Unitarian Church of Norfolk has a strong social justice tradition. During the ’50s and ’60s, UCN ministry and lay folk were visible advocates for the end of segregation and Virginia and Norfolk Jim Crow law. During the ’70s and ’80s, the focus shifted to LGBT equality and HIV and marriage equality most recently. Currently, UCN’s social justice priorities are:
- Affordable housing
- Affordable healthcare and healthcare access
- Environmental quality, global warming, sea level rise
- Community resiliency as an integrating theme
Internally, the Social Justice Committee’s role is to increase the congregation’s knowledge of these topics and to encourage participation in appropriate local organizations and activities. UCN’s Social Justice Committee works with and through other regional and Virginia organizations including:
- Catholic Worker
- Hampton Roads Pride
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation
- Empower Hampton Roads
- Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team
- Ghent Area Ministries
- Interfaith Council
- Interfaith Power and Light
- Unitarian Universalist Social Committee
Social Justice Committee members participate in the activities of many of these regional activities bringing a Unitarian Universalist perspective to them and amplifying our congregation’s voice in important regional affairs.
Our Social Justice Committee sponsors a monthly offering supporting local programs, national and international relief programs, and internal programs.
The Social Justice Committee operates our Fair Trade booth which features Equal Exchange chocolate, coffee, and tea as well as the UUA Common Read and other merchandise. Those interested in deeper involvement are welcome to speak with one of the committee members at the booth.