Share the Plate Recipients

Share the Plate Update for March and April, 2020

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity and compassion in human relationships”. Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities , nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty percent of the cash and fifty percent of offertory checks written to UCN with the caption “Share the Plate” are donated to a non-profit group that advocates for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation , then approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County is our March recipient for Share the Plate Offerings. Since 1920 the national League of Women Voters has encouraged informed and active participation in government, increased understanding of major public policy issues, and voter registration. The Milwaukee County League also works in partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools and the Milwaukee Election Commission to conduct voter registration and education at all MPS high schools and some suburban schools. Other activities include conducting candidate forums and grassroots advocacy through free public presentations on critical policy issues  such as Fair Voting Maps , Immigration and Criminal Justice Reform. 

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. To do so, please obtain a form from the Social Justice mailbox in the office or contact Jean Woodmansee at jwoodmansee@milwpc.com send a form via email.

February 2020 Share the Plate Update

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity and compassion in human relationships.” Through the Share the Plate program, UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty percent of the cash and fifty percent of offertory checks written to UCN with the caption “Share the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that advocates for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then approved by our Social Justice Committee. 

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the United Negro College Fund is our February recipient for Share the Plate offerings. The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is an American philanthropic organization founded in 1944 which funds scholarships for black students and provides general scholarship funds for 37 private historically black colleges and universities.  

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste”- For more than 7 decades, this principle has remained at the heart of UNCF, enabling us to raise more than $5 billion and help more than 500,00 students and counting not just to attend college, but thrive, graduate and become leaders.We do this in 3 ways: by awarding more than 10,000 students scholarships, worth more than $100 million each year. Also by providing financial support to 37 historically black colleges and universities and by serving as the nation’s leading advocate for the importance of minority education and community engagement.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. To do so, please obtain a form from the Social Justice mailbox in the office or contact Jean Woodmansee at jwoodmansee@milwpc.comto send a form via email.

January 2020 Share the Plate Update

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is our January 2020 recipient for our Share the Plate offerings. UUSC advances human rights and social justice around the world, partnering with those who confront unjust power structures and mobilizing to challenge oppressive policies.

When Unitarian minister Rev. Waitsill and his wife Martha Sharp set sail from the US in February, 1939, to help refugees escape Nazi persecution, they put in motion UUSC’s more than 75 year legacy of advocating for human rights and social justice alongside the most oppressed, exploited and vulnerable members of our human family.

Just weeks after their arrival in Czechoslovakia, the couple watched Hitler’s troops march into Prague. They were shadowed by Gestapo agents. Their offices were ransacked and they had to burn files to protect refugees’ identities. The young couple narrowly escaped arrest themselves by returning home in August.

Inspired by Rev, Waitsill and Martha Sharp’s courageous mission, the Unitarian Services Committee, the precursor to UUSC, was established in 1940 to continue and formalize humanitarian service. For over 75 years, the UUSC has maintained a steadfast presence on the frontlines of social justice around the globe.

Although the UUSC continues to innovate in response to the rapidly changing landscape of human rights advocacy, the core values and vision of a world free from injustice where all can realize their full human rights remain foundational.

Throughout the world, the UUSC and our partners advance human rights, dismantle systems of oppression , and uplift the inherent worth and dignity of all people. The three ways utilized are grass roots partnerships, justice education and leadership development and advocacy and mobilization. An example of advocacy and mobilization are the groups known as Take Action for Immigrant Families with TPS (temporary protection status). More information on the UUSC website.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. To do so, please obtain a form from the Social Justice mailbox in the office or contact Jean Woodmansee at jwoodmansee@milwpc.comto send a form via email.

December 2019 Share the Plate Update

The Social Justice Committee’s choice for Share the Plate for December is Amnesty International Group 139- Wisconsin. The Amnesty International (AI) Organization was established in 1961 by one person from the UK. It is now a global movement of more than 7 million supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries and territories that campaign to end grave abuses of human rights. Referring to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, the mission of AI is for every person to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Declaration. 

One of the activities of AI is to encourage concerned persons to write letters of hope and support to people who find themselves at risk of human rights violations or under threat for speaking out for freedom, justice and equality. This organization was chosen for Share the Plate in December because December 10th is International Human Rights Day.  This year’s campaign is focusing on 10 global cases involving youth.

The Wisconsin AI group is led by Azam Niroomand-Rad and was nominated jointly by Rev. Tony  Larsen and Jean Woodmansee. Tony has been a long time AI member and we were both surprised to learn that Azam is the studious artist in the Thursday Art Oasis group at UCN. 

Petitions to various governments on behalf of young people in jeopardy are available after church services for the month of December. Mark Ludwig will place duplicate copies of the petitions and related case studies in the West Lobby and also in the Fellowship Hall downstairs. 

Share the Plate Update for November, 2019

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity and compassion in human relationships.” Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty percent of the cash and fifty percent of checks written to UCN with the caption”Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a members or friend of the congregation, then approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the Ozaukee County Jail Literacy Project is our November recipient for our Share the Plate offerings. Started in 1992 by Nina Walker, the OCJLP serves inmates over the age of 18 who are incarcerated in the Ozaukee County Jail, who do not have their high school degree and have shown an interest and dedication to furthering their education and self-improvement. Classes are taught by volunteers and the program serves 50 to 60 students per year. All funding comes from individuals and businesses. No tax dollars are utilized for the project.

OCJLP provides educational opportunities to incarcerated adults through compassionate delivery of services and community support in a secular, non-discriminatory educational environment. In addition to high school equivalency diploma completion,  OCJLP volunteer teachers teach basic literacy skills, critical thinking and problem solving skills, goal setting, computer literacy and financial literacy.

The OCJLP provides the individual with personal and employment potential, earning their GED/HSED, and gaining a sense of self-worth and accomplishment. The Project provides the public with lower rates of recidivism.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant socail problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. To do so, please obtain a form from the Social Justice mailbox in the office or contact Jean Woodmansee at jwoodmansee@milwpc.comto send a form via email.

October 2019 Share the Plate 

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty percent of the cash and fifty percent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then approved by our Social Justice Committee.

 

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the Bread for the World Institute is our October recipient for our Share the Plate offerings. Bread for the World Institute provides non-partisan policy analysis on hunger and strategies to end it. The Institute has been educating opinion leaders, policy makers and the public about hunger in the United States and abroad since 1975. 

 

Bread for the World Institute publishes a book-length Hunger Report each year. The 2018 Hunger Report, titled “The Jobs Challenge” outlines recommendations to improve job opportunities and wages. The report offers Congress a menu of policies which would improve job opportunities for low-income workers and argues that improving job opportunities is crucial to overcoming hunger and poverty. 

 

The report’s recommendations include investing in the country’s infrastructure (with a focus on broadband access in rural communities and public transportation in cities); increasing the minimum wage; criminal justice reform that would mean fewer people in prison and more people in the job market; and immigration reform that would allow undocumented immigrants to move into better jobs and contribute more to our economy. 

