A thank you message from Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, UUCPA’s June 2020 justice partner:
Thank you for being part of a special group of congregations, our pillars of support. We appreciate and value you, our Congregational Sustainers, who make an annual gift as a gesture of our partnership and shared work. Together with your support, we are building the power of congregations across our state to be catalysts for change.
This year you helped to sustain some of the most vulnerable people in our society during this pandemic: recently arrived immigrant families and those incarcerated in our prisons and detention centers. You helped provide physical support, advocacy, and hope during trying times.
As Dr. King states in the quote above, human progress and change doesn’t just happen, but occurs through “tireless efforts” from “coworkers with God” like you. Thank you for being co-workers of God in partnership with us, especially during this pandemic!
Here are a few highlights of what we were able to accomplish through your congregational support this year.
- Walking with 300 immigrants: 300 immigrants in crisis received hands-on support through accompaniment and advocacy efforts. Through the incredible trained accompaniment volunteers and faith leaders, we helped release people from detention, defended them against deportation, offered financial assistance, spiritual support, emergency housing, and other resources. Short term and long term volunteers wrote letters to those detained, created accompaniment teams, and showed up to do advocacy.
- Emergency Relief Fund: In the face of COVID and its devastating economic consequences, we helped 50 immigrant families and formerly incarcerated individuals receive economic relief through our emergency fund, dispersing $40,000 to support food, rent, and other basic needs. Requests continue to come in as the economic crisis continues for many.
- Faith & State Policy: We have been vocal moral advocates for releasing more people from prisons and detention centers, beginning with the most vulnerable, to save lives and stop the spread of COVID. We organized faith sign-on letters and meetings with the Governor’s and Attorney General’s office to bring the call for compassion, mercy, and release signed by over 53 congregations and 600 faith leaders.
- Success in Calls for Releases: This advocacy has been successful: we have won the release of twelve individuals, and all the remaining women detained at Mesa Verde Detention Center. Adelanto Detention is now at an all-time low of 350 persons. This demonstrates that not only is detention harmful, but it is also an unnecessary and pointless part of our immigration system. This year we continue the fight to ensure that ICE stops detaining new people and refilling these empty beds. We continue to demand clemencies, commutations, and releases for those in prison and they remain full and hotbeds of Covid-19.
- Winning Reforms in LA: This year, when our country began to question more deeply institutions of policing and prisons, we engaged people in Los Angeles in education and campaigns to begin shifting resources from over-policing to community mental health and homeless services. This year, we will continue to engage people of faith to reimagine public safety in more humane and compassionate ways.
Thank you once again for supporting us in 2020. We look forward to the work ahead in 2021.
We hope you continue to engage in our 2021 local and statewide initiatives focused on reimagining public safety and community care. Join our efforts in federal advocacy that calls for criminal justice and immigration reform that is inclusive, compassionate, and corrects past harms.
Please share this word of thanks with your congregations. If you would like me or one of our wonderful staff members to come to preach or speak to your congregation, we would be more than happy to visit in 2021. I look forward to hearing from you!
Rev. Deborah Lee
Thank You to All Our Congregational Sustainers!
All Souls Episcopal Parish in Berkeley
Berkeley Society of Friends Meeting
Berkeley Zen Center
Buena Vista United Methodist Church
California-Pacific Conference UMC, Justice & Compassion Ministries
Calvary Presbyterian Church of San Francisco
Christ the Lord Episcopal Church
Claremont United Church of Christ
Community of St. Francis
Congregation B’nai Tikvah
Congregation Sha’ar Zahav
Emmaus Catholic Congregation
Epworth United Methodist Church, Berkeley
First Congregational Church of Berkeley (FCCB)
First Congregational Church UCC of Palo Alto
First Congregational Church of San Rafael
First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Oakland
Islamic Society of Corona
Kehilla Community Synagogue
Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church
Mission Bay Community Church of San Francisco
Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Church
Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church
Oak Life Church
Orinda United Church Christ
Presbyterian Church in Chinatown SF
Rodef Shalom, San Rafael
San Francisco Friends Meeting
Sisters of Saint Dominic, Congregation of the Most Holy Name
Sisters of Mercy – Burlingame & San Francisco
Sisters of St. Francis – Province Fund
Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) – East Bay Center
Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange
South Bay Sanctuary Covenant
St. John of God Catholic Church SF
St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley
St. John’s Presbyterian Church, SF
St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
St. Mary & St. Martha Lutheran Church
Sycamore Congregational Church UCC
Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley
Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Redwood City
Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco
United Methodist Church of Los Altos
University Lutheran Chapel Berkeley
Valley Presbyterian Church