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Who We Are


Our purpose is to focus attention on current issues of social justice and to suggest ways that we as a spiritual community may address these issues.  We meet once a month on Zoom. Please email admin@unityofgaithersurg.org for more information on our Social Justice Team.  We enthusiastically welcome all who have an interest in social justice to join us. 

Our Mission


The Unity of Gaithersburg Social Justice Team is dedicated to expressing our divinity and honoring others through education and service. We act to support equal access to health, wellbeing, and justice for all people.

Need Help?


If you or someone you know is experiencing economic hardships or other challenges at this time the Montgomery County website can help.
If you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity at this time, our team has compiled a list of local resources.  Click here for the list.  

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 SOCIAL JUSTICE

 

UNITY.ORG statement on Social action: Click here to read the entire document.

UNITY AND RACE:   Click here for an in-depth exploration of Unity's self-examination of its history of race-relations.  "...an honest account of what happened, what is being done now, and the Unity commitment for the future."

UNITY RESOLUTION ON DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION
Introduction: ​Unity Worldwide Ministries stands for anti-racism, i.e., we are opposed to racial hatred, racial violence, bias, systemic racism, and the oppression of people of color. We stand for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for people who are marginalized because of color. No individual or group should be made to live in fear or excluded from society. Recent events in the United States and the world remind us that violent repression, prejudices, injustices, and inequalities towards people of color are embedded in societies, from social structures to institutions to cultures. Unity chooses to be more aware and take positive action in dismantling systemic racism and the social structures that support injustice and prejudice, and we raise awareness throughout our membership, churches, and centers.
Click here to read the entire resolution.

​UNITY OF GAITHERSBURG RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF VOTING RIGHTS
In light of the current challenges to the enfranchisement of all Americans, the Unity of Gaithersburg Board of Trustees recently adopted this resolution.  Click here for a copy,  

The Smithsonian has an excellent presentation on antiracism.  Click here to go to the article. 

SOCIAL JUSTICE ITEMS IN THE NEWS

A citizen's guide to saving US democracy - CNNPolitics

An important article about racism and spirituality. Corinne Zupko,Ed.S   has written an open letter to the Course in Miracles Community about unexamined racism. It is an "invitation to open communication surrounding an issue that desperately needs our attention: the issue of racism in the world, and how it factors into the Course in Miracles community."  This article is relevant to all who are on the spiritual path.  It's truth is not limited to students of the Course.  Click here to read this important document 

The Washington Post reports that black residents now account for more than 8 in 10 D.C. coronavirus cases -   with white residents getting vaccinated at higher rates, advocates say covid-19 could become “a Black and Brown disease."   Click here for the article.

Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Are On The Rise!  Here's How You Can Help. Click here. 

Montgomery County’s Faith Community Advisory Group  Stands With Our Asian American Pacific Islander Neighbors and Condemns Hate, Bias, and Violence.  Click here for more information.

Notice Regarding Voting

In May 2021, on behalf of Unity of Gaithersburg (UoG), our Board of Trustees issued a Resolution in Support of Voting Rights. This resolution, posted on the UoG website, affirms that inclusive voting rights are fundamental to democracy, recognizes voter suppression and its ties to racism as well as other ills, and affirms our support of the oversight of election administration. 

During a February 2022 meeting of the Montgomery County (MoCo) Board of Elections (BOE), the participants discussed a proposed review and purge of MoCo Voter Registration records.  While some BOE members at the meeting wanted to clear names from the list of those who had names in duplicate states, other participants expressed concern about the process for purging the list. A further examination of the list in question revealed the names appearing in duplicate states were students who attended college in a different state. They did not vote in both states. While updating the voter registration list is necessary, if not done properly, the purging process could result in the removal of legitimate county residents. Based on historical precedent, the proposed review and purge could have a disparate and erroneous impact on residents of MoCo. In addition, some meeting participants raised doubts about the legitimacy of the 2020 election and called for an audit, even though the bipartisan BOE had certified that election. Please go to
 https://www.marylandmatters.org/2022/03/10/letter-does-mocos-gop-really-want-to-review-election-issues-in-a-bipartisan-manner/ for more information.

A video recording of the February 28, 2022 BOE meeting is available at
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzOhYFxVOfY.

As called for in the UoG Voting Rights Resolution support for oversight of election administration, you may wish to pay closer attention to the events surrounding the upcoming election. The attention of MoCo citizens will support conscientious adherence to federal law generally and specifically with respect to scrutinizing and purging the voter registration list. The public can observe Board of Elections meetings at
https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/elections/index2.html.

You can sign up for additional information at:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfmWNJ5ceZRL_oDT30xfrLGqm6QR_a-xWtCA3pe4icINYgDOw/viewform.

