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.

UUs have a long history of commitment to social justice. One such UU was Reverend James Reeb, the revered UU minister who was killed in March 1965 by white segregationists after answering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for religious leaders across the country to join him in Selma, Alabama to march for voting rights. Rev. Reeb considered Casper to be his hometown, and many of his family members still live here. Click here to find out more about UU Casper’s participation in Casper’s Reverend James Reeb Memorial Mural Project!

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 carry our UU Casper Standing With Love Banner in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, Casper Pride Parade, and displayed it in the June 2018 Families Belong Together Rally sponsored by the Immigration Alliance of Casper, Campaign for Nonviolence, and Wyoming Food for Thought Project. The SJ Group co-sponsored the 2018 and 2019 Sept. 21st International Day of Peace Celebration at the Bart Rea Learning Circle at Amoco Park, with partners The Table and Beyond Borders Yoga.

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 publicizes and promotes attendance at monthly Casper PFLAG meetings and other Casper PFLAG events.

The SJ Group also sponsored a booth at the Casper Pride Picnic and proudly carried our “Standing on the Side of Love” banner in the Pride Parade during June’s Casper Pride Weekend the last three years.

The Social Justice Group promoted and participated in Casper’s March in Solidarity on 11/25/2018, and collaborated with the UU Casper Book Club to read Jack’s Halberstam’s book “Trans* A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability and participated in a book discussion with the author on 3/30/2019.

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 Social Justice Group joined with the Programming and RE committees to host “UU Casper Halloween “Party With a Purpose” on Saturday, October 27, 2018, raising $550 for the Casper Area Transportation Coalition (CATC) to buy bus tickets for our neighbors in need.

Get Out the Vote: The SJ Group promoted democratic engagement and civil communication during the 2018 election season by publicizing local candidate forums.

Environmental Engagement, Education and Advocacy: The SJ Group publicizes Izaak Walton League meetings, hikes and other events, as well as educational events hosted by the Casper Citizen’s Climate Lobby. For more information, email Dan Cooper at charlesepiersalliwla@gmail.com.

The Group also presented a UU Casper Earth Day Service on April 21, 2019, gathered information on UU Casper’s “carbon footprint”, educated members and friends about UUA’s “green sanctuary” program.

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

Check the News/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! For more information, contact Rev. Leslie Kee 307-340-0697, lkee@wyoming.com, Athne Machdane 307-724-0776, athnemachdane@gmail.com, or socialjustice@uucasper.