Justice & Equity
Guaranteed Liveable Income
On April 8, 2021, members of our Social Justice Team and Accessibility Team collaborated in a multifaith initiative called Light the Candle. Candle-lit vigils were held at the constituency offices of Winnipeg MPs in support of a Guaranteed Liveable Income. We organized the vigil at Jim Carr’s office which was joined by several members of another church. We also wrote him a letter outlining our reasons for desiring guaranteed liveable income and calling for government action.
Black Lives Matter Rally
On June 5, 2020, the Social Justice team and other UU Church members donned our pandemic masks and attended the Black Lives Matter rally to show solidarity with people of colour who experience police discrimination both at home and abroad.
Call for Police Accountability and Reallocation of Resources
On the heels of the Black Lives Matter rally in June 2020, the Social Justice Team pressed forward in the momentum of calls for greater police accountability and reallocation of police funding towards social structures which more effectively address the root causes of crime.
- We coordinated a Sunday service in October 2020 featuring Molly McCracken, Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Molly presented statistics of the current situation in Manitoba, and a vision for a province more oriented towards helping those in need before they’re pulled into situations where they’re more likely to commit a crime.
- We followed this up with a church-wide open discussion on three Manitoba-based documents which delved more deeply into the issues and calls to action.
- We officially endorsed one of these documents — a call for police accountability and the reallocation of resources — adding our name to over 100 community based organizations calling for police accountability and reallocation of resources.
The Social Justice Team continues to look for opportunities for more education and action on this topic.
The Green Sanctuary Team consists of members from the Social Justice Team and the Green Action Team. On July 1, 2020, the Green Sanctuary Team installed three garden boxes in the backyard of the church. We planted a variety of vegetables using a method called “Lasagna Gardening” in which the garden bed is built up using layers of cardboard, compost, soil, leaves, and more. These vegetables were donated to Agape Table’s soup kitchens as our way of giving back to the community.
Make Poverty History
Based on a recommendation from the Social Justice Team, the First UU Church of Winnipeg signed the Make Poverty History campaign.
The First UU Church of Winnipeg has held a banner in the Winnipeg Pride Parade for many years. The church has a long history of supporting LGBTQ+ rights, having performed one of the first same-sex marriages in Canada back in 1974.
Safe Injection Sites
In 2018, the Social Justice Team crafted letters in support of safe injection sites in Winnipeg and sent them to key politicians.
SJ Sunday Services
At least once a year, the Social Justice team leads all aspects of a Sunday Service.
- Lara Rae talked about matching her insides with her outside, both spiritually and physically, drawing on her experience as a trans woman, comedian, writer, producer, and educator. (May 2021)
- Molly McCracken explored how we can lead change in a polarized world, and delved into calls by Black Live Matter to reallocate police funding to root causes of crime (October 2020)
- Devon & Pearlene Clunis taught us how the COVID-19 pandemic highlights ways that society discriminates against particular groups of people (May 2020).
- Vinh Huynh shared stories of his immigration to Canada, and how his experiences shape his actions as principal of Gordon Bell High School (February 2020).
- Jim Silver, professor at the UofW, spoke about the meth crisis in Winnipeg and what we can do to help (2019).
- James Favel shared his experience in starting the Bear Clan Patrol and how we can get involved (2018).