We would like to keep you informed of organizations in our community that are involved in racial justice issues. ORUCC joined Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice last year. They are committed to provide education and awareness (as well as partnering with other social justice groups) to advocate for systemic changes that address the root causes poverty, racial inequities, and social injustice. Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice (WFVJ) officially began in 2012 and received their 501.c3 in 2017. They support Racial Justice by building relationships and joining with existing groups (while always following the lead of those organizations led by people of color) to advocate and be prepared to take action to promote racial equity
Here are a few of their signature programs:
- Dane Sanctuary Coalition was formed in 2017 to assist vulnerable immigrants and refugees. They offer educational programs and webinars and are partners with other agencies to advocate for immigrant justice. They recruit and train volunteers to drive people to Chicago and Milwaukee for court hearings and ICE check-ins. They work with others to provide physical sanctuary for people in need. A number of ORUCC members are active in the Dane Sanctuary Coalition.
- Dignity at Work Coalition focuses on issues facing low-wage and undocumented workers and lately, those who are working in unsafe conditions during the pandemic. Policy priorities include paid sick leave and family leave, legal drivers’ licenses, and setting up a fund for workers who do not qualify for unemployment compensation.
- Interfaith Community Building is seeking to build an interfaith movement for justice around the state. As part of that, it has arranged for in-person and virtual visits to various faith communities to observe worship, opportunities for people of different faiths to meet each other, and meeting of faith leaders and observing virtual worship. Their goal is to build bridges toward cooperation and understanding.
- In collaboration with the Wisconsin Council of Churches and other groups, they have been building a statewide network called Taking a Faithful Stance for Equity to promote racial justice. They are currently asking people to support schools and attend school board meanings to demonstrate their disapproval of proposed laws that would ban the teaching of history that acknowledges systemic oppression of people of color. They have had prayer vigils, have testified at school board meetings, county board and common council meetings, and shown up at the Capitol to voice disapproval of the current backlash.
- WI Interfaith Voter Engagement Campaign seeks to educate, register, and empower voters. At the present time the focus is on countering misinformation/disinformation, combatting voter suppression, and advocating for fair maps.
- This is just a tiny sampling of the work that goes on here. Their website has much more, including a wealth of resources, a calendar of events, and WFVJ in the News. Their blog has a large collection of informative articles about important issues, including recent articles about the filibuster, Native American land acknowledgements, and the Wisconsin budget. Check it out: https://www.wisconsinfaithvoicesforjustice.org/