Unitarian Universalist Justice Florida is a statewide justice ministry for members of 45 Unitarian Universalist congregations in Florida and their social justice committees in partnership with other interfaith and public interest organizations to promote justice, equity and compassion in public policy.
We focus on a limited number of core issues each year to educate, organize and advocate for policies consistent with and supportive of Unitarian Universalist values. We build coalitions with other like minded groups to educate ourselves and the public on critical issues of our day and the tools and skills of civic engagement.
Our goal is to realize the dream of a just society, an improved global community and a sustainable earth, starting in Florida.
Vision and Mission
Our Vision is a just and compassionate society, an improved global economy, and a sustainable earth, starting in Florida.
Our Mission is to promote justice, equity and compassion in public policy, guided by our faith tradition and working with public interest groups and interfaith partners who work for the common good.
The work of UU Justice Florida, our 501(c)(3), provides many topics for study, education and discussion in congregations and concerned organizations. That educational work may inspire individuals to build relationships legislators and advocate for passage of bills consistent with UU values.
Focus and Actions
In support of clean air in underserved communities, The Climate Resilience Ministry is currently engaged in an indoor air quality project in the panhandle and an outdoor air quality monitoring project in Central Florida.
Indoor Air Quality in the Panhandle
Four years after Cat 5 Hurricane Michael, many homes still have blue tarps on their roofs. These homes, and others in the underserved communities of Glenwood, Millville and St, Andrews (“The Hill”), are still in need of repair. Under EPA Environmental Justice Small Project grant Communities Respond to Environmental Health Impacts of Hurricane Michael, residents completed Do-It-Yourself Home Environmental Assessments to identify action items that could improve their indoor air quality. In early 2023, there will be a blue tarp survey and an effort to engage families with children suffering from asthma to assist them in mitigating asthma triggers in their homes and in preparing for future disasters in ways that support respiratory health. UUJF is providing technical support in the form of data analysis, resource research and creation of a Home Environmental Assessment List app for LEAD Coalition of Bay County.
Outdoor Air Quality in BIPOC Communities of Orlando
Federal, state, county and city highways and streets crisscross BIPOC communities of Orlando, leaving residents concerned about their health. Air Quality Monitoring is a way to determine what pollutants are in the air in concentrations that could impact health. UUJF is participating on the EPA Environmental Justice Community Problem Solving grant, Helping Low-Income Families Identify and Address Hazardous Air Pollutants that Impact Health, by providing work plan development, data analysis, field team training and reporting. EPA Grant #01D15120 was awarded to Coalition of 100 Black Women – Central Florida. An initial survey was conducted, and air quality has been monitored for the National Ambient Air Quality Standard gases: particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide. Formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, methane, non-methane hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds were also monitored. The report on the monitoring and the follow-up survey will be available in early 2023.
Building Resilience in BIPOC Communities
The Climate Resilience Ministry is currently engaged in a National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine grant titled, From Resilience to Restoration: Leveraging Houses of Faith to Move the Gulf South. The primary on the grant is Peoples’ Justice Council, a group of theologians engaged in environmental justice work. UUJF was asked to participate by Gulf Coast Creation Care. Toward this effort, UUJF is doing interfaith work to identify two church campuses interested in becoming clean energy and resilience resource and learning centers: one in the Panhandle and one in Central Florida. These resource and learning centers will provide support to other houses of faith that want to serve their communities as Resource to Restoration Hubs. The hubs will be able to demonstrate the centralized, online database of resources adapted by individual houses of faith to create local From Resilience to Restoration plans in the most vulnerable communities. If your congregation is interested in creating a From Resilience to Restoration plan to serve your community, please contact Jan BooherHBE@gmail.com. This post was supported by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, under award number 200013216.communities.
Meet with your legislators and staff in their district offices before the start of the 2023 legislative session to convey your concerns. Form teams with interfaith partners and representatives of other progressive organizations.
The UUJF Grant Awards program offers grants of up to $2,000.00 to aid a UU group’s work that supports UU Justice Florida’s major goal of promoting justice, equity and compassion in public policy in Florida. UUJF’s core issues are Democracy in Action, Environmental Justice, Public Health and Safety, Immigration Reform and LGBTQ+ Gender Justice. This can include UUtheVote work. For detailed instructions and a Grant Awards application form, click here.
Members of UU congregations in Florida are encouraged to support and circulate these petitions to amend the State Constitution. Research the petitions, choose your cause(s) and collect signatures in your congregation, neighborhoods, organizations and community events.
CONSTITUTIONAL BALLOT AMENDMENT INITIATIVE PETITION to Limit Government Interference with Abortion
Floridians ProtectIng America website for petitions, petition drop off locations and information.