Justice Ministry Activities and Events, updated 6/30/22

The “Circle of Welcome” is Going Strong
Supporting a Newly Arrived Afghan Family

The “Circle of Welcome Team” is growing at UU Asheville!  Since January, a dedicated group of people, led by Katie Winchell and Sharon LeDuc have been, spearheading UU Asheville’s Circle of Welcome Team for  “our” Afghan refugee family, father Faisal, mother Marina, 4-year-old daughter Sana, and 2-year old daughter Hosna.

The family arrived in Asheville on Monday, January 24. At first, the Circle of Welcome Team provided groceries, cookware, cooking utensils, quilts, toys, and a warm welcome. Now our Team is meeting other needs such as transportation to various medical and other appointments, shopping assistance, and English tutoring sessions.

We are happy to report that Faisal has full-time employment and the family will be moving to more permanent housing in early May! Soon there will be calls for moving help, household items such as tables, chairs, etc. In the coming months, assistance will be needed with transportation, child care, more orientation to Asheville, and with asylum applications.

If you want to join the Team (now 35+ !), have questions, or want to donate items, please email Katie.
We are also accepting monetary donations and gift cards (Aldi, Ingles, Target, Walmart, Halal Market, Visa/Mastercard pre-paid). In-person donations of money and gift cards can be made online through our Donate option, during UU Asheville office hours, currently Monday-Tuesday, 9:30am-2pm. They can also be mailed. If sending a check, please write “Immigration Justice” in the memo line of your check. If sending gift cards, please enclose a note specifying the “Immigration Justice” account.

Sign up for UU Justice NC’s new Weekly Friday Action Hour Email that will include a promo of the week’s actions, the Zoom link, and the link to our Actions Google Doc. Click here to sign up! Every week, UU’s and justice partners across the state gather to recap the past week and take action on the issues impacting our state and country. And there is always great music to help us feel the justice movement in our bones!

Three (3!!) Opportunities for Engagement

UU Asheville continues to explore ways to live into our values by supporting local and UU organizations that challenge us to put our faith into action. Below are a few ways you can be involved:

BeLoved Pantry Installation
UU Asheville is sponsoring a pantry stocked with necessities for those living on the streets and/or living in poverty

When? December 5 immediately after the post-service  Christmas Caroling the pantry will be installed. Starting in November, you can donate items to a bin outdoors on our back porch.

Where? The Charlotte Street Pantry will be located across from City Bakery. The pantry will be next to the sidewalk and just in front of the chain at the parking lot. You can pull right up to the pantry in the parking lot and easily fill it from your vehicle. 

How can you get involved?

  1. Become an Adopter. Commit to gather donations from the UU bin (or use your own) and fill the Charlotte Pantry on a certain day/s of every month . Schedule at www.volunteersignup.org/TXRAE . We will need an Adopter every day to fill and check on the pantry. Don’t worry if you are out of town. Ask a friend or contact Anita Feldman: anita.feldman@hofstra.edu . Cell: 516-375-9919.
  2. Become a Sustainer: Make a commitment to bring your donations once a month any time to the UU bin on the back porch. Schedule at www.volunteersignup.org/TXRAE
  3. Be a Random Filler: visit the Charlotte Pantry whenever convenient to check on it and fill it up.
  4. Be a Random Donor: Donate items or even ask neighbors and friends to donate too. Deliver to the UU bin when convenient.

Click below for details and a list of supplies.

Winter Pantry Supplies

Adopter Instructions

Tree of Hope and Happiness – Year 2

Why? For a second year, UUCA is partnering with Sand Hill-Venable Elementary School to bring holiday joy to students and families. Sand Hill-Venable is a Buncombe County school with a diverse student body and high level of economic need 

How? UUCA members will have the option to shop for a specific child, or to provide gift cards to give families the option to shop for their children. 

