Social Justice


Turnout Lacking for Dec. 9 Substance Use Presentation

It was disappointing for Middleboro Matters and the Social Justice Team, as well as the two childcare workers loaned by the YMCA, that no one showed up for the Substance Use Prevention presentation, with hot chocolate and other goodies, on Saturday, December 9. Mae of Middleboro Matters took it in stride, saying “Sometimes people come, sometimes not.” We will try to reschedule in a less hectic season.

No-Cost Phone Calls signed Nov. 16

In a victory for prisoners and their families, Governor Healey has signed the “Putting Families Over Prison Profiteering” bill, passed by the MA legislature, into law. This establishes Massachusetts as the fifth state in the nation to make prison phone calls free–and the first state to extend the provision to county jails and houses of correction as well as prisons. The new law will end the exorbitant charges prisoners and their families currently pay to stay in touch. It applies to phone and video calls and emails, and goes into effect December 1.

December Cash in the Plate

The Cash in the Plate for the month of December will be donated to Doctors Without Borders in light of the casualties and suffering being experienced by Israelis and Palestinians.

The Black Lives Banner Is Back Up!

…thanks to Alan Melchior, Sarah Person and Jim Bonnar, who got the new banner up on November 25, 2023, within days of the wind storm that brought down the old, worn-out one. You may not even have noticed the banner was missing!

Social Justice Team News

The early part of this church year has been a busy one for us: with major help from Dan Hotchkiss and Val Ortelt, we finalized our section of the church website so that we now provide current information about local social justice events. At our summer retreat we organized our future efforts into 3 categories: Charity, Change, and Education. We hope to offer events and options that appeal to the congregation in all three. Our recent programs included a July presentation on domestic violence that highlighted the problem in Southeastern Massachusetts and featured a talk by “Jane Doe” whose family

Cash in the Plate for November

The Cash in the Plate for the month of November will be donated to the Matthew Mission Food Pantry located in the First Parish Unitarian Church, Taunton. The Matthew Mission Food Pantry fights hunger with an emphasis on personal dignity. 

Refugees: UUMA Immigrant Justice Team Online Meetings

UUMassAction has launched an Immigration Justice Campaign. The UUMA Immigrant Justice Team meets monthly. You need not attend all meetings. Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023 and all 2nd Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 p.m. Click on article to RSVP!

More Refugee Updates: 10/21-23, 2023  from Bill Howe

Jeff Giddings reports we have received several gifts to our Refugees Fund from inside and outside the congregation. He is keeping the money in a separate account so it can be identified. Thank you to all who have donated! Meanwhile, Bill has been continuing to push to try to get clarity on the evolving situation, but with limited success. The town Health Department has been doing assessments of individual immigrants regarding school and health needs, with the help of translators.

More to Know About the Refugees in Middleboro

FUUSM is currently in gear-up mode while we await further developments. Twenty-two congregants have signed up to help with meals and other needs when and if we are needed. We have gleaned more information from a Sept. 17 article in Nemasket Week. Middleboro is one of 80 MA municipalities where refugees are housed.

Haitian Refugees, Update as of Oct. 11

The state has agreed to house the refugees at the Quality Inn in Middleborough through June 2024 and also contracted with a restaurant to provide meals for them for at least another month, which could mean those meals would end in early November. These welcome developments decrease the urgency of what is being asked of FUUSM and give us time to plan for when our assistance may be needed. The town has received so many in-kind gifts that no more are currently needed.