Racial and Immigration Justice: Take Action This Week

We encourage you to save this link and check it early in the week. Action opportunities will be posted on the website each Monday.

In these especially challenging times, it can be overwhelming to decide how to make a difference. The Racial Justice Action Committee wants to help FPB members increase our collective impact in the critical work of racial and immigration justice and, at the same time, build a supportive community.

For more information, contact Martha Leader or Almas Dossa


1. Support the Student Opportunity Act which will make school funding in Massachusetts more equitable. The vote is scheduled for Wednesday, October 23. Here are things you can do to help:

  1. Call or email your state representative to ask them to vote for the bill. You can find your state rep at www.wheredoivotema.com.
  2. Let family and friends know, and ask them to contact their state rep.


2. Restore Voting Rights for People Who are Imprisoned

UU Mass Action is working with the Massachusetts Prisoners and Organizers Working for Enfranchisement and Restoration (Mass POWER) coalition to restore the voting rights for people who are imprisoned.  Voting rights were taken away in 2000 - the goal of this campaign is to annul the amendment that made this happen.

If your congregation wants to collect signatures for this campaign, contact the lead UU Mass Action organizer for this campaign - Cassandra Bensahih     Cassandra will train you on how to collect signatures and get you the ballot petition forms.

3. RACE AND MIGRATION POLICY IN THE U.S.

When: Wednesday, October 23, 6:00-8:00 PM

Where: Community Change, Inc: 2 Oliver St. Suite 802, Boston, MA 02109

In this meetup, we'll discuss the ways in which race has been a factor in U.S immigration policy both in the past and today and how U.S foreign policy and intervention has factored into current-day immigration problems. We'll share what we know about current efforts to address immigration issues and how people can get involved. Please RSVP here.

4. Advocate for all 5 Indigenous Rights Bills (from UU Mass Action newsletter)

  1. Advocate for the 5 Indigenous Rights Bills

Lead Organizers: United American Indians of New England and North American Indian Center of Boston

Click here for more information about the priority legislation and instructions for how you can take action

Action:  Send this request to your State Representative (find the person here)

Feel free to simply copy and paste the info below into an email.  You’re also welcome to add a personal message if you choose.

Dear Representative ---

I am writing to advocate for five Indigenous Rights bills that I support and I’m asking for your support as well.  The following summarizes the status of the bills and the action that I’m asking you to take. 

  1. An Act Establishing Indigenous Peoples Day (H.3665) 

This bill had a hearing on 5/7/19.  I ask that you contact the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Oversight and ask them to report the bill out of committee with a favorable vote.

  1. Prohibit the Use of Native American Mascots in Public Schools (S.247/H.443) 
  2. Educate Native Youth (H.444)

These bills had a hearing on 6/25/19.  I ask that you contact the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Education and ask them to report the bill out of committee with a favorable vote.

  1. Change the State Flag & Seal (S.1877/H.2776)

This bill has not yet had a hearing.  Please contact the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Oversight and ask that the bill be scheduled for a hearing as soon as possible.

  1. Protect Native American Heritage (S.1811/H.2948)

This bill was reported favorably out of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development on 9/18/19.  It’s now in the House Committee on Steering, Policy, and Schedule.  Please contact House Speaker DeLeo and let him know that it’s important that the House has a chance to vote on this bill during this legislative session.

All residents in Massachusetts deserve to be honored and valued.  By advocating for these bills to pass this session the people of Massachusetts will send a clear message that the Indigenous People of our Commonwealth are honored and valued. 

Sincerely,

(your name and city/town)


5. Film Screening and Q&A: Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

When: Thursday, October 24, 4:00 PM

Where: Paine Hall, 3 Oxford St., Cambridge 

Contact: Margie Jenkins

The recently released documentary Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, is an artful and intimate meditation on the legendary storyteller. The film examines Morrison's life, works, and the powerful themes she has confronted throughout her literary career. It features interviews with Morrison and a number of her peers, critics, and colleagues, including HDS’s Davíd Carrasco, Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America.

Harvard Divinity School is hosting a screening of the film. Carrasco will give an introduction, and there will be a Q&A and panel discussion with Carrasco and film editor Johanna Giebelhaus after the screening.

This event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets are available beginning October 10. More information can be found at the Harvard Box Office.


6. This fall Brookline Adult Ed (BAE) is offering a course about racism.

* White People Challenging Racism 

When: 3 Saturdays 10/26-11/2, 9:30 AM-1:00 PM

People who have participated have found this course to be rewarding and challenging, supporting the goal of facilitating people to become active in anti-racism/racial equity work. 


7. TAKE THE RENT CONTROL PLEDGE - WE CAN BRING RENT CONTROL BACK TO BOSTON!

  • Communities of color, immigrants, working families - we all deserve affordable, healthy housing.
  • Renters, homeowners and small landlords across the country are rising up and winning rent regulation.
  • In Boston, real estate giants and their friends at the statehouse banned rent control 25 years ago. Rents - and property taxes - have spiraled out of control ever since, pushing families and whole communities out of our city.
  • We need to place limits on big corporate greed in order to protect our neighborhoods.
  • Sign the pledge here.