What? You can select an ornament with gift details from an actual Tree of Hope and Happiness at our caroling event on December 5, or from our virtual tree (link coming soon).  Gifts can be delivered either to the school (154 Sand Hill School Road in Asheville) from 8am-2pm the week of December 6th, or to UUCA at the cookie exchange and tree decorating on 12/12 (you can also reach out to Laurel Stolte at laurel.stolte@bcsemail.org if you need to coordinate a online delivery).

UUSC & Guest at Your Table: Supporting Human Rights
What? The UU Service Committee (UUSC) advances human rights by partnering with grassroots organizations.  They often partner with groups not helped by any government or NGOs.   Examples are working with Rohingya access to education and health, indigenous peoples in Louisiana and the Marshall Islands to fight climate change and human rights for Maya communities in Guatemala. Join us for a UUSC Sunday service Nov. 14, 11:00 AM

Why? The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee once a year asks for your support in strengthening our UU values in the US and the world through Guest At Your Table.   

How? You can help through your contributions.  Normally, we would have boxes for congregants to add a small donation each day of the holiday season.   This year during COVID, you can mail your contributions directly to UUSC, 689 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139.  We have envelopes which you can pick up at UUAsheville during office hours which are 9:30 – 2pm on Mondays and Tuesdays 
One can be mailed to you if you email Deb Holden at djholden51@icloud.com.  
In all cases, be sure to note you are a member of UU Asheville on your check.  Any donation, makes you a contributing member of UUSC! 

UUCA Partnering with Beloved

UUCA and Beloved Asheville are joining together to put LOVE IN ACTION!

Please support the Back to School Supplies for Kids and Youth Drive, happening right now!
See the flyer for details. Beloved Asheville would like to receive donations by Sunday 8/15, but will accept them all through August. 

The UUCA Anti-Racism Assessment is ready! Now all we need is your input.

Why? In order to understand the current anti-racism work at UUCA and review our practices and policies we need to hear from you. The survey will provide a baseline that together with input from listening sessions to be organized in the fall will enable the Racial Justice Advisory Council to provide the board a summary report of congregational perceptions. The report will also include recommendations for ways to continue striving toward the goal of being a congregation where all can flourish; where anti-racism is an on-going practice. You, the congregation, will have opportunities to review the report for feedback before it is shared with the board.  

A little history. In their November 20, 2020 email to the congregation, the UUCA Board of Trustees invited all of UUCA to join together in a congregation-wide effort to further the cause of racial justice. They asked us to put our values of justice, compassion, inspiration and connection into action by working to become a congregation that practices anti-racism. To that end, the Board previously passed a resolution at its October meeting creating the Racial Justice Advisory Council (RJAC).  I would provide support and internal accountability to the RJAC. At the November 10th Board meeting Noah Hall, Eleanor Lane, Melissa Murphy, Ed Prestemon and Missy Reed were invited to serve on the RJAC. As part of our initial efforts, we seek to better understand current anti-racism work at UUCA using the UUCA Assessment Tool to capture information. 

Friends, this is transformative and liberatory work that calls not only for individual learning and reflection, but organizational learning and reflection. I am sharing a link to a video with instructions on filling out the assessment tool (Thank you, Noah Hall!) Contact Rev. Claudia for the link when you are ready to complete the assessment tool.


We want to hear from as many of you as possible. Your investment of 20 – 30 minutes of your time to complete the tool will be greatly appreciated.  It may take a little longer. You may not have experience with all the categories in the tool, and it will take less time. Answer what you know. That will be enough and very helpful. The deadline is June 30. If you have any technical problems or questions, please contact me at faithdev@uuasheville.org

With gratitude, joy and anticipation for the work we will do together,

Rev. Claudia
Minister of Faith Development

May Community Plate Recipient: Institute for Preventive Healthcare and Advocacy (IFPHA)

The Institute for Preventive Healthcare and Advocacy’s (IFPHA) mission is to promote optimum health by addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) and the inequities in access to affordable healthcare.

IPHA is committed to creating inclusive environments, be continuous learners, and work alongside others to cultivate equity, diversity, inclusion, and unlearn destructive patterns from our historical past.

