Social Action and Outreach Fund Overview
Emerson offers many opportunities for you to get involved. Participation is open to everyone. New ideas are always welcome.
Our Social Action activities fall into three major areas:
Advocating for Justice
We address institutionalized and systemic discrimination through education, advocacy and witness. We often join with other UU congregations on initiatives such as Black Lives Matter and Standing on the Side of Love. We participate in demonstrations and visit our state legislators in Austin.
Racial Justice: We ask how Unitarian Universalists are to respond to the call for anti-racist work to dismantle white privilege.
Reproductive Justice: In 2018 we became a Reproductive Justice Congregation. This designation from Just Texas states that we are committed to provide a welcoming space for all who have faced or made reproductive health decisions, provide educational opportunities for the community surrounding reproductive justice issues, and partner with local organizations for public witness and advocacy opportunities.
Economic Justice: We provide educational and advocacy opportunities surrounding economic inequality in the community.
TXUUJM provides a vehicle for our congregations to express and advocate for statewide public policies that uphold Unitarian Universalist values. During recent legislative sessions, TXUUJM focused on Reproductive Justice, Economic Inequality/Justice, LGBT Equality, Immigration/Refugee Rights, and Medicaid Expansion.
This Foundation supports the Harris County Drug Court, Success Through Addiction Recovery (STAR) Program. STAR is an alternative to incarceration for long term drug addicts who have been arrested for a drug or drug related offense.
Houston Pride Festival and Parade
The Houston-area UU churches form one of the longest supporters of the parade and walk together to support the LGBTQ community.
We promote environmental stewardship on individual, congregational, national and global levels, led by Emerson’s Ministry for Earth group.
Environmental Justice: We are working to develop advocacy and public witness opportunities for the Emerson community. One example is partnering with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby which works primarily with our congressional representatives to adopt the Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal.
We address the “here and now” needs of our local community such as education, housing, food, and human trafficking.
Since 2015, Emerson has hosted free English classes for anyone who wants to learn, taught by volunteers from Emerson and neighboring congregations. We have served hundreds of students from dozens of countries over the years.
This program provides funding for college educations at two-year institutions for academically talented high school seniors who are the first in their families to attend college. The program provides full tuition, fees and books. The scholarship is guaranteed for the completion of an associate degree in the arts or sciences provided the student maintains an acceptable level of academic achievement as determined by the college.
Rebuilding Together Houston provides volunteers of all ages an opportunity to learn a new skill while helping an elderly or disabled Houstonian repair their home.
Meals on Wheels (Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston)
Interfaith Ministries’ Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston program delivers a meal to home-bound seniors over 60 and their spouses. The program also delivers breakfast and weekend meals to the most frail and isolated seniors. This nutritional support helps seniors stay independent and in their own homes.
Houston Food Bank and Souper Bowl of Caring
We collect food and money for the Houston Food Bank, through the Souper Bowl of Caring, on the day of the Superbowl game. We also offer opportunities to help out at the Food Bank, by sorting and loading non-perishable groceries or staffing the phone bank.
Disaster Relief Fund
The UUA established a Disaster Relief Fund to assist congregations in repairing any damage, and to respond to the needs of their members’ and their community’s efforts to get back on its feet. Your donations will allow the UUA to respond flexibly as new situations arise.
See the online Disaster Relief Fund . To donate by mail, please make your check payable to the UUA with “Disaster Relief Fund” on the memo line, and send to UUA Gift Processing, 24 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02210.
Financial Support for Social Action at Emerson
Share the Plate (weekly collections during Sunday services)
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.