Unitarian Universalism has a legacy of “deeds not creeds.” Our work for a better world calls us to unexpected places as we harness love’s power to stop oppression. From grassroots community organizing to interfaith state, national, and corporate advocacy; in protest marches, prayer vigils, and press conferences; in homeless shelters and in prisons, Unitarian Universalists put our faith into action.

Our justice efforts are grounded in our call to break down divisions, heal isolation, and honor the interconnectedness of all life and all justice issues. We model these commitments by creating just, welcoming, and inclusive congregations. UU congregations across the world act in partnership with groups and communities most impacted by injustice on local, state, national, and international levels.

The UUA Side With Love campaign harnesses the power of love to end oppression, and the UU College of Social Justice provides experiential learning opportunities to deepen the work of justice for people of all ages.

The UU Casper Social Justice Group (SJ Group) maintains a social justice table/bulletin board in the lobby to share information about UU social justice activities, and about what’s happening locally with groups and events promoting social justice. SJ Group members have carried our UU Casper Standing With Love Banner in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, Casper Pride Parade, and to the June 2018 Families Belong Together Rally sponsored by the Immigration Alliance of Casper, Campaign for Nonviolence, and Wyoming Food for Thought Project.

The Group’s ongoing projects include:

UUA Welcoming Congregation designation renewal! In June 2017 UU Casper members voted unanimously to begin the process of renewing our UUA Welcoming Congregation designation! This designation reflects UU Casper’s commitment to be inclusive of LGBTQ individuals and their concerns at every level of congregational life. The SJ group spearheaded this year-long process, which culminated in submission of the renewal application to UUA in June 2018!

Gender Neutral Restrooms Database Project: The SJ Group wants to spread the word about the great need for safe restroom access for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals! Refuge Restrooms has established a searchable data base at http://www.refugerestrooms.org/ to help people locate safe gender neutral restrooms. We need your help! If you discover any business, restaurant, or any other location that has gender neutral restrooms, go to http://www.refugerestrooms.org/ and add it to the database by clicking on “Submit a New Restroom.” If you do, please let the SJ Group know!

Advocating for the LGBTQ Community! The SJ Group partners with Casper PFLAG and other groups to participate in community events and advocacy for our LGBTQ community. The SJ Group sponsored a table at the Casper Pride Picnic and walked in the Pride Parade in both June of 2017 and 2018. Early in 2018, the SJ Group members and other Casper UUs wrote to our Casper City Council members and to the Casper Star Tribune in support of Casper PFLAG’s proposed anti-discrimination resolution. On February 20, 2018, after a four hour council meeting, with 19 speakers in a packed auditorium, the Casper City Council voted to approve the Resolution! Thank you to all of you who helped!

Casper Public Transportation Project:  The UU Casper Social Justice Group (SJ Group) has partnered with UU Casper member Mary Price, CATC, and Wyoming Independent Living to resist funding cuts to Casper public transportation system. The SJ Group believes that Casper’s public transportation is a lifeline to our elderly, disabled, and low income neighbors, and urges the Casper City Council not to shore up the City coffers on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. The SJ Group and its individual members have written to Council members and to the Casper Star Tribune. SJ Group members have also spoken against the proposed cuts at the June 19, 2018, Casper City Council meeting.  A petition to sign to show support of Casper public transportation is on the Social Justice table in the church lobby.  We encourage everyone to contact City Council members to oppose funding cuts. For more information, talk to Mary Price or Rev. Kee.  UPDATE! ON JULY 24TH, THE CITY COUNCIL DECIDED AGAINST CUTTING CATC FUNDING! CUDOS TO MARY PRICE FOR HER TIRELESS WORK AND HER FAITH IN COMMUNITY ACTIVISM!

Plans for 2018-2019: At the June 20, 2018, meeting the SJ Group brainstormed ideas and began planning for the upcoming year. In addition to continuing ongoing projects (Welcoming Congregation and Pride/LGBTQ community involvement and advocacy, Refuge Restrooms, MLK parade, CATC Bus Project, presenting an annual social justice church service, and participating in the process to acquire outside signage), the Group adopted two primary project areas for 2018-2019 1) Fall 2018: democratic engagement (“Get Out the Vote,” and promoting civil communication), and 2) Winter/Spring 2019: Environmentalism. The SJ Group will also pursue a program to educate ourselves and our congregation about Immigration issues.

Do you have an idea for a project? The SJ Group has adopted policies and procedures for initiating and conducting social justice activities. Click on this link to access the SJ Group’s policies and procedures: UU Casper Social Justice Group Policies and Procedures

The SJ Group meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm. Check the Events page for the next meeting. Have ideas? Questions? Get involved! Participation in the SJ Group is open to everyone in the Casper community. There’s much to do!

If you would like more information, email socialjustice@uucasper.org!