IFPHA brings health education, addresses preventable diseases, and manages chronic illnesses.  Our community nurses’ impact has been addressing the SDOH.  Your donation will support and expand:

  • Providing transportation to doctor’s appointments and the grocery store.
  • Partnering with MAHEC to provide psychiatric residents for “door to door” visits.
  • Providing healthy fresh fruit and vegetables and health education.
  • Providing cleaning services to prevent evictions.
  • Addressing clients’ needs and if there is no referral available, IFPHA will find funding to address the issue in “real time,” while we are looking for a long-term solution.

To learn more about how IFPHA is “addressing the incredible issue of inequities and access to healthcare and vital resources, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic,” as shared by Kathey Avery, Founder & Co-Chair of IFPHA, go to:https://www.averyhec.com/ifpha.


Film Night: No Time to Waste, Friday, April 9, 7pm, Zoom

No Time To Waste celebrates legendary 99-year-old park ranger Betty Reid Soskin’s inspiring life, work and urgent mission to restore critical missing chapters of America’s story.

“Touching and engaging…Nonagenarian Soskin reminds viewers of the importance of telling the complete American story – one that recognizes racial and gender discrimination and celebrates the accomplishments of African Americans – so that we, as a nation, can understand from whence we came and where we should be heading in order to create, as she states is her mission, ‘a more perfect union.’ No Time To Waste is an inspiring film that spotlights Soskin being ’empowered…by history’ and encourages others to do the same.”
~Traci Parker, Associate Professor African American History, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Author, Department Stores and the Black Freedom Movement

There will be a discussion after the screening of the film.

Send an email to mnpopi@icloud.com for the Zoom link.

Official Trailer    https://player.vimeo.com/video/485597045?app_id=122963&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bullfrogcommunities.com    runtime: 52 minutes

The Work of the Racial Justice Advisory Council

rev Claudia JiménezWhat’s happening with our goal of working to become an anti-racist congregation? The Racial Justice Advisory Council (RJAC) has been meeting twice a month since the board’s invitation to the congregation to work toward this goal. Our team members are Noah Hall, Eleanor Lane, Melissa Murphy, Ed Prestemon and Missy Read. I serve as staff liaison. Initially, we focused on identifying a tool to assess where we are as a congregation on the journey to becoming anti-racist, and to set a timeline for collecting feedback, organizing focus groups and providing a report with recommendations to the board. Whew! We also discussed the importance of having an external accountability partner with equity training and leadership experience to support the council’s work. As I interviewed possible partners, I learned a lot from our conversations. It became apparent that we were trying to rush into creating a timeline without laying the groundwork for the committee to do this work. Each person I spoke to emphasized the importance of the council doing their own work to develop a shared analysis of what we mean by anti-racism, multiculturalism, diversity and racial justice, and how these concepts relate to our goal of an anti-racist congregation. As a result of these conversations, our meetings now include grounding work as well as preparations for rolling out an assessment tool. We have also created a communication plan to keep you informed of our progress through the e-News, website, Facebook and worship during “The Work of the Congregation.” All of this will be launched with a congregational letter that will be shared in March. I am grateful and excited to be on this journey with such a committed team. As we prepare to transition to interim ministry, exploring what kind of congregation we want to be when we emerge from pandemic isolation will support the work of the interim minister we will welcome in August. Along the way, your feedback and questions are welcome.

Rev. Claudia Jiménez, Minister of Faith Development

Acting for Racial Justice: From the Board of Trustees

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville has been committed to racial justice since its founding. UUCA and its members, through our words and deeds, have shown and acted on this commitment for decades. Yet, as events throughout this year continue to teach us, the injustices of systemic racism and white privilege are more pervasive than many of us may have realized. Unchecked, racial injustices have and will continue to cause deep pain and unconscionable inequalities right here in our own community, as well as in the larger world.