 

“Wages have been stagnant for decades – meaning that workers are earning less, inequality is rising, and families can’t make ends meet,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Fortunately, Congress can take steps to improve job opportunities. Some of the recommendations in this report already have bipartisan support and could become law in the next Congress.” 

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. To do so, please download the STP nomination form from the Justice/Social Justice page of the website, www.ucnorth.org,  or obtain one from the Social Justice mailbox in the office, nomination form folder.

September 2019 Share the Plate

Anini USA is September’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty percent of the cash and fifty percent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then approved by our Social Justice Committee.

Our September nominee for Share the Plate is Anini USA, suggested by UCN member John Cabaniss. Anini is a Wisconsin non-profit helping Guatemalan orphans and children with special needs.  Anini operates five houses that care for about 64 children with mental and physical handicaps, a school for several hundred local children and medical, dental and eye clinics for about 3000 families.  

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. To do so, contact Jean Woodmansee at jwoodmansee@milwpc.com or 414-839-8883.

 

August 2019 Share the Plate

In August the recipient of Share the Plate offerings will be Neighbors Care.

Neighbors Care serves low-income children by working directly with teachers and social workers in Milwaukee Public Schools to provide clothing, personal hygiene products, school supplies and other vital materials that children need to learn, grow and thrive. UCN member Kas Blain, a volunteer in one of the schools in the program, has nominated Neighbors Care. She is a witness to the needs of the children and the success of the program.

This all-volunteer organization was founded in 2015. Founding members recognized that too often children from low-income families lack the basic materials they need to succeed in school. Increasingly, teachers, aware of the needs, have purchased these items from their own private resources. Neighbors Care organizes networks of friends, neighbors, business and civic organizations to gather these goods – through purchase and donation – for distribution to schools. Currently the network serves six schools and will expand as contributions can support the needs in more schools.

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty percent of the cash and fifty percent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee.

July 2019 Share the Plate

UCN’s share the plate recipient for July is the Ozaukee chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

 

Since 2003, Habitat for Humanity here has constructed 10 new homes in partnership with families in Ozaukee County. The current fundraising goal is $250,000, to construct a 2-family duplex in the county, which will be its first duplex home. Construction is expected to in 2019 when the fundraising goal is met, and two qualified families have been accepted as partners in the project.

 

A house is more than a home. Strong and stable homes help build strong and stable communities.

Supporting the work and community involvement of Habitat for Humanity-Ozaukee helps us live our UU shared goals to nurture “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.” Your generosity is appreciated.

 

June 2019 Share the Plate

The Share the Plate recipient for the month of June is “Moms Demand Action—Wisconsin,” our state’s chapter of the national organization “Everytown for Gun Safety.”

This organization is committed to broadening awareness of gun violence and its lasting impact on American communities. Moms Demand Action members are mothers, families, survivors, students, and physicians—coming together to educate and inform our communities and decision-makers to comprehend and end the gun violence epidemic that kills 100 Americans every day.

UCN’s Coming of Age class nominated this organization for Share the Plate because the one-year anniversary of the Parkland school shooting was in February, and now schools have lockdowns where students sit in the dark and prepare for what would happen if an active shooter was in the school. UCN young adults call upon us to fix the problem instead of reacting to it.

One-half of cash donations and designated checks will be donated to the Wisconsin chapter of Moms Demand Action, in support of ending gun violence. Thank you for your generosity.

May 2019 Share the Plate

The Share the Plate recipient for the month of May is the Immigration & Refugee Services of the Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan. Since 1974, this program has assisted more than 10,000 refugees fleeing from war and persecution by providing comprehensive resettlement services throughout the US.

Lutheran Social Services is a large and experienced health and human services in the US Midwest, providing a wide range of humanitarian services to build healthy communities filled with people using their God-given gifts to serve others. LSS is a non-profit organization affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest and most inclusive Lutheran denomination created by church mergers in 1988.

UCN leader and Social Justice Committee member Brian Monroe is nominating the Immigration & Refugee Services of LSS for this Share the Plate offering. At a recent Interfaith Conference luncheon, he was moved to learn how LSS has helped refugees, after they had left everything behind, to build new lives here in Wisconsin. Today LSS of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan has the capacity to welcome and resettle 500 refugees per year within a 50-mile radius of Milwaukee or Madison.

This Share the Plate nominated non-profit exemplifies our Unitarian Universalist principles of equal justice and compassion in human relationships. Thank you for your generosity.

April 2019 Share the Plate

UCN’s Share the Plate recipient for April is The Peace Learning Center of Milwaukee, whose mission is to teach elementary and middle schoolers, and the adults who work with them, how to manage conflict in non-violent ways. The Center’s workshops are available to elementary and middle school classrooms who request them. The day-long activities help students experience the importance of mutual respect, cooperation, personal accountability, and tolerance. Your donation will help the Peace Learning Center of Milwaukee achieve its goal of reaching more students in more schools than it did last year. Thank you for your generosity.

March 2019 Share the Plate

The Share the Plate recipient for the month of March is the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a global humanitarian relief organization for those displaced by war, persecution, or natural disasters. The IRC works in 40 countries and 27 US cities—currently: helping to alleviate starvation and cholera in Yemen; ensuring that people in Venezuela have the food, medicine, and vital aid they need; and challenging the United States’ “Remain in Mexico” policy that robs asylum seekers of their due process rights to seek asylum.

The IRC is nominated for Share the Plate by UCN member and Social Justice Committee member Carol Pawlak, because of her concern for the refugee crisis. Albert Einstein founded the IRC in 1933, to assist people fleeing Nazi persecution. Eighty-five years later, the IRC continues to identify humanitarian crises, and refugees world-wide continue to need help.

Prepared by Jennifer Wilke, Share the Plate coordin. for the Social Justice Committee. 2/23/2019

February Share the Plate Update

UCN’s Share the Plate recipient for February is the project “Restoring Our Communities—Milwaukee, ”whose goals are to help end mass incarceration in our region, with its often brutal effects on those who are incarcerated, as well as on their families, and their communities. ROC Milwaukee is a priority project of the statewide interfaith organization WISDOM, of which UCN is an active, supporting member from Ozaukee county.

ROC Milwaukee’s goals are to prevent people from going to prison, reform our current prison system, and support the successful return to the community for all who are released from incarceration. The project also seeks to decrease the use of solitary confinement, and end the inequities of our current bail system, which keeps many people incarcerated without formal charges or trial only because they cannot afford to pay their bail. ROC Milwaukee is one of an increase number of organizations throughout the US seeking to alleviate the injustice and damages of our current criminal justice system. Your donation will support this increasing national movement, and benefit many individuals, their families and their communities – including our own. Thank you for your generosity.

