Social Justice Teams

Opportunities for You to Engage in Service

CUUCWP LGBTQ and BLM Banners

Our Social Justice Teams were created to allow the congregation to put into action CUUC’s mission to “engage in service to transform ourselves and our world.” Our faith calls us to this work, and we often feel a sense of fulfillment by helping others. In fact, many of us find our deepest connection to our UU values through social justice work. We encourage every congregant to join a team and support it as your time and energy permits. Which team calls to you? 

~ Social Justice Coordinators: Mary Cavallero, Emily Economou, Barry Litcofsky.

Democracy Matters 

At the Democracy Matters Team, our aim is to support and strengthen the democratic process. We engage with grassroots national organizations to write postcards, letters, and participate in phone banking to both inform and empower underrepresented populations in voter suppression states. We share information about early voting, and local groups that support voters who need help to get to the polls to cast ballots. Contacts: Norm Handelman, Enid Blount Press.

Environmental Practices Group (EPG)

Purple CUUCWP Spring Flowers

The EPG focuses on the earth, the environment that sustains life for all plants, animals, and humankind. Team activities have included promoting food scrap recycling within the congregation and the county; incorporating hands-on nature studies into our Religious Exploration classes; and sharing information on local environmental programs. We are exploring the new UUA Green Sanctuary 2030 program, which includes lowering our carbon footprint; transforming our culture to support long-term responses to climate crisis; and collaborating with frontline communities battling the effects of climate injustice. Contacts: Janet Bear, Cynthia Roberts.

Hunger & Homelessness (H&H)

The Hunger and Homelessness Team plans multiple projects each year that support agencies who assist individuals and families experiencing housing and nutrition insecurity.

Currently, our kitchen volunteers prepare 200 hot meals and sandwiches weekly for our neighbors at Hope’s Door, Open Arms men’s shelter, My Sister’s Place, and more. Annually, we provide gift cards for kids’ holiday gifts, backpacks of school supplies and weekend meal bags for kids, warm weather clothing and accessories, and furniture drives for Furniture Sharehouse.

The team is open to discussing new ideas as they are presented or as needs arise. All our projects are open to the entire CUUC community. Contacts: Scott Damashek, John Cavallero

LGBTQIA+

The LGBTQIA+ Social Justice Team explores Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual justice issues, and the intersectionality with Racial Justice, Hunger and Homelessness, and Reproductive Justice. Team members have been speakers at our own Religions Exploration classes. We support local organizations like PrideWorks, The LOFT LGBTQ+ Center, and GLSEN Lower Hudson Valley. Straight and cisgender allies are welcome to help! Also see our Welcoming Congregation page. Contacts: Jennifer Stevens, Mary Cavallero.

Racial Justice/In the Spirit of Truth

The Racial Justice/ITSOTTteam has been designated for primary leadership in keeping the topic of racial bias in front of the congregation by engaging outside speakers and providing educational opportunities for CUUC regularly. Members have participated in the Beloved Conversation Program and Jubilee Three workshop. The team has sponsored discussion groups on books including Breathe, Caste, and Defund Fear. The team has also presented an anti-racism webinar with the hosts of the online program Race Talk Revolution. Team members participate in events at the NAACP of Greenburgh, the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform, and the Martin Luther King Institute for Nonviolence, as well as maintain contacts with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Westchester, and the Poor People’s Campaign. Contacts: Jeff Tomlinson, Joe Majsak.

Refugee Resettlement

Our primary mission is to assist the resettlement of refugee families in Westchester County. We work under the umbrella of the Interfaith Council for New Americans Westchester (ICNAW), a group of area congregations including CUUC. Over the last several years, we have assisted 13 adults and 13 children, including two babies born in the U.S. 

Our volunteers secure housing, furnishings, arrange doctor and agency appointments, tutor for ESL and school, provide local transportation, and orient newcomers to the community.  We also support other local organizations such as Hearts & Homes for Refugees; engage in advocacy with our public officials regarding refugee matters; and help plan and participate in group social activities, clothing drives, and fundraising. Contacts: Robin Rocchi, Jane Dixon.

Reproductive Rights

“Our Unitarian Universalist faith holds central the inherent worth and dignity of all people, which includes a belief in the sacredness of all bodies, and the importance of self-determination and human agency. As part of a liberatory Reproductive Justice movement, we affirm our commitment to building a world in which all people are able to make choices about their bodies, their health, and their families within safe, thriving communities.” (Unitarian Universalist Association). Contacts: Audra Russell, Kathleen Kiernan.

team contacts 

Social Justice Coordinators

  • Mary Cavallero
  • Emily Economou
  • Barry Litcofsky

RE Liasion with social justice teams

  • Carolyn Hanson

Democracy Matters

  • Norm Handelman
  • Enid Blount Press

Environmental Practices Group

  • Janet Bear
  • Cynthia Roberts

Hunger & Homelessness

  • Scott Damashek
  • John Cavallero

LGBTQIA+

  • Jennifer Stevens
  • Mary Cavallero

Racial Justice / In the Spirit of Truth

  • Jeff Tomlinson
  • Joe Majsak

Refugee Resettlement

  • Robin Rocchi
  • Jane Dixon

Reproductive Rights

  • Audra Russell
  • Kathleen Kiernan

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