The UUCA Board of Trustees believes, based on our shared Unitarian Universalist principles, that our congregation is now called to respond to racism and white supremacy more directly, more intensely, and more unanimously than we have in the past. Many UUCA congregants have worked tirelessly and effectively for racial justice over many years, and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude and respect. But we believe much more is required of our congregation. We believe it is our duty, as people of conscience, to band together as one and join the struggle for the dignity and equality of all. Consequently, the Board is asking all of UUCA to join together in a congregation-wide effort to further the cause of racial justice.

Racial justice is an enormous problem; defining what UUCA can do to most effectively promote it now and in future years will take time and effort to sort out. But given that racial justice is a core UU value of renewed and pressing importance, we must act now. At our October meeting, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution creating the Racial Justice Advisory Council. This Council’s first task will be to understand – in conversation with congregants and staff – UUCA’s racial justice strengths, challenges, and possibilities. Then, the Council will use that understanding to define meaningful and achievable racial justice goals, both near-term and long-term, that involve us all. Those goals will then be presented to the congregation for approval. Consistent with UUCA governance, those goals (if approved) will be integrated into our “Ends Statements” – our formal description of what we want UUCA to do and to be. These Ends Statements also charge our staff to make sure, in collaboration with us all, that we achieve those goals.

At its November 10th meeting, the Board named five UUCA members to this Advisory Council. They are all people with significant racial justice experience, knowledge, and commitment. They will start their efforts soon, and will be speaking with and listening to members and groups within UUCA. So, be on the lookout! And please participate! We sincerely hope you will help us make UUCA a congregation known for its commitment to racial justice and its actions that move us closer to that dream.

The UUCA Board of Trustees
Laurel Amabile (Clerk), Louise Anderson, Michael Beech, Cecil Bennett, Karen Dill, Clyde Hardin (Vice President), Judy Harper, Julie Stoffels, Ryan Williams (President)

Harvest the Power – Week of Action for UU the Vote

Commit to joining in our Harvest the Power week of action, coming up October 21-27.  Join nearly 1000 UUs in committing to join the Harvest the Power Week of Action.

October 21-27: Paricipate in a UU the Vote Phonebank  with UUCA

October 21-27: Prepare for work after Election Day. Attend the training, “Ready and Resilient: Organizing for Nov 3rd and Beyond.” More information coming on that.

October 21: National Phonebank to Wisconsin 

October 24: National Phonebank to Pennsylvania 

October 25: UU the Vote Evening Worship

October 26: Vote Love Pledge Rally with DJ Carmen and special guests 

October 27: National Phonebank to Florida 

 Make a gift to UU the Vote. As we head into this final stretch of the campaign, we need your support to ensure that we have the most possible impact. In honor of this pivotal year, can you make a gift of $20.20? Or $2,020, or $2.02? Your donation goes directly to the work of this campaign, funding calls and field organizing and our partners in the work.

Buncombe County Bd of Elections Needs VOLUNTEERS!

There is a pressing need for volunteers to help create ballot packets to be mailed out to absentee voters. The Board of Elections already has thousands of Absentee Ballot requests and not nearly enough staff to do the job. The shifts will be 9-12n or 1:30-4:30pm each weekday.

The task requires focus on detailed precise work – repetitive, time-consuming stuff, and incredibly important! Ideally, they’re looking for folks who can commit to certain shifts weekly but any help will be welcome. They are looking for help ASAP, as they will start creating the mailings today, with “packets in the mail” to begin September 4.  Interested volunteers should contact Kaylea Noce at 828-250-4216 or Kaylea.noce@buncombecounty.org

UU the Vote-Keep Going!!!

MORE POSTCARDS TO WRITE   We’re on a roll!  In June, UUCA volunteers wrote 1,000 postcards, joining our partners Forward Together, Reclaim Our Vote and the NAACP in reaching out to 8,000 disenfranchised NC voters, encouraging them to confirm their voter registration status in preparation for the 2020 election. In July we plan to double our efforts with a goal of sending 2,000 postcards to residents of our own WNC region. All supplies and clear instructions will be provided for this justice-driven home-based activity. Email Amy Moore (piecegardens@gmail.com) to sign up.

