Our Commitment to Justice
The Unitarian Society has been a respected leader on justice issues for generations.
Adults, youth, and children in our congregation are all engaged in the work of bringing our values to life and building a better world for current and future generations.
We are a welcoming congregation for people of diverse gender identities, sexual orientations, family structures, and life experiences.
We care for the earth and work for a life-sustaining future.
We support the most vulnerable in our community and seek to be in solidarity with those suffering under unjust systems.
We work to dismantle systems of white supremacy and lift up a vision of an inclusive beloved community.
The following Resolutions reflecting our congregation’s commitment to justice were adopted by a full vote of the congregation:
Statement of Conscience Supporting Black Lives Matter
At the 2020 annual meeting, the congregation adopted the following statement of conscience:
“USSB supports the five demands of Black Lives Matter SB. We urge the Santa Barbara City Council and the County Board of Supervisors to condemn police brutality and declare racism a public health emergency. USSB further supports and affirms Black Lives Matter and will renew and strengthen our commitment to antiracism work and to dismantling all systems of white supremacy.”
A Congregational Resolution on Immigrant Justice
At the 2017 annual meeting, the congregation adopted the following Resolution:
The Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara resolves to affirm the principals of our faith, in both private and public forum, by providing a single voice against unjust policies and practices that target and discriminate against immigrant communities. We the members commission our Board of Directors and Ministry to speak for the Society as one voice in opposition to public policies and action that threaten the human rights of all immigrants. Additionally we resolve to join with other organizations in the pursuit of justice, dignity and compassion for immigrant communities and to provide support both real and moral as we go forth. We adopt the covenant proposed by the emerging Interfaith Sanctuary Alliance here in Santa Barbara: “As people of faith and people of conscience, we believe that every person is sacred. We will work to ensure respect for the dignity, safety, and human rights of all people, while resisting unjust policies and practices that target and discriminate against immigrant communities.”
A Congregational Resolution on the Climate Crisis
At the 2013 Annual Meeting, the Congregation adopted the following Resolution:
Whereas, our Society, as a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association, has agreed to affirm and promote “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are part.”
Whereas, the Unitarian Universalist Association has issued a Statement of Conscience on the threat of global warming and climate change,
Whereas, the planet is under increasingly urgent threat due to the growing climate crisis and human activity is widely acknowledged to be responsible for bringing about this crisis,
Whereas, the next few years are critical in determining whether we, as people of the planet, can respond quickly and effectively to lessen the impacts of the crisis,
Whereas, faith communities can serve a vital role through local actions and in calling upon our elected leaders to implement effective policies,
Therefore be it resolved that The Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara pledges to do what it can to bring about the systemic changes necessary to move toward a more life-sustaining society. The Society agrees to:
- Affirm the serious threat that climate change poses to life as we know it on this planet.
- Support actions on behalf of the congregation that address the changes needed to make an impact on this issue, included but not limited to participating in public witness, supporting specific public policies, and otherwise engaging in public advocacy for a more sustainable society.
- Regularly re-examine and update the science and data supporting our stands on public climate policies with a willingness to modify or change our stands if so indicated by such a review.
- Consider ways that our congregation can reduce our own negative impact on the environment and place a priority on asking the question, “How does this action impact our commitment to sustainability?”
- Educate ourselves about the effects of climate change, particularly as it relates to communities who will be disproportionately affected by its negative impact.
- Examine the ways that this issue intersects with other justice concerns.
- Prepare ourselves to respond to the crisis creatively, collaboratively and in the spirit of our covenant with one another and our Unitarian Universalist values.
- Seek out ways to work with local, national and international organizations that share our goals.
Be it further resolved, this resolution is just one step in the process of discerning how we, as a congregation and a leader in our community, can have a positive impact on creating a sustainable future for life on our planet.