Actions of Immediate Witness (AIW) at General Assembly 2022

General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. This special gathering is where participants “worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process.” UU Ministry for Earth will have several projects at the GA this year – a booth in the main hall of sponsors and exhibitors, an in person procession of species, an online raffle and zoom conversations for registrants, supporting the Public Witness, and more!

Actions of Immediate Witness

One action that the delegates when gathered in a General Assembly take is to vote to approve “Actions of Immediate Witness.” According to the UUA Commission on Social Witness, an Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) is a statement about a significant action, event, or development in the world that necessitates immediate engagement and action among Unitarian Universalist member congregations and groups.

Proposed 2022 Actions of Immediate Witness

Here is the list of all proposed AIWs for consideration at this year’s assembly.

Anti-Racism and Reparations via Restorative Justice

This AIW will engage UU Congregations in conversation and workshops to claim truth and promote healing of our past legacies in racism, chattel enslavement and genocide, whose consciousness has morphed into this the 21st Century. The core of this AIW is the power of Restorative Justice which is needed by Unitarian Universalists as accountability required by our humanity and expressed by some as the proposed 8th principle. This AIW will put Unitarian Universalism in the forefront of healing our nation from it crimes against humanity.

Read the draft AIW for Anti-Racism and Reparations (PDF).

Contact: Carl McCargo ilike2travel@comcast.net; Tanya Roberts tanyaroberts @centurytel.net

Breaching the Snake River Dams

This action would support the removal of the Snake River dams that have been a major contributor to salmon species and Southern Resident Orcas being listed under the Endangered Species Act and devastating to Tribal fishing communities, culture and livelihood.

Read the draft AIW Breaching the Snake River Dams (PDF).

Contact: Deb Cruz, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship and JUUstice Washington, dwcruz @comcast.net

Code Red for Humanity: Protect the Livable Planet We Love – Addressing the Climate Impacts of Military Emissions

This AIW asks Unitarian Universalists to center diplomacy and peace above militarism and war as essential to meeting urgent climate goals that serve the most vulnerable frontline communities. This is in line with what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports describe as CODE RED for HUMANITY and warning that it is NOW or NEVER to act to meet the 1.5℃ (2.7°F) target. We ask Unitarian Universalists to call for action by the Biden Administration, Congress and the United Nations to more effectively address the role of the Department of Defense as the world’s largest institutional contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.

Read the draft AIW Code Red for Humanity: Protect the Livable Planet We Love – Addressing the Climate Impacts of Military Emissions (PDF).

Contact: Cindy Piester, UUJEC Board Member, email: climateworkerbees @ gmail.com

Education: Meet the Moment

This is an Action of Immediate Witness that responds to immediate problems and concerns. Including recent acts of censorship, school violence, and threats of violence. The national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic receives some attention. The Build Back Better plan continues to develop and it includes some important points relevant to child care and education.

Read the draft AIW Education: Justice is Needed (PDF).

Contact: Rev. Robert Murphy, murphydalzell@aol.com

Human Rights and International Law Must Be Respected Universally Rather than Selectively

The United States government does not at present respect human rights and international law universally; instead, it condemns violations when committed by strategic enemies, but ignores violations committed by the United States or its allies. This hypocrisy regarding the fundamental principles guiding our collective life must be opposed if we are to achieve a world that is truly at peace, and this Action of Immediate Witness, therefore, calls on Unitarian Universalists to petition the United States government to respect human rights and international law universally.

Read the draft AIW Human Rights and International Law Must Be Respected Universally Rather Than Selectively (PDF).

Contact: Curtis Bell, curt.c.bell @gmail.com, Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East.

Stop the Privatization of Medicare

Instead of ending the Trump administration’s Medicare privatization program, Direct Contract Entities (DCE), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) has merely changed the name to ACO-REACH (Accountable Care Organization–Realizing Equity, Accessibility, and Community Health). However, that is just a friendlier name for a program that allows investment firms without medical experience to control our health care. This directly threatens original Medicare—even more than Medicare Advantage already does. This is currently planned to go into effect in January 2023—so the time to act is now! Join National Nurses United, Healthcare-NOW!, Physicians for a National Health Program in fighting for truly universal health coverage for all.

Read the draft AIW Stop the Privatization of Medicare (PDF).

Contact: Terry Lowman, terryleelowman@gmail.com; sponsor: UUJEC Healthcare Task Force

Labor Union Support

This proposed Action of Immediate Witness will express General Assembly support for Starbucks workers as they organize their labor union. Congregations will be asked to use the Labor Day season and the month of September to educate people about opportunities to support labor union organizing and other actions for worker justice.

Read the draft AIW Labor Union Support (PDF).

Contact: Unitarian Universalists for Worker Justice, Rev. Robert Murphy murphydalzell@aol.com

We Do Not Consent: Rejecting Legal Challenges to Abortion

As people who have had abortions, as co-conspirators and allies for reproductive justice, and as thoughtful advocates for family well-being, UUs have a moral responsibility to demand and ensure that abortion protections are codified into law. We side with marginalized people who are most harmed by legal and non-legal barriers to comprehensive reproductive health care.

Read the draft AIW for “We Do Not Consent” (PDF).

Contact: Rev. C. Nancy Reid-McKee (she/her), nreidmckee@northlakeuu.org and Rev. Dr. Isabel Call, dr.isabelcall@gmail.com.

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