POLL WORKERS NEEDED FOR THE FALL  Even without the pandemic, Election Services in all counties would be looking for Election Day and Early Voting workers for the fall general election. However, the need to recruit additional poll workers, especially younger people, is critical now. These are paid positions!  In Buncombe County, apply here or call 250-4226 for details. For poll worker information in other NC counties, check herePlease get the word out to anyone you believe would be interested.

BE SURE YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE. Visit the new Online Voter Registration Tool, from UU North Carolina partner You Can Vote, for a one-stop place to verify and update your registration status and download and complete a paper registration application as needed.

REQUEST YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT  You Can Vote’s How-To Guide to Vote-By-Mail walks you through the step-by-step process to make sure your vote counts in 2020! Remember, you can request an absentee ballot and still choose later to vote in person.
STAY ENGAGED  Bookmark this page for current UU the Vote voter engagement and elections advocacy information and ways to get involved in local, state and national efforts. With less than 4 months left to get out the vote it is crucial to stay informed about what is needed to ensure fair and safe access for all to cast their ballots in November! 

Justice Seekers: Opportunities to Act!

Take action by focusing on topics and activities relevant for parents, guardians and educators:

  • Listen to online conversations webinars and read articles focused on raising children who are thoughtful, informed and brave about race: Embrace Race

UU the Vote!!!! The advocacy at home resource has been updated. Thank you, Melissa Murphy! Check it out to learn ways you can get involved: bit.ly/UUtheVote

How does this relate to voting & elections? The 2020 Census data will be used to determine new representation as well as potential new maps!

What can you do? Everyone can play a role in the 2020 Census by sharing information about the census on your social media channels and reminding your family, friends and neighbors how important their response to the census is in shaping the future of our community and state for the next ten years.

Census Info to Share: If you have not received an official invitation in the mail or had a questionnaire dropped off at your door call one of the following numbers:
English: 844-330-2020 ; Spanish:844-468-2020; Russian: 844-417-2020

This video explains how to complete the 2020 Census: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCM0XrSynFw&feature=youtu.be


Justice Requires Us to ACT!

A Letter From Rev. Claudia and Rev. Mark
Last week Mark and I discussed reaching out to the Justice Ministry Council inviting them to jointly issue a statement of solidarity with the Black community. Our goal was to speak up about the disrespect of Black bodies, the ingrained institutional disregard for Black humanity, witnessed yet again with a tragic death, the flagrant murder of George Floyd even as COVID-19 is disproportionately afflicting the marginalized communities already vulnerable as a result of societal imbalance.
We are called as a religious community to affirm and promote the worth and dignity of all. It is a core belief we must act upon and not just discuss. We feel that this moment calls every one of us to consider the work we must do to disrupt white supremacy in ourselves and our institutions.
As the Council discussed making a statement, it became apparent to us that we do not have a relationship with the Black community in Asheville that gives us a ground from which to make this statement. Despite our concern, we as a congregation have yet to get proximate with people in that community beyond our comfortable social circles. We concluded that we as a congregation are in no place to speak with authenticity in this moment. We have work to do.
The Justice Ministry Council has created this congregational letter as a first step to share ideas and encourage each of us to begin this work. It is individual work that requires commitment, deep reflection, humility, and consistency in understanding how white supremacy culture has shaped our lives. It also requires us to reach out beyond our congregation to advocates and allies in our community and beyond. These times demand it. Reach out to Council members, or one of us. We are all on different stages on the journey of showing up for justice for our Black siblings.
We invite you to join us if you are able tomorrow at the Prayer In Action: A Gathering of Solidarity for Peace and Justice organized by a group of local clergy.
When?  Tomorrow, Thursday, June 4 at noon. 
Where? The event will be on Church Street, which will be closed to vehicular traffic. 
Speakers: Rev. John Grant will open with comments and prayer, with L.C. Ray, Herbert Grant, Tyrone Greenlee and the pastors at Central United Methodist, First Presbyterian and Trinity Episcopal also being involved (plus others). 
Attendees are asked to social distance and wear masks.
Rev. Claudia and Rev. Mark
A Letter from the Justice Ministry Council: Moving from Outrage and Grief to Action

