Social Justice Updates

16 May 2021

25th Annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace – Supporting the Work of the Louis D. Brown Institute for Peace
This year, we walk virtually all through the month of May. We donate online at   https://lbdpeace.z2systems.com/uusharon2021
and we give generously through our Brown Envelopes collection.  
 
Why We Walk –  1st UU Principle – The Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person    “Thanks to your support, financially and emotionally, all of our services, training and
advocacy work has continued  and we were also able to grow as
an organization. We believe that inner healing allows us to do the work of transferring
knowledge, equipping others to in:luence advocacy and engage in activism that builds
the foundation to transform the way society responds to homicide.”  The Louis D. Brown Institute for Peace
The work of the Louis D. Brown Institute of Peace is founded upon these principles.  
 
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About the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute
 
Mission – To serve as a center of Healing, Teaching and Learning for families and communities impacted by murder, trauma, grief and loss
Belief – Families impacted by murder deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion, regardless of the circumstances
Vision – To create and sustain an environment where all families can lie in peace and all people are valued.
Principles – Love, Unity, Faith Hope, Courage, Justice and Forgiveness
Model for Peace – grounded in the Center for Disease Control’s social-ecological framework that interventions are needed at multiple levels in order to interrupt cycles of violence. The LDBP’s framework starts with families and radiates out tocommunities and society.

Transforming Society’s Response to Homicide through:                                                                                           Services: That are consistent and compassionate for families of murdered loved ones and families of incarcerated loved ones to prevent cycles of retaliatory violence.

Training: That instills the value of peace and equips Institutional stakeholders to respond equitably and effectively to families dealing with murder, trauma, grief and loss.

Advocacy: That promotes dignity and compassion for all families impacted by murder.

In moving forward with planning future conversations and events regarding the dismantling of racism and other forms of oppression, we would appreciate your responses to this inquiry. There are a number of quick multiple choice questions, which we hope you will all take the time to answer, followed by questions allowing for longer responses for those interested in sharing.
 
 
The monthly Social Justice Marketplace returns on 19 May – place your orders now!

We have found a new item to offer this month: Organic Sesame Tahini, from Once Again Nut Butter, is made with lightly roasted, organically grown sesame seeds that are milled creamy. Ethically sourced from Mexico, Peru, Nicaragua and Africa, this tahini contains just one ingredient – sesame seeds! It is certified Gluten-free, Vegan, Kosher and Paleo; 16oz jars $10 each. With a history steeped in cooperative ownership, Once Again Nut Butter produces a wide range of nut butters in their upstate NY community of Nunda. Their fundamental values are contained in their mission statement: “We spread integrity.”
            Health benefits of tahini are purported to include:
  • A great source of phosphorus and manganese, both of which play vital roles in bone health. It’s also high in thiamine (vitamin B1) and vitamin B6, which are important for energy production.
  • Rich in antioxidants with potential capacity to lower our risks for certain cancers.
  • Lowers risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • Contains anti-inflammatory components with possibility of treating asthma for example.
  • Helps protect liver and kidney function.
  • Great source of plant-based protein.
Remember, you need to pre-order so we can be ready for you. Just email your wish list from the menu below to Gare Reid (agreid@rcn.com) Monday evening, May 17th.  We’ll confirm your order, safely package your items and have them ready for drive-through pickup and payment between 4 and 6 PM on Wednesday, May 19 (note the later time now that the evening sun is our friend again…).
 
Here’s this month’s menu–Why not order now before you forget?  
 
SPECIALTY ITEMS (all organic and sustainably produced):

Organic Sesame Tahini (NEW), 100% organic, ground sesame seed paste ($10/jar)
 
Palestinian Medjool dates, soft, large and luscious, from a Palestinian farmers’ cooperative ($15/box)
 
Cabanero Pepper Flakes from Guatemala; sweet, fruity, smoky, spicy flavor and a definite kick ($9/jar)
 
New Harvest Turmeric, from Southern India, with a sweet, floral flavor, no bitterness, high curcumin content. ($10/jar)
 
Purple Stripe Garlic Powder, from a small heirloom variety grown in Vietnam, with a complex, savory and sweet flavor. ($8/jar)
 
Jalapeno Lime Sauce, a smooth citrus blend with a refreshing tang ($7/bottle)
 
North Country Cayenne Hot Sauce, a traditional Appalachian red sauce  ($7/bottle) 
 
COFFEES:

 Mama Tierra Oaxacan (Mexico) coffee, drip ground, 1 lb. bag  $11.

