Starting a New Social Justice Project
The Social Justice Team is led by three co-chairs, and is charged to coordinate and facilitate our social justice programs, projects, and actions. Do you have an idea for a new social justice project at Chalice? Great! We want to facilitate your leading it. Read through the procedure below and submit this form to the Social Justice Team. (Copies are also available in the SJT mailbox at Chalice.)
Members or Friends of Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation may request formal recognition of a social justice action at Chalice from the SJT by completing and submitting to SJT a Request Form to Initiate a New Social Justice Action.
There are three categories of Social Justice Actions:
- Social Justice Program — This is an on-going social justice action and continues year to year. A task force of at least three Chalice Members and Friends must lead it.
- Social Justice Project — This is a social justice project usually lasting no more than one church year. A single individual can propose it.
- Action of Immediate Witness — This is a one-time or short duration social justice action such as a rally, demonstration, petition drive or natural disaster requiring immediate response. A single individual can propose it.
Once the SJT receives your completed Request Form to Initiate a New Social Justice Action, your request will be placed on the agenda for the next scheduled meeting of the SJT. If time is of the essence and immediate action on the request is required, contact one of the co-chairs.
You and/or a Chalice Friend or Member will be invited to attend the SJT meeting to discuss your request.
The SJT evaluates each request to verify whether:
- It is consistent with the Mission and Vision of the Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation and its long range plan,
- It is consistent with the Principles and Purposes of the UUA,
- It is within the acceptable bounds set by the IRS for a 501(c)(3). [For example, it is not acceptable to endorse a candidate for elected office.]
- It does not exceed the available resources.
- For proposed Social Justice Programs, at least three Chalice Members or Friends are willing to serve on the task force to manage it, and
- It has clear and measurable goals.
Although Social Justice Programs are intended to last more than one church year, they must be renewed each year by vote of the SJT. This is done as one of the action items to prepare its plan for the coming year.
- A proposed Social Justice Program will be accepted in “Preliminary Status” for one full calendar year by majority vote of the SJT. The intent is to give the Program an opportunity to develop wide support within the congregation.
- Once a Social Justice Program has been in “Preliminary Status” for one full calendar year, it will be accepted in “Permanent Status” by majority vote of the SJT.
Social Justice Programs, Projects and Actions approved by the SJT receive the following benefits, unless otherwise specified by SJT:
- You may circulate a petition and invite Chalice members and friends to sign as individuals,
- You may set up a publicity table during coffee hour to solicit support from Chalice members and friends,
- You may submit articles and announcements for official Chalice communications such as the weekly all-congregational email, newsletter or Chalice website,
- You may request financial support from the SJT,
- You may request use of Chalice’s rooms for meetings and other activities consistent with their action free of charge.
For Programs and Projects only, you may state in your written publicity that the Program or Project is a recognized social justice action of Chalice UU Congregation and the SJT. For an Action of Immediate Witness, you may state that SJT gave approval for the Action to occur on church premises and using church resources as specified above. SJT also may vote to recognize the Action of Immediate Witness, upon request or in the discretion of SJT.
Note that ‘Recognition’ by the SJT is not an endorsement of a particular position or point of view on the social issue being addressed by the Program, Project or Action of Immediate Witness. However, SJT may endorse a particular position or point of view on a social issue, upon request or in the discretion of SJT.
The SJT requests that a brief written report from the task groups or individuals responsible for Actions of Immediate Witness and Social Justice Projects be submitted to the SJT within a month after the Action or Project is completed. Reports for on-going Social Justice Programs are to be submitted to SJT by April 1 of each year. The reports should summarize the activities undertaken and whether and how well the Program’s objectives were met.
Reports and the completed “Request Form to Initiate a New Social Justice Action” forms should be submitted to any member of the Social Justice Team. Copies will be placed on the Chalice wiki.