UUCA Justice Ministry Council members are Eleanor Lane, Nancy Bragg, Deborah Holder, Joyce Birkenholz-Wallin, Linda Kooiker, Martha Kiger,  MaryAnn Somervill, Melissa Murphy, Elizabeth Schell, Wink Zachritz.

“People of faith, particularly those of us who are white progressives, need to combat the systems of criminalization in our country. Systems of policing and criminalization in this country are inherently violent, steeped in and created to reinforce white supremacy, anti-blackness and radicalized control.”~Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, President of the UUA.

In a recent UU denominational Call to Action letter, we are reminded that “as the pain and grief of centuries of violence without justice find their expression, let us remember the Rev. Dr. King’s words: ‘America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear?’”  We invite you to read the rest of this powerful call to action (at the link above).

But what shall we do as a congregation? As individuals within a faith community that lifts up the “inherent worth and dignity of all people” as our first principle? The inherent worth and dignity of our Black and Brown siblings is not being respected, but instead seen as expendable. This is not a new thing. But perhaps in this pandemic moment where much of our “normal” is on pause, we are better able as White people to SEE and HEAR the distress of our Black and Brown siblings. But what shall we do with what we are seeing and hearing? And what shall we do with the feelings that come with all of it?

We must not turn away. We must not be silent. But how we witness and how we speak up, show up, participate in much needed resistance and transformation in these times will look different for each of us. Below are some ways to “take action” (in many different forms) in these troubling times: 

Take action by joining UUCA’s learning and action groups now:
Join UUCA’s Dismantling White Supremacy group on the first Friday of each month for deep personal reflection; contact Joy McConnell  

Join UUCA’s Anti-Racism and Immigration Justice Action Group (formerly ReCommitting to Black Lives Matter); contact Eleanor Lane

Take action by joining with others for action items our partners have called upon us to do:
Join with other UUs from our congregation and around the state for Friday Action Hour with Forward Together, the UU Justice Ministry of North Carolina; to get the Zoom link and the action items you can follow this link. 

Subscribe to Ron Katz’ newsletter, Social Justice Opportunities, with timely ways you can take action.

Take action by studying the issues:
Read and reflect on Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”Read and reflect on this work by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun from 2001: “White Supremacy Culture” (From Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups). A more easily-printable pdf version can be found here.

Read and reflect on “Tips for White Folks” blog post by Ashley Cooper with advice/reflections from Jessica Norwood: https://ashleypcooper.com/2020/06/03/999/

Read and reflect on (these can be future book study opportunities)  Racial Purity and Dangerous Bodies by Rima Vesely-Flad, Professor of Religious Studies at Warren Wilson College OR Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism and You by Jason Reynold and Ibram X. Kendi. This is the abridged, young adult version of Stamped from the Beginning OR Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin.

Take action by focusing on topics and activities relevant for parents, guardians and educators: Engage with your family using Colorful Pages (local) Listen to online conversations webinars and read articles focused on raising children who are thoughtful, informed and brave about race: Embrace Race

Take action by supporting  local community groups and Black businesses with your treasure:
Support Black businessesColor of Asheville website:  and see the Black-Owned Business and Community Directory. Also check out the  Hood Huggers International Green Book for more business listings. 

Support local youth organizations:  My Daddy Taught Me That My Sistah Taught Me That Dewana Little’s Positive Changes Youth Ministries Support local justice organizations: Just Economics BeLoved Asheville Homeward Bound Pisgah Legal

Join or contribute money to CoThinkk, a local giving collective led by People of Color that funds grassroots Black and Latinx leaders and their work in the community.

