To advance social justice, UUCL continually offers opportunities for its members and friends to get involved in social action, through ongoing volunteer opportunities, one-time events, special collections and other efforts that advance our UU seven Principles in the Loudoun community and beyond. In addition to the activities detailed below, this may include taking a stand as a congregation, pursuing grants for special projects and participating in vigils and other non-violent activities designed to build understanding and respect among people of diverse religious, ethnic, racial and sexual identities.
Signature Initiative – All Ages Read Together
In 2013 the congregation unanimously voted to sponsor All Ages Read Together (AART) as its first signature initiative. AART is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that is dedicated to serving low and moderate income preschool-aged children. The program was selected because pre-school readiness directly addresses the root causes of poverty, an area of keen interest to our members.
AART provides free programs to children in Loudoun and Fairfax counties who are at risk of entering kindergarten in need of extensive remedial instruction that can cost an extra $3,500 per child annually. UUCL volunteers of all ages participate by teaching, reading with, and translating for AART’s young students, donating school supplies and winter outerwear, and more.
Ann Robinson Social Justice Award
In 2016 UUCL established the Ann Robinson Social Justice Award to recognize “unsung heroes” who work for social justice in all its forms. The award is named for a devoted church member and long-time civic activist who died in July 2016. Robinson worked tirelessly to influence local government, although the great majority of her work went unrecognized behind the scenes. The award is presented annually during the Loudoun Falls for Social Justice fundraising event. In October 2016 the inaugural award was presented to Loudoun County Planning Commissioner and NAACP member Doris Kidder. In 2017 the award was shared by Herb Bryan and Wendall Fisher, members of the Loudoun County Public Schools’ Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee.
Social Justice – Opportunities for Involvement!
UUCL invites members and friends to promote and raise awareness of social justice activities they support. Examples, with who to contact for more information, include:
- Annual Martin Luther King Jr March: Tamar Datan
- Opportunities for youth involvement: Kate-Lynn Savidan
- Annual “Loudoun Falls for Social Justice” fellowship event: Elizabeth Scheib
- Keep Loudoun Beautiful: Sandra Shihadeh
- Fresh Air Full Care: Chuck Harris
- UUA Church of the Larger Fellowship Prison Ministry: Graham Copp
- Chesapeake Climate Action Network: Natalie Pien
- Suits for Vets: Chuck Harris
- Loudoun Interfaith BRIDGES: Catherine Motivans
- Loudoun Hunger Relief: Barbara Elvin
- Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers: Sandra Shihadeh
- Crossroads Jobs: John Stevens
- Leadership Loudoun: Leigh Ann Macklin
- PFLAG and Loudoun Out Loud: Gerri Mathews
If you are interested in getting involved in these or other social justice activities, please contact Tamar Datan or come join the Social Justice Committee at our monthly meeting, every second Thursday of the month, at 7 pm at UUCL.