Whole bean ($9/bag)
        French Roast
        Mind/Body/Soul
        Love Buzz                        
        Midnight Sun
        Decaf
 
Drip Grind ($9/bag)
        French Roast
        Mind/Body/Soul
        Love Buzz
        African Roots
        Midnight Sun  
        Decaf (regular, full bodied)            
        Decaf French Roast  
               
 
CHOCOLATES
Large Chocolate bars (2.8 oz, $3.50 each, 3 for $10)
        Milk Chocolate
        Mint Chocolate
        Dark Chocolate w/ Orange
        Dark Chocolate w/ Lemon, Ginger & Black Pepper
        Milk Chocolate w/ Coconut
        Dark Chocolate w/ Almonds
        Dark Chocolate w/ whole Almonds & Sea Salt
        Milk Chocolate Caramel Crunch w/ Sea Salt
        Dark Chocolate Caramel Crunch w/ Sea Salt
        Very Dark Chocolate (71%)
        Panama Extra Dark Chocolate (80%)
        Total Eclipse Dark Chocolate (92%)

 Mini Chocolates (25 cents each, or 5 for $1)
          Mini Milk Chocolate Bites
          Mini Dark Chocolate Bites
 
Cocoa Four Ways ($7/can)
          Organic Traditional Hot Cocoa   
          Organic Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa
          Organic Spicy Hot Cocoa (dark chocolate with a touch of cinnamon and chili)
          Organic Baking Cocoa

          
Shopping for Justice Grocery Cards (S4J) & local Food Pantry donations:
Please indicate Shaw’s, Stop & Shop, or Big Y, and denominations: $25, $50, $100, or $200 ($250 Shaw’s only). If we run out of the larger denominations you want, we will make up your order with existing inventory.   Stock up for all your food shopping needs, remembering that 5% of the cards’ value is donated to us by the stores to invest in our local efforts to relieve hunger and homelessness. {And the SJC has committed to help fund the Minister’s Discretionary Fund each year from the profits of this program, so your grocery shopping will also assist in helping our local friends and neighbors get through difficult times.} 

Please consider making a donation to support our local food pantries as you shop for yourself. The expanded need at the food pantries remains at record levels, and a donation to the fund will go a long way to help our neighbors manage their food needs. Food Pantry program managers have been very appreciative of our support: over $37,000 since the Covid crisis began over a year ago. Thank you for your contributions.

Stackable Garden Project: Did you know we are now growing veggies on the church grounds, based on sustainable principles? While you are here on the 19th to gather your goodies, check out the new stackable planters between the parking lot and the playground. It is not too late to sign up or to donate! Contact Tawnya Smith at 309-262-5175 or createforpeace@gmail.com to sign up to garden with us, and please consider making a donation this month to help cover the costs of getting this project up and running. 
 
So please get your orders in by the 17th and bring your payments (checks or exact change cash) and any donations to pickup on Wednesday the 19th from 4-6 (note the later pickup time this month).
If paying by check we ask that you write separate checks to the church for each category, with a note in the memo line of FT for Fair Trade goods, S4J for shopping cards, Food Pantry for donations to our local food pantries, BE May for Brown Envelope donations, or Garden for the RE/SJ garden project. This really helps our staff, and assures that your donations go exactly where you want them and are properly credited.  
 
From your cheerful provisioners of good things,
Beth, Alison & Gare
 
 
A Petition Calling for Cultural Competence and Antiracist Action in Sharon Public Schools                              Thanks to the 50 people from our church community (out of 300+ total) who signed SIA’s petition calling for the School Committee to act to promote cultural competence and anti-racism in the Sharon schools. At the School Committee Candidates’ Forum on April 11, which SIA co-hosted with SREA (Sharon Racial Equity Alliance), all nine candidates answered “yes” to our question:If you are elected to the School Committee, will you act to support the points in this petition?  We will follow up with those candidates who are elected, along with the remaining two members of the SC, to hold them accountable to their commitment.   In the meantime, if you signed the SIA Petition, please share the link and encourage your friends, family and neighbors to sign.  You don’t need to live in the town to sign it; being part of the UCS community is enough. We want to demonstrate to the School Committee that there is widespread support for dismantling systemic racism. If you are a Sharon voter, be sure to vote in the town election
If you want to get involved with Sharon Interfaith Action, please contact Ellen Schoenfeld-Beeks or Janet Schmidt. 

Cultural Competence and Anti-Racism in Our Schools

THIS PETITION WAS CREATED BY SHARON INTERFAITH ACTION*

The town of Sharon, like countless other towns, has struggled this past year not only with the pandemic but also with rising evidence of systemic racism within a community which prides itself on its diversity. We believe that a commitment to dismantling racism – particularly in our school system – will contribute to the academic and social success of all our children. In the 21st century, cultural competence – the ability to work effectively cross-culturally – is a necessity, not only for students but for the community as a whole.

We the undersigned commit ourselves to take action and support efforts to remedy systemic inequities in the Sharon public school system. In the words of political scientist Robert Putnam, we believe that “all kids are our kids.” Whether or not we personally have children in the school system, we commit to speaking up and speaking out for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice for all our children.

