At the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rock Valley, you will find people who are committed to social justice actions including education to raise awareness, advocacy with people who face injustice and service as we live out the values of our faith. Individually, our callings are diverse; collectively we work toward the vision of Beloved Community for a more just world. Our members have varied interests in responding to the needs we see in our communities and world, and individually are active in a number of social justice activities such as volunteering for local food pantries, caring for local natural areas and wildlife, meeting with social justice groups in the area to plan coordinated events, attending events that are inclusive of the LGBTQ community, donating books to local community centers, and many others. Some of the actions we have taken as a congregation include:
- Services frequently focus on topics related to social justice such as: Black Lives Matter and Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism, Life Ways of First Nation People, needs of Latinx persons, the climate crisis.
- We sponsored a Listen Lead Share discussion regarding Clean Energy jobs in Illinois.
- We provide regular posts on our Facebook page including articles and videos informing members and friends regarding various social justice topics: white supremacy, immigration, LGBTQ+ rights, voter registration, climate change.
- We have established a Social Justice Library so members can borrow books on various social justice topics, including titles for children and youth, to encourage reflection and work at a personal level on dismantling racism and other oppressions, responding to the climate crisis, and other social justice issues.
- We hosted a workshop on diversity and inclusion presented by a transgender woman and followed up with a book discussion led by members of the congregation.
We participate in events organized by community organizations allied with our values, for example:
- Beloit Together’s rally and march “Families Belong Together”
- Beloit College student Freedom March to get out the vote
- Women’s March in Rockford
- YWCA Stand Against Racism rally in Beloit
- Rock the Pride – Pride Fest in Beloit
- Climate Justice Strike in Janesville
We hosted an interfaith March for Peace and Justice on our site.
Regular posts to our Facebook group include informing members and friends about actions they can take, such as contacting government officials, attending a meeting, participating in a march or other event, voting, and making donations to support social justice causes.
- We provide ongoing, regular support of a local food and supply pantry, including hundreds of pounds of fresh produce from our garden, donations of personal items, monetary donations, and volunteer time.
- We provide support to a local high-needs school, e.g. donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste, raising funds through Box Top collections, and collecting school supplies to share.
- Fair Trade sales to support fair wages, safe working conditions and organic farming are open to the public twice each year with a yearly Equal Exchange fundraiser for the congregation only.
- We have planted a Peace Pole and garden on our property and welcome the community to visit and spend some time in reflection.
I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.Edward Everett Hale, Unitarian minister
What will you do to make this world a more just and loving place for all?