January Share the Plate

UCN’s Share the Plate recipient for January is the Milwaukee Justice Center, which uses volunteers working pro bono to assure equal access to the justice system in Milwaukee for low-income, unrepresented litigants.

While Congress has recently made a needed first step toward reforms to our legal justice system, too many citizens are still at risk of being denied legal representation. The Milwaukee Justice Center is an important public service to help alleviate this inequity in our area, through a collaboration of the Milwaukee Bar Association, the Milwaukee County Clerk of Courts, and Marquette University Law School.

In 2016, nearly 400 volunteer interns, law students, and supervising licensed attorneys contributed over 10,000 service hours to the Center to assist individuals in civil cases in Milwaukee who could not afford an attorney and were ineligible for legal aid. That year, 9,800 individuals received the Center’s help with civil issues of family law, parenting, custody, placement and child support, as well as from mobile legal clinics.

The Milwaukee Justice Center has been nominated for Share the Plate this month by UCN member Peter Blain, an attorney who volunteers at the Center, as does member Dennis Milbrath. Your generous support of the Milwaukee Justice Center benefits many.

December Share the Plate Update

UCN’s Share the Plate recipient for December is The Trevor Project, a crisis intervention and suicide prevention online resource for LGBTQ and questioning young people, ages 13 to 24. In addition to a 24/7 hotline and text messaging with trained counselors, the Project provides social networking for youth to share personal stories and connect online with other young people. The Trevor Project also conducts innovative research on the causes and prevention of suicide, offers online learning for middle and high schoolers, and trains professionals who work with youth in gaining “LGBTQ-competent” skills.

The Trevor Project was nominated for Share the Plate by Anna Booth, a member of UCN and the Social Justice Committee, as well as a parent. “Human beings that identify in the LGBT community,” she says, “need a safe place that they can express their whole selves without fear of judgement, especially if in a fragile state of mind like when contemplating suicide.”

Your generous support to The Trevor Project will be especially appreciated in the offertories during December, a month that can be fraught with potentially difficult expectations and emotions for LGBTQ young people.

November Share the Plate

UCN’s Share the Plate recipient for November is the United We Dream Network, a national social media resource to protect, empower, and defend the rights of young undocumented immigrants. The Network empowers leadership skills in its members to petition national and state legislators for passage of a clean DACA policy, to fight for equal access to education for undocumented youth, and to use the Network to share their life experiences and stories with each other, and with the public. The UCN Social Justice Committee thanks you for your generous contributions in the offertory basket on Sundays in November, with 50% benefitting the United We Dream Network.

October Sharing the Plate Update

The October 2018 Share the Plate recipient is Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground, a non-partisan organization that builds coalitions of citizens to address specific community needs. One of Common Ground’s current “Issues Campaign” is to restore the deteriorating outdoor athletic facilities at Sherman Park’s Washington High School in Milwaukee. Our offerings will contribute to Common Ground’s goal of raising $500,000, a portion of the total cost of making the facility a safe place for students to again practice, play, and build life skills.  Each dollar raised by Common Ground’s campaign, including UCN’s contribution, will be matched by Milwaukee Public Schools through December 2018.

Supporting this organization allows UCN members to live our shared goals of furthering community, equity, and respect for the worth and dignity of every person.

September Share the Plate Update

The September 2018 Share the Plate recipient is the Running Rebels Community Organization of Milwaukee, FINCA International, a thriving program to expand the opportunities and successes of city youth. Begun by Victor Barnett in 1980 as an after-school basketball program, Running Rebels now also helps young people navigate the justice system when necessary, find mentors, pursue an education, plan for a desired career, and experience unity and success in their community. Supporting this organization allows UCN to live our shared goals of furthering equity and compassion for all. Our contributions will help Running Rebel complete and operate a second center on Milwaukee’s east side.

August Share the Plate

The August 2018 Share the Plate recipient is FINCA International, a pioneer in micro-loans since 1984. The Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) provides low-income people in rural and remote locations with financing for affordable new technologies like solar energy systems for light and electricity, non-toxic cookstoves, and ceramic water filters. with the money and tools to build assets, businesses, raise their standard of living, and help break the cycle of poverty. Since its founding, FINCA has provided village banking and micro-loans impacting 39 million borrowers and savers, in 20 countries on 5 continents. Supporting this organization allows UCN to live our shared goals of furthering equity and compassion for all.

July Recipient

The Social Justice Committee has selected the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles to receive UCN’s Share the Plate collection during July. Fighting the current crisis caused by the federal government’s previous “zero-tolerance policy,” the Center has filed Freedom of Information Act requests requiring that government agencies release their plans to reunite the 2,000 immigrant children and their parents separated at the Mexican-US border. The Center brings 40 years of experience in ground-breaking litigation and advocacy for DACA, labor and employment rights, discriminatory state laws, and immigration reform.

By donating now to the National Immigration Law Center, UCN members can financially support the urgent, humanitarian fight to remedy the harm done to many immigrant families, and to act on our UU principles. Any UCN member or friend may nominate a non-profit charitable organization for Share the Plate support. To submit a nomination, go to >ucnorth.org >Justice >Social Justice, scroll down to “Share the Plate” and download Nomination Form 2018, and follow the submittal information on the form.

Share the Plate Update for June

“Life After Hate” is the organization selected by the Social Justice Committee to receive our Share the Plate offerings in June. UCN’s Bernie Booth nominated this non-profit because of his concern over “recent shootings and the rise of violence against minorities.” Formed in 2009 and staffed by former white supremacists, this organization is committed to helping former neo-Nazis and extremists transition from a life of hate to a successful and more compassionate life. For more information, see www.lifeafterhate.org.

From January through April of 2018, UCN’s Share the Plate program has contributed a total of $3,226 to non-profits that provide services for mental health, women’s reproductive health, homeless veterans, and families and individuals with autism. Any UCN member or friend may nominate a non-profit charitable organization for Share the Plate support. To submit a nomination, go to >ucnorth.org >Justice >Social Justice, scroll down to “Share the Plate” and download Nomination Form 2018. Complete the form and attach to an email to Share the Plate coordinator Jennifer Wilke at jenniferwilke@comcast.net. The Social Justice Committee puts priority on nominations from UCN members and friends.

Share the Plate for May

The Social Justice Committee has selected Literacy Services of Wisconsin as UCN’s Share the Plate recipient for May. This organization provides English language learning, adult basic education, GED preparation, computer literacy, and employment preparation to people in Milwaukee, including areas with the highest poverty rate in the state.

This organization was nominated to the Social Justice Committee by UCN member Peter Blain, who is a volunteer literacy tutor. Any UCN member or friend may nominate a non-profit charitable organization for Share the Plate support. To submit a nomination, go to >ucnorth.org >Justice >Social Justice, scroll down to “Share the Plate” and download Nomination Form 2018. Complete the form and attach to an email to Share the Plate coordinator Jennifer Wilke at jenniferwilke@comcast.net. The Social Justice Committee will consider your nomination at its next monthly meeting (2nd Sundays).

Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin is UCN’s Share the Plate recipient for April

The Social Justice Committee has selected the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin as UCN’s Share the Plate recipient for April. This organization’s goals are in keeping with UU principles of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships,” by supporting the 1 in 68 individuals and families affected by autism, and by educating the public to improve understanding and community inclusion of individuals with autism.

This organization was nominated to the Social Justice Committee by UCN member Jenny Goetz, whose 10-year-old daughter Robyn and their family have benefited from the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin’s support. Any UCN member or friend may nominate a non-profit charitable organization for Share the Plate support. To submit a nomination, go to >ucnorth.org >Justice >Social Justice, scroll down to “Share the Plate” and download Nomination Form 2018. Complete the form and attach to an email to Share the Plate coordinator Jennifer Wilke at jenniferwilke@comcast.net. The Social Justice Committee will consider your nomination at its next monthly meeting (2nd Sundays).

Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative is March’s Share the Plate Recipient

The Social Justice Committee has selected the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative (MHVI) as UCN’s Share the Plate recipient during March. This volunteer organization was established in 2006 to identify homeless veterans, help them find stable housing, acquire furnishings, emergency food, and other necessities for living independently. For exercise and transportation, formerly homeless veterans also receive a bicycle. MHVI does not duplicate existing services, but works collaboratively with veterans’ social service agencies, also soliciting contributions from businesses, foundations (including the Green Bay Packers Foundation), and individuals to provide help not otherwise available to meet the practical needs of transitioning from homelessness to independent living.

Please also consider offering additional support to any Share the Plate selected organization that is of special importance to you. Several UCN members in past months have matched the amount raised by a month’s congregational offerings; for details contact any member of the Social Justice Committee, or contact Share the Plate coordinator Jennifer Wilke at jenniferwilke@comcastnet for more information.

Any UCN member may also nominate an organization for the Share the Plate program. A nomination form is available on UCN’s website, under the Justice tab. To submit a nomination for or obtain more information about doing so, also contact Jennifer at the above email.

Planned Parenthood is February’s Share the Plate Recipient

The Social Justice Committee has selected Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Inc. as UCN’s Share the Plate recipient during February. This Wisconsin chapter of the well-known national organization has 21 health centers serving over 60,000 people every year in our state. At the state as well as national level, Planned Parenthood offers patient services, education, and advocacy to empower all individuals to manage their sexual and reproductive health.

In these challenging times, the Social Justice Committee recommends contributions to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin as one way to act on our UU principles of supporting and promoting equal protections and affordable health services to all who seek them, regardless of income, race, gender, or sexual identity.

Please also consider offering special support to any Share the Plate selected organization that is of special importance to you. Several UCN members in past months have matched the amount that has been raised by a month’s congregational offerings; for details contact any member of the Social Justice Committee, or contact Share the Plate coordinator Jennifer Wilke at jennferwilke@comcast.net for more information.

Any UCN member may also nominate an organization for the Share the Plate program. A nomination form is available on UCN’s website, under the Justice tab. To submit a nomination for or obtain more information about doing so, also contact Jennifer at the above email.

COPE Services is January’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty percent of the cash and fifty percent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Share the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues.

January’s recipient is COPE Services of Grafton, Wisconsin. COPE provides emotional support and crisis intervention services to those in need in Ozaukee County, the Greater Milwaukee Area and beyond, through our 24-hour helpline, a website, a chat line, and distribution of education materials and programs. They also provide outreach programs aimed at educating people about mental illness, reducing the stigma and offering hope to those who suffer. COPE is funded by Ozaukee County, United Way of Northern Ozaukee, United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha, and through fundraising events, grants and individual contributions.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. For more information about Share the Plate go to the ‘Share’ button on our website.
Mark Bruhy, December 2017

 

Diverse and Resilient (D&R) is December’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty per cent of the cash and fifty per cent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Share the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that ‘Diverse and Resilient’ (D&R) is our December recipient of Share the Plate offerings. Based in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood, D&R serves the LGBTQ community throughout the state of Wisconsin. D&R defines its long-term objective as “eliminating health disparities between LGBTQ people and the general population, as measured by commonly accepted indicators of physical and mental health” and improving the general safety and well-being of Wisconsin’s LGBTQ community. D&R’s work encompasses four areas: Mental Health, Sexual Health, Partner & Community Violence, and Substance Use. D&R’s staff of over 20 individuals also works to educate the wider Wisconsin population to boost acceptance of the LGBTQ community and to build leadership skills and confidence among LGBTQ people statewide.

D&R’s services support LGBTQ people across Wisconsin with its various health and wellness programs. D&R also consults with employers, agencies, school districts and other groups to combat anti-LGBTQ discrimination, including: ally/acceptance workshops, curriculum reviews, heterosexism and cisgenderism trainings, workplace inclusivity programs, and community readiness Assessments. Our UCN congregant who nominated D&R stated the impact of D&R so well –

On a personal level, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with D&R and volunteer with the organization through my current employer. I’ve been impressed with the leadership and staff of D&R and its sincere commitment to advancing the health and wellbeing of Wisconsin’s LGBTQ community through direct service to LGBTQ individuals and through its partnerships with local businesses, schools and agencies to create programs that fight anti-LGBTQ discrimination. On a wider scale, while many landmark achievements have helped advance the LGBTQ community (e.g., marriage equality) in recent years, the community still combats many challenges. On a political level, many anti-LGBTQ legislative efforts like “Bathroom Bills” and “Religious Freedom Bills” are aimed squarely at limiting progress. On a cultural level, Wisconsin lags behind in LGBTQ acceptance in many ways. For example, the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Municipal Equality Rankings show that many large Wisconsin cities score poorly in efforts to protect the legal rights and physical safety of LGBTQ citizens: Green Bay scored 40 out of 100; Kenosha 37; Racine 28; and Oshkosh 21. D&R is active not just in the more accepting communities of Madison and Milwaukee, but also in Green Bay, Kenosha, Racine, Oshkosh, and beyond.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. For more information about Share the Plate please go to the ‘Share’ button on our website or contact Mark Bruhy at markbruhy@gmail.com.

Submitted by Mark Bruhy, Social Justice Committee

Innocence Project is November’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty percent of the cash and fifty percent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Share the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the ‘Innocence Project’ is our November recipient of Share the Plate offerings. The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist prisoners who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. To date, 289 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 17 who served time on death row. These people served an average of 13 years in prison before exoneration and release. In addition to their co-directors and a managing attorney, the Innocence Project has six full-time staff attorneys and nearly 300 active cases. Every year, more than 3,000 people write to them asking for help, and at any given time they evaluate between 6,000 and 8,000 potential cases.