We intend to hold elected officials – and in particular School Committee members – accountable to serving the academic, social and emotional needs of all our children. To that end, we urge every member of and candidate for School Committee to publicly commit to:

  • supporting programs to develop the cultural competence of students, staff, administrators, parents, town employees and residents
  • supporting curriculum changes that both include and celebrate the work of authors, historians, scientists, and change-makers worldwide, particularly Black, Asian, Indian, Native American, and people of color; as well as other curriculum changes recommended by school administrators, teachers, and state guidelines
  • prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring
  • supporting anti-racism efforts in the schools (particularly student- and teacher-initiated)
  • supporting as well as participating in ongoing anti-racism training for all school personnel and elected school committee members
  • closing the opportunity gap with the understanding that our children have different starting points, insuring that all children have access to a rigorous and excellent education

NOTE: Sharon School Committee Candidates Forum April 11 @ 7:00pm on Zoom. We will be asking them to respond to this petition.

 

*Sharon Interfaith Actionloving our neighbors and pursuing justice

Sharon Interfaith Action (SIA) is a community organizing group confronting local issues of racial and economic justice. We partner with Brockton Interfaith Community (BIC), mobilizing the power of our faith communities to manifest the world as it should be. Our work is grounded in the development of loving relationships, and focused on holding public officials accountable to the needs of the entire community.

 

Please join us for Sharon’s upcoming VIRTUAL COMMUNITY SPEAK-OUT; May 23, 2021 from 3-6PM. Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/151497538215. Given these very challenging times, with many people expressing feelings of isolation and disharmony, we are offering the community an opportunity to come together and foster a sense of shared experience and belonging. This will be a chance for us to meet other members of our diverse community, learn about one another, and develop creative, compassionate and respectful ways to strengthen and celebrate our community. We hope you will join us at our upcoming Community Speak-Out. The event is open to all who live, work, study or worship in Sharon.

 
 
Update on Indigenous Peoples Day efforts in Sharon (and statewide):
There was a good amount of community support for Indigenous Peoples Day at the 4/22/21 DEIC meeting. Given that it is too late to change the holiday name through a vote at town meeting in May, the DEIC had to decide whether they wanted to advise the Select Board on changing Columbus Day to Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day this year. The DEIC unanimously decided against advising the Select Board to do this for 2021 given the inherent harm involved in celebrating both holidays. The DEIC then unanimously decided to advise the Select Board to (1) issue a resolution for October 11, 2021 that would solely recognize Indigenous Peoples Day and (2) to advise the Select Board to sponsor an article for the next town meeting (in either November of 2021 for a Special Town Meeting if one is held or in May of 2022 at the next Annual Town Meeting) to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. 
 
Action Steps: The Select Board has a meeting next Tuesday 4/27 and we are hoping to get a large number of emails to the Select Board by Tuesday at 9am expressing support for the Select Board to issue a resolution replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day for 2021 and for the Select Board to sponsor an article for the town meeting replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day permanently.
 
Please find a few resources below if you would like more information about Indigenous Peoples Day and organizing efforts across the state.
 


Stackable Garden Project Updates:

Would you like to join a growing group and participate in the Stackable Garden Project on the church grounds this summer? Please sign up by March 31st by e-mailing Tawnya Smith at createforpeace@gmail.com. Those signed up by this date will receive information about planting dates TDB.  If you would like to donate funds, seeds, seedlings, soil, compost, or manure, that would also be most welcome.

 

The Other King: The Radical Call to Genuine Equality, a MLK Day program sponsored by the Anti-Racism Working Group: if you missed this provocative event, view the program here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1CWSAVTZXF5GbQh7w75b3KO1j7ymjtnaU?usp=sharing

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EATING TO SAVE THE PLANET

INTRODUCTION                                                                                                       This excerpt from the book Drawdown, explains why it’s necessary to change our eating habits if we are committed to addressing global warming and saving our planet.

Plant-rich diets reduce emissions and also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. According to a 2016 study, business-as-usual emissions could be reduced by as much as 70 percent through adopting a vegan diet and 63 percent for a vegetarian diet, which includes cheese, milk, and eggs. $1 trillion in annual health-care costs and lost productivity would be saved.

As Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has said, making the transition to a plant-based diet may be the most effective way an individual can stop climate change.

For more information, check out the Project Drawdown website: https://drawdown.org/solutions/plant-rich-diets

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY RECIPES

Cinnamon Buns to make ahead of time

Ruebens start ahead of time but oh so worth it. I use caramelized red cabbage and onions instead of sauerkraut

Guacamole Salad (not exactly in season but quick and easy)

Magic Squares to satisfy a sweet tooth

Blueberry Scones with our without the glaze

Black Bean Tacos vegan sour cream is available in most grocery stores now or make your own

Easy Vegan Lunches you can make in 15 minutes or less

Morrcan Stew easy, yummy and satisfying