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February 2019 Social Justice by Jane Webb

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Our shared offering for the month of February is UCBR Days for Girls (UCBR DfG), a grassroots nonprofit creating a more dignified, humane and sustainable world for girls through advocacy, reproductive health awareness, education and sustainable feminine hygiene. The solutions are a simple and effective way to enable girls to go to school and women to go to work without interruption each month. The UCBR DfG started in the spring of 2018 and has been tremendously successful in its mission. Please give generously to the worthy cause embraced by a committed group of our own congregation.

The Walls Project/MLKFest2019 was well attended by members of our congregation with many spending parts or the whole day for all four days. Judith Cormier, Mija Thompson, Jane Webb, Janet Moulder and Nancy Kunen gave tremendous time and effort on behalf of our congregation from September to January in the planning stages. Our youth and their parents participated Sunday, January 20, and our hats are off to them for this wonderful use of a beautiful day. Kathy Smith worked with these students and parents to make this happen and we are most grateful for her willingness to do so.

 

After several long years in training and research followed by dogged meeting attendance and speaking out, Together Baton Rouge celebrated the EBR School Board's decision to deny two old requests for an exemption from property taxes. The next day found that industry removing its requests from both the Metro Council's consideration and that of the sheriff which means a break though in the approach which Louisiana will take for future Industrial Tax Exemption Program requests. Again, this work has been dear to the hearts of many of our congregation and the next steps for TBR are the main undertaking for February. If you are active, please consider going to the remaining civic academies as well as to the monthly luncheons. Success should be followed by thoughtful consideration of how to proceed and our many UCBR members of TBR need to step up to that conversation.

In mid-January the SJT was made aware of the situation with migrants seeking asylum in the US who have been put on buses to other locations in the country.

As it turns out Baton Rouge is one of the first stops for buses out of Texas. A concerned group has formed under the direction of David Bickmeier and Ginna Paredes who were meeting the buses and helping as they could. If you are interested in becoming part of this outreach, Tam Le has graciously undertaken the organization of the project with minutes of their January gathering and a series of google pages listing the group, their expertise, their offerings, and their needs. Please contact Tam Le (tmtle1@gmail.com) if you would like to be part of that work. The group has decided to call itself Las Carmelas Migrant Assistance Program (LCMAP) to mirror the New Orleans group which calls itself Las Abuelas (the grandmothers). The name Carmela is Ginna's grandmother's name and is a common woman's name throughout central America.

The next meeting of the Social Justice Team will be Sunday, February 10, 12:45 p.m., in the church office.