The Innocence Project’s full-time staff attorneys and Cardozo clinic students provide direct representation or critical assistance in most of these cases. The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is nothing less than to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment. The Innocence Project staff gathers extensive information about each case they review through applications. Their intake and evaluation staff then researches each potential case thoroughly, sharing findings with their legal staff. Together, the combined teams ultimately determine whether DNA testing can be conducted, and if so, whether favorable results can prove innocence.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. For more information about Share the Plate please go to the ‘Share’ button on our website or contact Mark Bruhy at markbruhy@gmail.com.

Submitted by Mark Bruhy, Social Justice Committee

 

America’s Black Holocaust Museum is October’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.” Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty percent of the cash and fifty percent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that our October recipient of Share the Plate offerings is America’s Black Holocaust Museum. The mission of the Museum is to build public awareness of the harmful legacies of slavery in America, to promote racial repair, reconciliation, and healing. They envision a society that remembers its past in order to shape a better future – a nation undivided by race where every person matters equally. America’s Black Holocaust Museum was started in a Milwaukee storefront in 1994 by Dr. James Cameron, who was the survivor of a 1930 lynching, at age 16, in Marion, Indiana. It moved to a more permanent structure in 1998, but due to financial hardships in 2008, the Museum was closed. It re-opened as an internationally-viewed virtual museum in 2012. Groundbreaking for a new building occurred in 2017 and the Museum will open in the spring of 2018.

The virtual museum will be kept as part of the new Museum and will be used interactively with the physical materials. There have been 3.4 million visitors to the site, from 200 countries and will offer many historical accounts, (some, otherwise, rarely seen) photographs, personal stories and artifacts. Schools, churches, foundations, businesses, and the general public are welcome to tour the facility and learn from its various programs.

The new Museum, when finished, will be located at 4th and North Avenue, in Milwaukee, a location that will provide greater visibility and ease of access for visitors than its previous location. America’s Black Holocaust Museum is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, with funding by individual and foundation donations, the Wisconsin Humanities Council, and through earned revenue.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. For more information about Share the Plate please go to the ‘Share’ button on our website or contact Mark Bruhy at markbruhy@gmail.com.

Submitted by Mark Bruhy, Social Justice Committee.

Islands of Brilliance is September’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty per cent of the cash and fifty per cent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that ‘Islands of Brilliance’ (IOB) is the September recipient of our Share the Plate offerings. Having begun in Milwaukee in 2011, and now with chapters in Minneapolis and Chicago, IOB is a learning experience developed specifically for children and young adults on the autism spectrum (Autism Disorder Spectrum). Approximately 90 percent of adults in the United States who are on the Autism Spectrum are not employed due to their disability. Of significant concern, one in 68 U.S. children has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and even more alarming, this is a 30 percent increase over just two years ago. Those afflicted are not allowed equal opportunity to work or achieve a better life. IOB is directed at allowing those children and young adults affected to grow their intrinsic capabilities and communication skills, and by doing so IOB is addressing a significant social justice issue, one worthy of UCN’s support.

IOB utilizes project-based learning with a focus on which allows students to grow their intrinsic capabilities and practice communication, increasing their likelihood of independence as adults. IOB design workshops create a space for students to explore creativity through the use of technology, during which they learn technical skills and grow confidence in critical social and peer-to-peer interactions. Students are matched one-to-one with mentors—design field professionals—which not only changes public perception of this disability, it also paves the way for future higher education and employment opportunities. An experienced, licensed special education teacher, with paraprofessional support, oversees all workshops. IOB has 501(c)(3) not for profit status, and is funded primarily through charitable donations, corporate sponsors, and fees for workshop participation.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. For more information about Share the Plate please go to the ‘Share’ button on our website or contact Mark Bruhy at markbruhy@gmail.com.

Submitted by Mark Bruhy, Social Justice Committee

The Benedict Center is August’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.” Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty per cent of the cash and fifty per cent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the Benedict Center of Milwaukee is our August Share the Plate recipient. Incorporated as a nonprofit in 1974, the following year they became the Benedict Center for Criminal Justice, and they persist to today as the Benedict Center. With the inception of UCN’s ‘Share the Plate’ program, they became UCN’s first recipient of offertory donations in September 2008 – they have not been a Share the Plate recipient since that time. The Benedict Center is an interfaith nonprofit agency working with victims, offenders and the community to achieve a system of criminal justice that is fair and treats every person involved with dignity and respect. At the Benedict Center, there are many ways for every person who champions human potential, human dignity, and human rights to make a personal difference. The Benedict Center is a place where a passion for justice runs deep, underscoring their belief that change is always possible and transformation a reality

The Benedict Center receives its funding primarily from grants from foundations and charitable donations, and no one in need of their services is turned away. The Benedict Center provides community-based substance abuse and mental health treatment, education and support to justice involved women so they can live safer and healthier lives for themselves, their children and our community through the following programs:

  • Women’s Harm Reduction ProgramServices include mental health and substance abuse treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, and groups to address trauma.  They also offer adult education, parenting and employment classes and support in a community based location.  They also operate a women’s re-entry program at the Milwaukee County House of Correction.
  • Sisters ProgramA street outreach, case management and skill building program for women in prostitution and or/sex trafficking. The program is an innovative community-police partnership and is gaining recognition as a more effective way to improve the health and safety of women and communities.
  • Justice Advocacy:  With national recognition, the Benedict Center advocates for the use of best practice and cost-effective policies to ensure fair treatment for women involved in the justice system. Their current advocacy focus is to create a citywide prostitution diversion policy and services for women in street prostitution.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. For more information about Share the Plate go to the ‘Share’ button on our website.

Submitted by Mark Bruhy, Social Justice Committee

 

The Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee is July’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.” Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty per cent of the cash and fifty per cent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Share the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that our July recipient of Share the Plate offerings is the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee. Founded in 1916 to provide assistance to the needy, the Legal Society helps low income residents of Milwaukee County with Landlord/Tenant issues, Social Security problems, consumer law issues, foreclosures, civil rights violations, Chapter 7 bankruptcies, tax disputes, and mental health care questions.

The Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations, staffed by attorneys and other legal professionals who provide pro bono services to the poor. Administrative funding comes from charitable donations. There is no ethnic, racial or gender exclusions to those who are assisted by the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, however, their services are provided exclusively to low income individuals who do not have the means to pay for legal services.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. For more information about Share the Plate please go to the ‘Share’ button on our website or contact Mark Bruhy at markbruhy@gmail.com.

Submitted by Mark Bruhy, Social Justice Committee

 

Urban Ecology Center is June’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.” Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty percent of the cash and fifty percent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that our June recipient of Share the Plate offerings is the Urban Ecology Center of the Milwaukee area. They were nominated by our Coming of Age class – the class includes Ariel Bartelt, Gwen Costello, Grace Gasser, Rebecca Helmstetter and Aaron Muellenbach.

