities below to learn how you can volunteer.
Volunteers help them get their tickets and give them backpacks full of supplies for their trips.
Men’s underwear (sizes med & large)
In the fall they will start handing out hats, gloves, sweatshirts, coats & jackets (gently used is ok)
They have a local dentist who has donated toothbrushes, the local high school has donated t-shirts, a local deli has donated bottles of water and snacks & The Ursuline Sisters have donated soap & shampoo. These items are not needed at this time.
Supplies can be sent to:
3664 Ayrshire Dr.
Youngstown, Ohio 44511
Contact Katie first to let her know what you have:
To volunteer in Columbus, see the Cbus Immigrant Transit Assistance page – Cbus ITA – and fill out the volunteer form:
If you prefer to donate supplies themselves, you can bring them to:
460 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43215
Monday – Friday, 9am to 5 pm.
Supplies are also being collected at:
First Unitarian Universalist Church Columbus
93 W. Weisheimer Rd, Columbus
Or contact Sue Carter to make alternative arrangements for drop off:
Please choose from the following list: (as of July 25, 2019)
Water in plastic bottles that can be reused
Fresh fruit – apples, oranges, tangerines, oranges. Call ahead if you can bring bananas. They are popular but spoil easily. Call Lauren at: (614) 695-4605. 9 am – 5 pm
Apple or other real fruit juice in small boxes
Tuna or chicken snack packs in small cans with pull-tab tops
Nuts, Peanuts n small 1 oz bags
Individually wrapped wet-wipes to place in food bags.
Children's Motrin in individual tablet blister packs - for sick children
Pedialyte in powder form only (to be added to water bottles for small children)
Travel size baby powder and/or Vaseline or diaper lotion - for hygiene and baby bags
Toddler food in pouches that do not need refrigeration
The Cleveland InterReligious Task Force for Central America (501c3) is also gathering donations for the Cleveland Family Transit Assistance on their webpage HERE. Please type in the Designation section of the donation page that your donation is for 'Families"
To volunteer in Cleveland, contact the IRTF at: (216) 961-0003
If you want to donate funds directly to the Team in Dayton, you can send a check to:
Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Church,
8690 Yankee St, Washington Township, OH 45458
Please note “Families” in the memo line of the check.
And if you want to donate material goods or volunteer, please contact:
Jenifer Linck or Steven Steel at:
Please contact the Cincinnati group for more information about volunteering and donations through their facebook page: Cincinnati Immigrant Transit Assistance (CITA)
Please contact Rev. Joan VanBecelaere, UUJO Executive Director,