Support Northside Achievement Zone working with parents, students and local partners to drive a culture shift in predominantly black North Minneapolis.
UUCA Justice Ministry Council:
Eleanor Lane, Nancy Bragg, Deborah Holder, Joyce Birkenholz-Wallin, Linda Kooiker, Martha Kiger, MaryAnn Somervill, Melissa Murphy, Elizabeth Schell, Wink Zachritz.

Opportunities for Justice Seekers

Zoom Friday Action Hour. Every Friday at 11 AM join UUs from across the state to advocate for justice from home. So far 3 of us from UUCA have attended…I think we can do better! All you have to do is show up and they’ll have a list of easy, impactful actions ready to go. Along the way, you’ll be accompanied by good justice music, fellowship, and support if you need it. Join us and meet fellow UUs committed to justice work. Contact Rev. Claudia for the link.

Other opportunities for AT-HOME Activism & Advocacy: Stay up-to-date with ways you can continue to be active for Democracy while staying home and staying safe… visit bit.ly/UUtheVote

A Learning Opportunity…

As the 2020 election draws near, the UU Living Legacy Project is offering a monthly online series focused on voting rights. Sessions will be explore what we can learn from the Voting Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s to apply to challenges we face today in these unprecedented times. Sessions will be the last Tuesday of every month starting May 26 until Election Day 2020! All programs begin at 7:30 pm Eastern; each program is 60 minutes followed by informal discussion time.
Moderators:  Dr. Janice Marie Johnson, and the Rev. Carlton E. Smith
Registration required.http://www.uulivinglegacy.org/votingrights.html

Anti-Racism and Immigrant Justice Action Group

Dedicated to dismantling racism in ourselves, our community, and our country through education, supporting local and national efforts toward racial and immigrant equity and justice, and working toward systemic change in racist and xenophobic structures  (formerly ReCommitting to Black Lives Matter Action Group).

Zoom gatherings the second Thursday of the month at 2:30pm. We welcome everyone to join us!   Contact Eleanor Lane.

Justice Seekers at Home

Thank you to all who volunteered to participate in the Reclaim Our Vote Project. The postcard kits will be delivered soon. We appreciate all our postcard writers!

The opportunity to be engaged continues. Below is an invitation from our partner UU Justice Ministry of NC: Forward Together. It is a great way to advocate from home and meet UUs from all over the state.

Introducing Friday Action Hour. Every week Forward Together receives many important calls to action from their justice partners. In recognition of how overwhelming this can feel, the UU Justice Ministry of NC has created a space where UUs from across the state can gather every week to do this work together. All you have to do is show up and they’ll have a list of easy, impactful actions ready to go. Along the way, you’ll be accompanied by good justice music, fellowship, and support if you need it. Join other UU congregations and meet fellow UUs committed to justice work. Every Friday at 11:00 am on Zoom. The Zoom link is shared in the UUCA e-NEWS or you can contact Rev Claudia at faithdev@uuashevile.org

A learning opportunity from the UU Living Legacy Project:
As the 2020 election draws near, the UU Living Legacy Project is offering a monthly online series focused on voting rights. In these sessions, we’ll be exploring what we can learn from the Voting Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s to apply to challenges we face today in these unprecedented times.

Mark your calendars now!
WHEN: Last Tuesday of every month starting May 26 until Election Day 2020!
TIME: 7:30 pm Eastern; each program is 60 minutes followed by informal discussion time.
MODERATORS:  Dr. Janice Marie Johnson, and the Rev. Carlton E. Smith
REGISTRATION: http://www.uulivinglegacy.org/votingrights.html

Postcards for the Reclaim Our Vote Project being prepared for shipping at Forward Together.

Updated Calendar & Opportunities to #UUtheVote

Stay up-to-date with ways you can continue to be active for Democracy while staying home and staying safe… Visit bit.ly/UUtheVotefor details regarding virtual voter registration training, legislative advocacy and promoting the census. A few dates to keep in mind:

  • April 21st – The NC Justice Center is offering a workers’ rights update on COVID-19 starting at 11 am.
  • April 22nd-24th – The film “Saul and Ruby’s Holocaust Survivor Band” will be available to view. For details, see below.