The Coming of Age class nominated the Urban Ecology Center because their mission addresses two of the causes they are especially concerned with: the environment and urban poverty. The Center’s Neighborhood Environmental Education Project serves kids in 60 urban Milwaukee schools each year. The program gives kids opportunities to explore nature, to learn about the plants and animals that share our planet, and to play in Lake Michigan and in rivers and woods and meadows. These connections with the environment will create lasting memories and respect for our interdependent web of life. This summer, our Coming of Age class is planning to do a volunteer project at the Urban Ecology Center.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. For more information about Share the Plate please go to the ‘Share’ button on our website or contact Mark Bruhy at markbruhy@gmail.com.

Submitted by Mark Bruhy, Social Justice Committee

Great Lakes Search and Rescue Canine, Inc.is May’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty per cent of the cash and fifty per cent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Share the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that Great Lakes Search and Rescue Canine, Inc. (GLSRC), is this month’s recipient of Share the Plate offerings. GLSARC is a non-profit, volunteer organization providing specialty trained dogs to assist law enforcement agencies in locating missing person, drowning victims, evidence recovery and natural disasters. All of the team’s operating costs are raised through grants, donations and fund-raising events. GLSRC volunteers are dedicated to assist wherever they are asked to go. Many of the searches they have participated in were in Ozaukee County. They take their job very seriously and have certifications from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security: Search and Rescue K-9 Training Program; North American Police Work Dog Association Workshops and Certification Testing; National Search Dog Alliance: seminars and certification testing; Law Enforcement Training Specialists, Inc., and they perform annual team evaluations. The Social Justice Committee agreed that GLSRC addresses humanitarian and social justice issues by providing services to individuals in dire need, no matter whom they are or where they find themselves in peril. Further, they augment police and fire departments rescue efforts making successful rescue outcomes more likely.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. For more information about Share the Plate, or to receive a nomination form, contact Mark Bruhy at 262-339-2202 or markbruhy@gmail.com  UCN’s new website will soon be launched and with it there will be an online link to the nomination form.

Submitted by Mark Bruhy, Social Justice Committee

 

Southern Poverty Law Center is April’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty per cent of the cash and fifty per cent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the Southern Poverty Law Center is the April recipient of our Share the Plate donation. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is the premier U.S. non-profit organization monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists – including the Ku Klux Klan, the neo-Nazi movement, neo-Confederatesracist skinheadsblack separatistsanti-government militiasChristian Identity adherents and others. The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to advocate for the most vulnerable members of our society.

The SPLC monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the U.S. and exposes their activities to the public and law enforcement. They publish investigative reports, train law enforcement officers and share key intelligence, and offer expert analysis to the media and public. Services are provided to those affected by the actions of hate groups, and no one is denied the services they offer.

The SPLC is funded primarily by donations, and they receive no government funding. In 2015, 68 percent of their funds went directly to their programs. A current report is available at their website. The SPLC has received a three-star rating (out of four) from ‘Charity Navigator.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient.

Submitted by Mark Bruhy, Social Justice Committee

 

Romero Institute is March’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty per cent of the cash and fifty per cent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation then approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the Romero Institute is the March recipient of our Share the Plate offerings. The Romero Institute is an interfaith, nonprofit law and policy center based in Santa Cruz, California. They are a team of attorneys, organizers, and researchers.  Their mission is to advocate for the poor and oppressed by defending their rights through public education, grassroots organizing, leadership development, research, investigation, litigation, and public policy formulation. They are a 501(c)(3) organization funded by donations and by the proceeds of sales from their online shop which sells books, t-shirts and other items related to the causes they support.

Led by the former directors of the well-known law and policy center of the 1980s and 90s, the Christic Institute, the Romero Institute brings an uncompromising commitment to truth and social justice. In determining which projects to support, they look for cases where injustice is severe and systemic; where the victims lack the financial resources to secure help from others; and where the goals for change will impact large numbers of people on a local, state, national or global level. They embrace projects that ignite new ways of thinking and seeing—that touch the deeper knowing in people and promote a consciousness based on cooperation and unity rather than divisiveness and conflict. One of their current projects is the Lakota Peoples Law Project.

Their work with the Lakota began in 2005 when Romero Institute staff went to the Great Plains to meet with tribal members. They were told of a long history of treaty violations, military defeats, and systemic corruption that has resulted in the loss of their most sacred lands. The Lakota People’s Law Project was born from these discussions. Since opening an office in South Dakota in 2006, the Romero Institute has pursued the Lakota Child Rescue Project, working with tribal councils, federal agencies, and other nonprofits to pressure South Dakota’s Department of Social Services to respect tribal rights and traditions—to keep Lakota families and communities intact. Importantly, they are supporting Sacred Stone Camp, operated by the Standing Rock Sioux, in their resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. To do so, contact Mark Bruhy at markbruhy@gmail.com or 262-339-2202.

 

February’s Share the Plate Recipient is 4 Paws for Ability, Inc.

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.” Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty per cent of the cash and fifty per cent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that ‘4 Paws for Ability’ is our February Share the Plate recipient. Its mission is to:

  • Provide as many children as possible with access to a qualified service dog trained specifically for their needs, with no minimum age, and regardless of the severity of the disability.
  • To be the preferred provider of service dogs for disabled veterans.
  • To educate the public regarding use of service dogs in public places.

Though national in scope its services have benefited local families here in the southeastern Wisconsin area – the continued need for service dogs locally and nationally is significant. ‘4 Paws for Ability’ is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that organizes and facilitates the placement of quality service dogs. As an organization ‘4 Paws for Ability’ has a long record of enriching the lives of children with disabilities by the training and placement of quality, task-trained service dogs to provide increased independence for the children and assistance to their families. Further, it services have enriched the lives of veterans from recent conflicts who have lost the use of their limbs or their hearing while in active combat.

‘4 Paws for Ability’ operates entirely through charitable donations and community-based fundraisers, one of which was recently held in Ozaukee County. Its operations are dependent on a large corps of volunteers who assist in all areas of the day-to-day operations of the organization.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. 

Submitted by Mark Bruhy, Social Justice Committee

January’s Share the Plate Recipient is the Unitarian Universalist Association United Nations Office

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty percent of the cash and fifty percent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Share the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) is our January Share the Plate recipient. The UU-UNO is operated through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the central organization for the UU religious movement representing over 1,000 member congregations. The important work that UU-UNO does is funded by the UUA, though additional donations made directly to the UU-UNO are critical for its operations.

The nomination of UU-UNO is particularly timely because its director, Bruce Knotts, will be presenting our Sunday service on March 5th. We are honored that he will be sharing the important work UU-UNO does with our congregation.

From involvement in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to leading the faith caucus to establish the International Criminal Court, to overcoming UN apathy about sexual orientation and gender identity issues, the UU-UNO has a long history of providing strong leadership in all aspects of human rights at a policy level through UN consultative status.

