HUMAN RIGHTS WORKING GROUP
Co-chairs: Jeff Pekrul, Dolores Perez Heilbron, and Melvin Starks
Meetings: 2nd Wednesday of every month at 7 pm. We will be holding Zoom meetings until in-person meetings are possible. To request a Zoom invite to attend meetings, or for more general information, please send request to our email address above.
New Perspectives on America’s History
The Human Rights Working Group and the Forum Committee of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco will present a series of programs on new perspectives about the history of the United States.
THE U.S. WAR WITH MEXICO, MANIFEST DESTINY AND THE RISE OF THE U.S. EMPIRE
September 18, at 9:30 am
With Amy S. Greenberg, George Winfree Professor of American History
Join us in the TSK Room or on Zoom!
Hear about the significance of this war and about the movement against the war that it provoked.
Amy Greenberg is an historian of antebellum America (1800-1860) with a particular interest in the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world in the decades before the Civil War.
Amy has published five books. Among them are
• Lady First: The World of First Lady Sarah Polk
• A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico
• Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire
• Manifest Destiny and American Territorial Expansion: A Brief History with Documents
Professor Greenberg has focused on the transformation of gender roles in in her work and is also intrigued by partisan politics and the growth of America’s empire. She is currently researching and writing a history of nineteenth-century attitudes towards imperialism, focused on ordinary Americans.
Among her many achievements Professor Greenberg won the 1999 Penn State George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching; was named a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow in 2009. She is the former President of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
Zoom Info Below:
Meeting ID: 912 9764 9127; Passcode: 291025
Collaborative & Innovative
At First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, our top priority is to achieve results, and we know that our success depends on the quality of our campaigns and partnerships. Our approach is to build strategic networks and promote programs that will help advance our work. Learn more about the causes we’re passionate about and get in touch with us to see how you can get involved.
HUMAN RIGHTS WORKING GROUP MEETING!
The UUSF HRWG will meet on Wednesday, November 9 at 7pm. Our proposed agenda is:
Upcoming Forum meetings
November 13 Forum with No More Deaths
November 20 Forum with Medea Benjamin of Code Pink on the war in Ukraine
Planning for HRWG luncheon on December 11
UU representation at COP27 conference
Ideas for January 15, which is MLK's birthday and has also been honored by UUSF as Human Rights Day in the past
Planning for next Dangerous Truths sessions in January and February
Benjamin Madley, author of An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873
Ideas for 2023 Forum and DT sessions beyond February
Discussion about the Bob Avakian Youtube interview series
Join Zoom Meeting
Forum UU is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: UUSF HRWG monthly meeting
Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime
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Meeting ID: 914 0261 5490
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HUMAN RIGHTS WORKING GROUP NEW YEAR’S LETTER
January 1, 2022
The UUSF Human Rights Working Group looks forward to 2022 with renewed hope that our activities and goals will gain momentum and/or provoke favorable outcomes for the coming year. Human and civil rights in this country are at a tipping point, the stakes are high at this moment in our history - that is why we UU human rights advocates are determined to sustain our efforts.
For 2022, we continue to focus on five of the issues we deem most urgent in our country:
The last focus. Women’s Rights, was voted upon by our members last September after the state of Texas severely limited abortion rights, and the Supreme Court refused to interfere, thus denigrating the rights of women to control their bodily health. As a result, the Women’s Group was organized, with Reproductive Rights its priority, and Lori Lai as the Coordinator.
New for 2022: “Dangerous Truths”. HRWG will be hosting a new Zoom series on racial justice called “Dangerous Truths” starting in February, Black History Month. Stay tuned for more information about these new insightful history shows.
We hold monthly HRWG Cmte meetings via Zoom on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, and continue weekly Wednesday morning vigils urging the public to support immigrant rights, voting rights and to remind them of the climate crisis, a universal concern. HRWG supports other international human rights organizations, often endorsing, participating and hosting educational Zoom events on these issues.
We work closely with the UUSF Sunday Forum, and appreciate the technical support and advice from Forum Chair Bruce Neuburger, also a member of HRWG. We are thankful for the advice and help we receive from Rev. Vanessa Southern, and our staff, especially Jonathan Silk, Communications Manager.
We welcome newcomers to join us, or to contact us about any issue or suggestions which we might address.
In hope and struggle,
Dolores Perez Heilbron and Melvin Starks, co-chairs
The materials below provided a helpful starting point for this and other possible future projects. Click the links below to see the materials. The video produced in 2019 features members of our HRWG. Special thanks to Shulee Ong and Lori Lai for their contributions in the production of this special project.
FOCUS FOR 2022
We will continue to support the Black Lives Matter movement and other related groups, along with other UUSF racial justice efforts, as we did in the past during the 2020 George Floyd demonstrations against police brutality throughout the country towards Black, Brown, Asian and Indigenous sisters and brothers. We will continue special projects about our unique American history of slavery such as the “1619 Project” readings. We continue to work closely with our UUSF BIPOC group. (See videos below produced under the auspices of the HRWG.)
We will continue to press for a sound immigration policy for asylum seekers and special DACA children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and deserve full citizenship. New immigrant groups are expected to be fleeing their homes due not only to on-going conflicts, at times perpetrated by our foreign and military policies, but also by the climate crisis. Many HRWG UUs visited and worked at the southern border in El Paso, helping the asylum seekers there, and returned to report on that situation.
We will work to promote the Constitutional right of all Americans to vote in a safe manner, without danger as happened in our prior history after the Civil War. All acts to suppress the vote by any organizations will be exposed and special educational projects will be undertaken to advise all citizens of their rights to vote.
We will focus on how ordinary citizens can work in ways to stem the oncoming crisis, for example, by advocating that the City of San Francisco and state governments buy only electric vehicles (EV), and offer financial incentives to residents for the purchase of EV and the installation of solar panels on their homes. We continue to work directly with environmental groups on special educational and advocacy projects.
Women’s Rights, was voted upon by our members in September 2021, after the state of Texas severely limited abortion rights, and the Supreme Court refused to interfere, thus denigrating the rights of women to control their bodily health. As a result, the Women’s Group was organized, with Reproductive Rights its priority. They have been very active in demonstrations and continue to work on new issues. Lori Lai is the Coordinator. See more on their latest activities (click here)
PRIOR ACHIEVEMENTS FOR 2019-2021
US Immigration Policy: HRWG held live (before COVID) and later Zoom presentations (called “Close the Camps”) about the destructive policies such as the forced detention of asylum seekers, separation of families, and the mistreatment of children at our southern border. We began and continue to demonstrate on the steps of the church every Wednesday mornings to draw public attention to these issues.
Voting Rights: During the Presidential campaign in October 2019, HRWG organized a March for Democracy to demand a fair election where constitutional rights to vote would be protected across the country. Many other civic, social justice and labor organizations joined this march from the Mission to downtown San Francisco.
International Human Rights: HRWG joined with other faith and justice groups to draw attention and protest actions and policies of the United States as a contributor to violations of human rights across the world.
Ending Racism: HRWG conducted a variety of events explaining the roots of American racism and White Supremacy. With the UUSF BIPOC committee, we produced and presented a video workshop entitled We Built People of Color Visibility at the UU General Assembly in 2019. Our video was called the “Beloved Stories UUSF”, and we started with the Story Corps Toolkit. Also, included below are the questions we used in our interviews, the release form for the participants, and a flyer.