Reimaging Public Safety Task Force


On February 4, the Montgomery County government released the report of its Reimagining Public Safety Task Force. The Task Force was established in August 2020 following the death of George Floyd and other incidents.  It is focused on the problem of racial injustice in Montgomery County. The report makes dozens of recommendations that include the elimination of School Resource Officers, changes to the routing of some 311/911 calls to include mental health or other non-police responders, changes to police training and culture, and many others.  Click here for a copy of the report. 

Creating a Racial Equity and Social Justice Policy


Montgomery County leaders have created and adopted a Racial Equity and Social Justice Policy. Click here for details on this groundbreaking work!

County Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice and Racial Equity and Social Justice Advisory Committee


Montgomery County created an Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJ) and appointed a Chief Equity Officer, Tiffany Ward. There is also a Montgomery County Racial Equity and Social Justice Advisory Committee (RESJAC). The committee meets once a month online, includes representatives from the public and county offices, and is very active. For example, at the February 2022 meeting, the committee agreed on public condemnation of a recent incident of hate speech and zoom bombing (meeting interruption); discussed how the county incorporated equity in COVID rent relief; publicly acknowledged county occupation of stolen tribal lands; and considered the possibility of reparations.

Here are links for the Office of RESJ and the RESJ Advisory Committee:

https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/ore
https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/boards/sites/RESJ/index.html

RESJAC meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.  Contact Tiffany Ward, Chief Equity Officer, if interested in observing their meetings at Tiffany.Ward@montgomerycountymd.gov

Racial Impact Statements


The MD Legislature becomes the fourth state legislature to require “Racial Impact Statements” for legislative analysis on all future pieces of proposed legislation. Click here to read the recap. 

Race In America


Washington Post Live:  An archive of the discussion, Race in America: Dismantling Structural Racism with Opal Tometi.  Click here to go to the web page.

Advancing Racial Equity


Click here for the text of President Biden’s Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.

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THE ENVIRONMENT

Special Presentation: An Inconvenient Truth in a Very Few Words
Tim Truett, now a member of the Unity of Gaithersburg Social Justice Team, has created an original and unique presentation, “An Inconvenient Truth in Very Few Words,” that combines more than a hundred vivid photographs, charts, and other graphics and more than a hundred original haiku to portray the science and politics of climate change in a very few words. Interested readers can click on the link to browse the presentation at their own time and pace. Click here to view the presentation. 

CLIMATE CHANGE
On March 26, the President invited 40 world leaders to participate in the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate,  April 22-23, 2021.
As the U.S. Government reenters the global climate fight, President Biden is convening this summit early in his presidency to ensure close coordination with key players in the international community at the highest levels of government. This summit is aimed at setting the world up for success on multiple fronts as we work to address the climate crisis, including emissions reductions, finance, innovation and job creation, and resilience and adaptation. Click here for more details

Maryland state legislature passes a law that will allow MoCo to purchase electricity in bulk, including renewable electricity such as wind and solar, at a lower price than is generally available to individual users,  and pass that price to residents and businesses, thereby making renewable electricity more affordable. Click here for details. 

The Montgomery County Green Bank has a low-cost home improvement program with no money down and low interest rates to help with:  HVAC and energy efficiency upgrades, Insulation and building envelope sealing. Solar, EV Charging, and Geothermal. 
Click here for more information about this program. To learn more about the Montgomery County Green Bank, click here

Climate Action in Montgomery County
Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection has produced a video series designed to educate residents on how to properly recycle.
Click here for details. 

Montgomery County Climate Action Plan (CAP)
In December, 2020, Montgomery County released a 300 page draft Climate Action Plan (CAP) that included more than 80 recommended climate change mitigation actions across a wide range of domains. Stakeholders and the public submitted hundreds of comments on this plan. On June 23, the county issued the Final CAP, accompanied by a Climate Work Plan for fiscal year 2022, that included dozens of specific actions to be taken in the coming year. The county plans to issue a new work plan each year.
Click here for the Final CAP and click here for the 2022 Climate Work Plan.

Breaking Free from Plastic Pollution Act:  This Act which is currently being considered in Congress would take actions to address the ever increasing crisis in plastic proliferation.  Click here to read an excellent discussion of this topic by Jim McGalliard.

Recycle your used electronics
A lot of electronic items are no longer usable.  For more information on how to recycle your electronics, Click here.   

Recycle your cellphone
This article from Charity Watch details the how, where, and why of recycling your outdated cellphones:  Click Here  

Ways to reduce your carbon footprint
These four handouts provide dozens of simple, practical suggestions for reducing our personal carbon footprints in terms of food, transportation, recycling, and home energy use. Click on the links below to download the pdfs. 
1. Sustainable food practices
2. Transportation        
3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle    
4. Home Energy