Continuing the Fight for Racial Justice and Civil Rights!
As part of United Methodist Women’s ongoing work for racial justice and to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, we are encouraging members, units, districts, conferences, the wider church and all people of conscience to continue the legacy of the marchers to agitate for racial justice in their communities, homes and lives.
United Methodist Women’s Social Principles affirm: “The Charter for Racial Justice, first adopted in the 1980 General Conference, calls us to challenge systems that institutionalize racism and cause unequal outcomes regardless of intent. We call on the church to actively work to dismantle these systems of white privilege and institutional racism.” The tools below are meant to help us continue in our efforts to educate, agitate and organize for racial justice.
Educate Yourself and Others
Re-read or start a reading group to delve into the racial justice themes of the 2013 and/or 2014 books from the UMW Reading Program. All books can be purchased at the UMW e-store: new.gbgm-umc.org/umw/programs/readingprogram/buy or call 1-800-305-9857.
Suggestions from the 2013 Book List
- Radical Welcome: Embracing God, the Other and the Spirit of Transformation, by Stephanie Spellers (Church Publishing, 2006)
- Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite, by Bruce E. Levine (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2011)
- Full 2013 Book List: new.gbgm-umc.org/umw/media/pdf/readingprogramcatalog2013.pdf
Suggestions from the 2014 Book List
- Growing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam, by Sumbul Ali-Karamali (Ember, 2013)
- Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, by Time Wise (City Light Books, 2012)
- Full 2014 Book List: www.umwmissionresources.org/t/categories/reading-program/2014-reading-program
Agitate for Just and Humane Immigration Reform
Send your Congressional representative a message about what kind of immigration reform we want. Download postcard here.
To utilize this postcard, you will need to print the postcard and have the name and mailing address of your Congressional representatives. It is best to mail this to their home district address. Several websites assist with this based on a person’s home zip code and street address. Many do not require a street address. Go to www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml to search for any of your elected officials by zip code. Use the same web link to print out a list of your state’s representatives with addresses. It is important to put these into the mail as soon as possible so they will have the biggest impact!
Regarding postage for postcards, see postcalc.usps.com/Postcards.aspx. The current rate is $0.33 per postcard. It is always good to know what influence we are having. Please send any questions or monitoring results to Carol Barton, Office of Community Action, at Cbarton@unitedmethodistwomen.org or call 212-682-3633, ext. 3104.
Organize to Reform the Criminal Justice System
Start a conversation in your community to address the lingering realities of racial injustice, particularly in the criminal justice system. Use the “Justice for Trayvon Action Kit” produced in conjunction with UMW partner Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). The toolkit includes a series of conversation guides, follow-up questions and links to actions—which range from one minute to one hour—that you can take for racial justice. For more information on SURJ, visit www.showingupforracialjustice.org. Please let us know how you used the toolkit. And please send any questions or comments to Janis Rosheuvel, Office of Racial Justice, at Jrosheuvel@unitedmethodistwomen.org or call 212-682-3633, ext. 3102.
To learn more about UMW and the March on Washington, please read our news article.