The UU-UNO advocates for social justice in numerous ways:

  • Its “Every Child is Our Child” program provides educational support and healthcare access to children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDs in Ghana.
  • It is committed to advancing equal rights for all humans regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI), its LGBTQ/SOGI Human Rights program brings LGBTQ human rights to the forefront of the UN agenda.
  • By focusing on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, UU-UNO’s Women’s Initiative program supports strong voices and stronger actions, with particular emphasis on the global ratification/implementation of an international bill of rights for women known as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
  • Bolstering the UU climate change movement through advocacy and educational resources, UU-UNO’s Climate Justice Initiative program collaborates with like-minded organizations at the UN, calling for global action in the name of a sustainable future for all.
  • Bringing the United States’ Movement for Black Lives to a global stage, UU-UNO’s Racial Justice Initiative coordinates events and initiates dialogue to fight against anti-black racism on an international level.

UU-UNO is funded by the Unitarian Universalist Association, i.e., funding it receives from member congregations and additional donations made directly to the UU-UNO.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. To do so, contact Mark Bruhy at markbruhy@gmail.com or 262-339-2202.

December’s Share the Plate Recipient is United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.” Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty per cent of the cash and fifty per cent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) is our December recipient. The UMDF’s mission is to promote research and education for the diagnosis, treatment and cure of mitochondrial disease, and to provide support for affected individuals and their families.

Mitochondrial disease results from failure of the mitochondria, specialized cells present in every cell of the body except red blood cells. Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90 percent of the energy needed to sustain life and support growth. When cells fail, systems of a affected person fail and lead to serious debilitation and death. While Mitochondrial Disease is somewhat rare, recent research reveals that at least one in every 6,000 people suffer from some form of this disease. While the severity of the disease varies, many of those afflicted have lived a normal life their disease well managed. It is hoped that the research that is being conducted by UMDF will allow more and more of those afflicted to live normally.

UMDF is primarily a research-based organization and they disseminate the results of their research to research institutions that treat those affected. Further, they hold symposiums for victims and affected families that provide information about recent advancements, and guide those afflicted to treatment facilities. UMDF is funded by donations, fundraisers and grants. No group or individuals are excluded from the services that UMDF provides.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. For more information about Share the Plate go to the ‘Share’ button on our website.

Submitted by Mark Bruhy, Social Justice Committee

November’s Share the Plate Recipient is Mukuru Promotion Center, Nairobi, Kenya

During the month of November, UCN’s Share-the-Plate outreach will benefit Mukuru Promotion Center (MPC) of Nairobi, Kenya.  Overseen by the Sisters of Mercy, MPC ministers to a growing slum population by providing:

  •         primary and secondary education,
  •         a rehabilitation center for street boys
  •         vocational skills training,
  •         a community-based health center that includes AIDS testing, and
  •         a scholarship program for more than 200 children

Education is near and dear to the Sisters of Mercy who oversee MPC. Nothing gives a child the hope, potential, and pride as being able to attend school. UCN knows this already through the academic sponsorship of Veronica who attended primary school in a neighboring slum settlement. It was during the 1990’s that member John Hoff met Sr. Mary Killeen while touring the Nairobi slums with a Maryknoll Missionary.  Sr. Mary is MPC’s director.

As a result of this meeting, John and a friend funded and physically built St. Catherine’s Primary School in Nairobi for Sr. Mary Killeen during the early 1990’s.  Rebuilt as a permanent structure in 2013, it is now one of four primary schools operated by MPC that serves about 5,000 students.   “All the children served are poor and about a third are destitute,” says Sr. Mary. “They are also served by our social workers and by the MPC clinic.”

In addition to education, MPC operates a rehabilitation center for up to 60 street boys. These children, often orphans by AIDS and living on the streets, receive care, love, education, and when needed discipline.  With generous ongoing European support, MPC also provides a community-based medical clinic that includes an AIDS testing unit.    

Mukuru Promotion Center also offers vocational skills training to graduating students, especially young women.  Resident students are assisted in applying their education in a practical way that can help support themselves and their families.  Skills training might include creating arts and crafts, selling products, tailoring, barbering, social work, and the like. Young women in Kenya are often without power, rights and a means of support.  Educated women with a means of supporting themselves not only thrive but are empowered to create cultural change that is direly needed.

Lastly, MPC provides a scholarship program for about 200 children who are unable to afford school fees for secondary and university education. Many of the children from the slums are very intelligent and worthy of further study to help themselves, their families, and their country.  Without scholarship money, this just won’t happen for these kids.

“You will not meet a better example of a living saint today than Sr. Mary Killeen,” says member John Hoff.  She works tirelessly advocating and caring for those living in Nairobi’s slums and working to break the cycle of poverty.  The work is difficult, the funding often inadequate, and positive change can be slow. But the MPC staff is dedicated, their results are tangible, and many slum residents are helped and given hope.  John will match all Share-the-Plate gifts during the month of November.

For more information about Mukuru Promotion Center, click here.

WATERisLIFE is October’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty per cent of the cash and fifty per cent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Share the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the organization WATERisLIFE is our October Share the Plate recipient. We are particularly pleased to support to this nomination since UCN’s Children’s RE program, during the month of September, had as their curriculum the importance of clean water both locally and globally. Our RE kids and staff sought to extend this learning experience into social action, and they felt that supporting WATERisLIFE is an effective way of doing so.

WATERisLIFE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, its funding going directly to provide sustainable clean water solutions, sanitation programs and hygiene education. With a global focus, WATERisLIFE was organized in face of the growing global water crisis, and it has a successful record of addressing its goals, demonstrating to its donors and supporters how lives are being changed through its programs. Recipients of WATERisLIFE efforts include communities and schools in developing countries in desperate need of clean drinking water and effective sanitation systems. To more effectively achieve its goals, WATERisLIFE partners with other not for profit organizations, local governments and community organizations to help address the devastating effects of unclean water and poor sanitation.

WATERisLife currently is working in Haiti, Africa, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and South America. In working with communities throughout these far-ranging countries and continents that face water-related crises, WATERisLIFE workers provides temporary, life-saving water filtration straws, and in doing so begin to address the tragic effects of unclean water and the threat of water-borne diseases associated with unclean water supplies. This filtration product is called “The Straw,” and it immediately provides clean drinking water when immersed in a water source. This innovative device, which lasts up to a year, removes water-borne diseases. WATERisLife workers then join with communities, schools, orphanages and medical facilities to systematically address long-term solutions to the lack of clean water and proper sanitation systems. As they have demonstrated through their efforts, sustained access to clean water and effective sanitation systems reduce serious sickness by almost a third. In the long term scope, the nonprofit teaches sanitation and hygiene education, as well as researches and implements sustainable long lasting clean water solutions that are tailored to each community, and monitored to ensure the longevity of clean water sources.

