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. Please use the menu on the left to find out more about the social action activities at Emerson.
Advocating for Justice
We address institutionalized and systemic discrimination through education, advocacy and witness. Much of our work is carried out in conjunction with other Unitarian Universalist congregations through regional or national programs:
Through the UUA’s Side with Love campaign (formerly “Standing on the Side of Love”) we amplify the voices of the oppressed by showing up in partnership at justice events across the country and lobbying local, state, and national leaders on many issues.
We often join with other UU congregations on racial justice initiatives such as Black Lives Matter
We provide educational and advocacy opportunities on election justice and civic engagement by partnering on the UU the Vote campaign. Emerson actively participated in UU the Vote effort.
Texas UU Justice Ministry (TXUUJM), an association of UU congregations in Texas that provides a vehicle 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.
Houston Pride Festival and Parade has long been supported by the UU Network of Houston, UU congregations in the greater Houston area. Members of all UU congregations walk together to support the LGBTQ community.
Environmental justice is the focus of UU Ministry for Earth, a national organization of UUs that promotes justice and stewardship on individual, congregational, and regional levels, led by Emerson’s Ministry for Earth group. We partner with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby which works primarily with our congressional representatives to adopt the Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal.
We support local initiatives such as the Harris County Drug Court Foundation, now known as Justice Forward, supports the speciality 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. Emerson was instrumental in the formation of the Drug Court in Harris County.
We address immediate needs of our local community such as education, housing, and food.
Emerson Educational Programs
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.
Housing and Food
This organization provides volunteers of all ages an opportunity to learn a new skill while helping an elderly or disabled Houstonian repair their home.
Each Sunday, 25% of the plate collection is donated to Meals on Wheels. This longstanding program delivers a meal to home-bound seniors over 60 and their spouses. The drivers deliver breakfast and weekend meals to the most frail and isolated seniors. This nutritional support helps seniors stay independent and in their own homes.
We offer opportunities to help out at the Food Bank, by sorting and loading non-perishable groceries or staffing the phone bank.
The most vulnerable populations recover last in a disaster. Disaster relief grants to UU congregations and organizations not only help Unitarian Universalists, they can also support on-the-ground relief efforts through partnerships that meet the needs of underserved communities. Your support is needed to ensure this important ministry is robust and ready. Please consider making a contribution today.
Financial Support for Social Action
Through a formal application and approval process, Emerson may grant financial support to nonprofit organizations. The Board of Trustees makes the final decision subject to budgetary conditions. For details, see Outreach Fund Grants
The collection from each Sunday service is designated as Share the Plate and is disbursed to organizations selected annually by the Outreach Committee. For details, see Share the Plate.
“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.