  • April 26th – Earth Day Vigil, “Seeing with New Eyes”, starting at 6 pm. Go to link below to register and get further information.
  • April 30th – “Dine IN for Life”. Leave it to the creativity of WNCAP to come up with a twist this year to raise funds but also support local restaurants! Check out the link for the particulars to either get takeout, delivery or a gift card. 

YES you can #UUtheVote Without Leaving the House

More opportunities to continue working for equity and voter access. Highlights below. Visit bit.ly/UUtheVote for more information.


From Asheville-Buncombe County League of Women Voters: We planned to host a training session for Voter Registration this spring but since they can’t meet in person, we’re planning an online session (via Zoom) on April 23 starting at 6:00 PM. We’ll need lots of trained volunteers in advance of this fall’s important election, so please sign up for this important training led by Aiden Carson!  

Register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


How does this relate to voting & elections? The 2020 Census data will be used to determine new representation as well as potential new maps!

What can you do? Everyone can play a role in the 2020 Census by sharing information about the census on your social media channels and reminding your family, friends and neighbors how important their response to the census is in shaping the future of our community and state for the next ten years.

Census Info to Share: If you have not received an official invitation in the mail or had a questionnaire dropped off at your door call one of the following numbers:
English: 844-330-2020 ; Spanish:844-468-2020


Justice Ministry Update

#UU the Vote is catching on! We have 50 commitments to act beyond voting to #UU the Vote. Our goal is at least 100 commitments. All of the issues we care about are affected by who our elected officials are. Check out the #UU the Vote bulletin board in Sandburg Hall if you haven’t filled out a commitment slip and for ways to get involved. You can also fill out a commitment slip online at https://forms.gle/nMcNwJmCiTdycjmq5 Resources are updated weekly by  Melissa Murphy at  bit.ly/UUtheVote. Thank you, Melissa!  And, don’t forget to put a heart on your commitment slip once you have completed your activity. That is a way of holding ourselves accountable as we put our faith in action: #VoteLove, #Defeathate. Our involvement in getting out the vote and articulating our values can make a difference!

The Justice Ministry Council invites you to consider participating in getting “Souls to the Polls” on Sunday, February 23. Why? Because NC could lose Sunday voting in any given year. It was reduced to one Sunday from two this year. To keep it for those who can only vote on Sundays, we can help show that it is needed. Faith communities like ours can organize group voting on the Sunday of early voting to keep the numbers up, demonstrating to our government leaders that Sunday voting is used. Polls are open from 10AM-6PM that day. I intend to vote the 23rd. I hope you join me if you can. Of course, that means I am doing all I can to familiarize myself with the candidates so I can be ready! Wish me luck. Questions? Comments? Contact me at faithdev@uuasheville.org.

Justice Ministry Update

We are joining #UUtheVote! A National Unitarian Universalist Association Program 

On Sunday, January 19 at both services, we’ll learn how UUCA can participate in #UUtheVote initiative to get out the vote, remove voting barriers and become informed about candidates and issues. All the issues we deeply care about are at stake in the 2020 election.  #UU the Vote is gonna be big! It’s gonna be cool! It’s gonna need ALL of UUs!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast
Saturday, January 18 (offsite); doors open 7:30 AM; seating requested by 8:20. Tickets $25. Join UUs and the greater community for a very special morning at this annual event at the Crowne Plaza Resort. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Joy DeGruy, author of Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury & Healing. Buy tickets at the Justice ministry table on Sunday mornings at UUCA.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Rally and March, Monday, January 20, 11:30 AM at the (formerly named) Berry Temple United Methodist Church, 34 College Place. We’re gonna show up! It is a Yellow-Shirt Brigade event: wear your Side with Love t-shirt. Don’t have one? They will be on sale at UUCA in early January. Stay tuned…

This is a Yellow-Shirt Brigade Event