While the COVID experience has curtailed some of our social justice activities, we continue to monitor and participate as much as possible in long-term commitments with the desire to resume full participation soon!
Our current congregation-wide social action effort is focused on Restorative Justice and Racial Equity. Our education and participation is conducted through workshops, book discussions, alliance with existing organizations also working to address racial equity, attendance at rallies and contact with elected officials. The signature project of the Social Justice committee is a summer internship opportunity, SMILE (Students-Mentors-Internship-with Local Employers), for area students to realize their potential through positive work experience. The efforts of DuPage UU Church were recognized in February 2019 by the Unitarian Universalist Association's Breakthrough Congregation program, highlighting congregations that embody successful approaches to leading change. Above: Members of the Social Justice committee rally support for SMILE.
In addition, we have ongoing commitments to various local and national social and environmental activities:
LGTBQ advocacy. This church has long been a Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)-certified Welcoming Congregation. DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church is committed to being a safe spiritual haven for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals and families.
Reproductive Justice. In 2010, church members voted to approve a congregation-wide statement of conscience: Reproductive rights are human rights. Reproductive rights include comprehensive, values-based sex education, access to effective birth control and quality prenatal care, the right to carry a pregnancy to term, and the right to choose abortion. In our ongoing commitment and in conjunction with the UUA, we advocate at the local, state and federal levels and provide support at local reproductive health centers.
Environmental sustainability. Sustainable living is about choosing to live in a manner that respects and nurtures the diversity of life, while appreciating and wisely using the wealth of natural resources on this planet. As part of this commitment, DuPage Unitarian Universalist church was accredited as a Green Sanctuary by the UUA in March 2009. More recently, in 2020, the congregation adopted a statement of conscience noting our ties to and responsibility for maintaining our environment. In addition, the church earned an Earth Flag from DuPage County and SCARCE (School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education) in June 2013 (styrofoam recycling, above). And in 2016, we earned an Adopt-a-Stream designation for cleanup along the DuPage River (river cleanup, right). We continue our efforts to live in a manner consistent with the seventh principle of Unitarian Universalism: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are all a part.
PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter). The church has been active in the DuPage Public Action to Deliver Shelter program since 2003. Once a month, volunteers from the DuPage UU Church staff an overnight housing facility at a local church where we provide dinner, breakfast, and a bag lunch; sleeping space; and support activities for the guests.
Through organizational and individual member activity, we support various other social initiatives and organizations:
Community Outreach. The Community Outreach committee serves as an ongoing mechanism to advance social witness in the name of the church as a whole. The committee reviews proposals for social action and advances study, education and, in the case of statements of conscience, a congregational vote. It also reviews nominations and chooses a yearly lineup of not-for-profit organizations as monthly special collection recipients.
DUU-Gooders. Growing out of a chalice circle group with a common passion, each month the DUU-Gooders group organizes a collection of useful goods and/or food for a local non-profit support group or organization.