 

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. To do so, contact Mark Bruhy at markbruhy@gmail.com or 262-339-2202.

League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County is September’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty percent of the cash and fifty percent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then approved by our Social Justice Committee.

 

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County (League) is our September recipient of our Share the Plate offerings. The League, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The League was formed in 1920, when the 19th Amendment was passed, giving women the right to vote. Despite its name, the League has men as members; it kept the original name in honor of the organization’s founders. Its informational programs on public policy issues are open to the public and are typically done in collaboration with many community organizations. League voter registration efforts target those populations that are under-represented at the polls.

 

The League’s goal is to empower citizens to shape better communities. As a nonpartisan organization, the League never supports or opposes any political party or candidate. For 95 years the League’s national organization has prodded the nation to fulfill its promise of making democracy work for all. To that end, local Leagues, like the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County, work to educate voters on important issues and on the laws governing voting. The League has two distinct roles: Voter Services and Issue Advocacy:

Voters Services: The League presents unbiased nonpartisan information about elections and the voting process. This includes registering people to vote. The League is present at each Naturalization Ceremony at the federal courthouse (typically four a month). At each ceremony, generally 60-70 people from around 30 countries take the oath of citizenship, and the presiding judge introduces the League. After the ceremony, League members are on hand to register them to vote. The League also registers new voters at area high schools and colleges, the House of Corrections, as well as at community events and other targeted voter registration drives.

Action/Advocacy: The League studies public policy issues and develops position statements that are used to advocate for or against particular policies in the public interest. Examples of recent topics of League-hosted presentations, which are free and open to the public, are: Human Trafficking in Milwaukee; The Emerging Electorate; Money in Politics;  Matters of Race; US Infrastructure & Economy; Risks of Oil Trains Moving Through Milwaukee; Redistricting. In addition, the LWV conducts candidate forums to educate voters.

Regarding funding, the League is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation. It is a totally volunteer organization, that is, the Milwaukee League’s only paid staff is an administrative assistant that works 10 hours per week. League volunteers, working with volunteers from its partner organizations, make everything the League does possible. The League’s voter service and citizen education activities are funded by the League of Women Voters Education Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) corporation, a nonprofit educational organization. No individual or groups are excluded from membership.

The power of an informed citizenry and the power of the vote is the power to shift societal priorities in ways that reflect our UU principles to promote: justice, equity and compassion in human relations; the use of the democratic process, the inherent worth and dignity of every person; and the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. The League has strong and clear ties to Unitarian Universalism – Unitarian Susan B. Anthony worked for decades for the women’s suffrage amendment, and one of our UU principles is the commitment to the democratic process, and further, UUA President Peter Morales has stressed the importance of voting rights, saying, “… to suppress a human being’s ability to vote is a direct attack on that person’s worth and dignity.”
All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. To do so, contact Mark Bruhy at markbruhy@gmail.com or 262-339-2202.

COPE is August’s Share the Plate Recipient

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.”  Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty per cent of the cash and fifty per cent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that COPE, of Grafton, Wisconsin, is the August ‘Share the Plate’ recipient. COPE provides emotional support and crisis intervention to Ozaukee County and the Greater Milwaukee Area. This mission is accomplished by the maintenance of a 24 hour telephone helpline, a website, a chat line, and development of education materials and programs. COPE also provides outreach programs aimed at educating people about mental illness, reducing the stigma and offering hope to those who suffer.

COPE is funded by Ozaukee County, United Way of Northern Ozaukee, United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha, through fundraising events, grants and individual contributions. No one is excluded from the services that COPE offers.

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. For more information about Share the Plate, or to receive a nomination form, contact Mark Bruhy at 262-339-2202 or markbruhy@gmail.com  UCN’s new website will soon be launched and with it there will be an online link to the nomination form.

Submitted by Mark Bruhy, Social Justice Committee

 

June’s Share the Plate Recipient is COA Youth and Family Centers

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.” Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty per cent of the cash and fifty per cent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation, then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee. The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that COA Youth and Family Centers (COA) is the recipient of June’s Share the Plate offerings, and Casa Hogar ALFA is July’s recipient.

COA was founded in 1906 as the Children’s Outing Association by a socially conscious and committed group of Jewish women who sought to provide families in poverty the means to achieve self-sufficiency and raise healthy, productive, successful children. Following the framework of Jane Addams’ Hull House in Chicago, these women established Milwaukee’s first Settlement House and through this holistic model of community service they provided an array of resources for families. Today, as in the past, COA helps Milwaukee children, teens and families reach their greatest potential through a continuum of educational, recreational and social work programs offered through its urban community centers and rural camp facility. As a multicultural agency, COA values diversity and promotes positive social interaction.

COA’s holistic mission of serving children, strengthening families, and building community relies on funding support from individual community members and organizations, corporations, as well as vital grants from the City of Milwaukee, foundations, and aggregated campaigns such as United Way. COA’s core focus areas are Early Child Development, Youth Development, and Community Development. COA’s family-centered philosophy reflects its understanding of the complex nature of the challenges faced by low-income children and families. COA believes parents’ ability to support and directly engage in their child’s learning and development outside of COA’s walls is vital to the impact of programming. No groups or individuals are excluded from receiving COA’s services.

July’s Recipient is Casa Hogar ALFA

Casa Hogar ALFA is an orphanage located in the city of Huajuapan de Leon, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The city’s poverty rate is high and as a result, there are many children whose families cannot provide for them. The mission of Casa Hogar ALFA is to provide shelter, food and a loving environment for children abandoned, or whose families cannot care for them. Casa Hogar ALFA provides a safe and loving environment for abused children in the area. It began with donated land, and with monetary donations and volunteer services an orphanage was constructed that now houses up to 50 children. In addition, the facility has a workshop and sewing room.

 

Casa Hogar ALFA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization under Dtour Ministries, which administers the receipt of donations and the distribution of tax deductible receipts to donors. Casa Hogar ALFA operates on donations and fund-raising events that take place in Wisconsin, and the entirety of those donations go directly to the operation of the orphanage, i.e., the daily needs of the children, and the construction of more dorms and facilities. Casa Hogar ALFA takes groups down to Huajuapan de Leon, many from the West Bend area, to help with construction needs. What started when Freddie and Berta Cruz took neglected children into their home has grown with donated land and volunteer labor to build the orphanage. Money is raised for operating costs by fund raising events here in Wisconsin. No children in need are excluded, and Casa Hogar ALFA is one of the few orphanages in the area that takes in children with special needs.

 

All of us are aware of non-profit organizations that are doing important work in addressing the significant social problems we face here in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider nominating an organization that you feel is a worthy recipient. For more information about Share the Plate, or to receive a nomination form, contact Mark Bruhy at 262-339-2202 or markbruhy@gmail.com  UCN’s new website will soon be launched and with it there will be an online link to the nomination form.

 

Submitted by Mark Bruhy, Social Justice Committee