Blog by Debbie Davidson
on behalf of the

Social Justice Committee

  • Social Justice/Public Witness calendar: Earth Care team meeting Sunday 17th at 9

    Earth Care team meeting in the Ellen Hall

    Tomorrow at 9, there will be an Earth Care team meeting in the Ellen Hall hosted by Denise Olden.

    Seeking Safety in Cincinnati: An Introduction to Immigration Issues

    All are invited to join our community partner, Ignite Peace (formerly IJPC) for “Seeking Safety in Cincinnati: An Introduction to Immigration Issues.” Participants will learn the basics of how the U.S. immigration system works, hear about our asylum system and how it affects real people who now live in the Cincinnati area, and play an interactive board game simulating the immigrant experience. There are two opportunities to participate; Tuesday from 6:30-8 at Forest Chapel UMC in Forest Park, 680 W Sharon Rd or at Mt Auburn Presbyterian Church, 103 William Howard Taft, on Thursday from 6:30-8. Register here; these forums are being held in anticipation of Little Amal’s visit to Cincinnati Friday. Little Amal is a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl who has traveled across 13 countries meeting more than a million people; Amal’s journey of art and hope celebrate the rich stories of refugees, immigrants, and displaced people, and the communities that welcome them. Learn more about her inspiring story here:

    Saturday at 7

    Share the Journey: A Concert for Compassion will be held at Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel, 3800 Victory Parkway next next Saturday at 7. Contact Carole Womeldorf  for more details. Also at 7, St. John’s will hold a Klezmer Music and Ukrainian Folk Songs festival at 7.

    On Thursday

    Get your tickets now; on Thursday, 10/5 the Cincinnati/Hamilton County Public Library will host Isabel Wilkerson, the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for her book, The Warmth of Other Suns. Chronicling one of the greatest untold stories of American history, Wilkerson writes of the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life.  Barack Obama awarded Wilkerson the National Humanities Medal for “championing the stories of an unsung history.” Tickets at the Aronoff Center are $5-15; reserve them here:

    Please forward any items of interest or send unsubscribe requests to Debbie Davidson

  • Social Justice/Public Witness newsletter: early weekend edition

    Volunteer fair to restore reproductive rights

    Want to be part of the initiative to restore reproductive rights in Ohio? Cincinnati Women Lawyers for Reproductive Rights will hold a volunteer fair at Esoteric Brewing, 918 E McMillan St in Walnut Hills Tuesday night from 5-7. Get yard signs, buttons, flyers, tees and swag; program at 6. Find UU talking points on reproductive freedom here:

    Or you can Mourn the Creation of Racial Categories in a program presented by GAPP (Greater Anderson Promotes Peace) at Anderson Hills Church, 7515 Forest Rd, 45255 starting at 7. The MCRC Project brings together creative, performing and visual artists to tell the stories of how people in the US were (and still are) broken apart into unequally-valued racial categories. Dr. Joan Ferrante and NKU students acknowledge the sorrow that can help us begin the process of ‘undividing’ on an individual, community, and national level.

    Thursday from Noon to 1:30

    Applied Information Resources will hold their popular lunch and learn at Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E Fourth St. The topic will be the Affordable Housing Charter Amendment proposal on November’s ballot. The lack of affordable housing in Cincinnati has been a growing crisis for decades, and a recent study documents that the current shortage in the City is 28,000 units. The proposed amendment would raise the earnings tax back to its 2020 level and earmark this increase to funding the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. You can bring a lunch or buy one on-site for $6.50. 

    Sunday the 17th is the ALS walk

    Don’t forget Sunday the 17th is the ALS walk to honor Leslie Edwards, Jr. Last call to participate or sponsor; contact Dan Schneider if you’d like to walk or sponsor a participant! 

    Please forward any items of interest or send unsubscribe requests to Debbie Davidson

  • Social Justice/Public Witness newsletter: Labor Day edition

    Our Thanks

    Thanks go out to Tim Kraus for his thoughtful homily on the labor movement this morning; you can view it here.

    Tuesday from 7-9

    The Sierra Club will hold a conversation on the 2023 Farm Bill at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church, 103 Wm Howard Taft Rd. The US Farm Bill is one of the largest single programs of the federal government. It distributes half a trillion dollars/year to constituents via such programs as crop subsidies and crop insurance, food/nutrition programs, and infrastructure & farm programs. What’s at stake? Agriculture is one of the main causes of climate change. About 24% of greenhouse gas that is generated in the U.S. can be attributed to farms; panelists will include Polly Campbell and a past president of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association.

    Thursday at 7

    Derail the Sale will have a teach-in at the IBEW Union Hall, 4100 Colerain Ave in Northside. The Cincinnati Southern Railway has been an important part of the city’s public infrastructure since it was built in 1880 and produces annual revenues for the City of Cincinnati exceeding $25 million. Currently, Cincinnati City Council is planning to include the sale of the Cincinnati Southern Railway to Norfolk Southern as a ballot initiative in November. Most people are aware of the derailment in East Palestine but did you know another train derailed in Springfield a month later? City Beat called it a Faustian bargain here. Abby Friend at the Derail the Sale campaign seeks support to stop this sale and the teach-in on Thursday is an excellent opportunity to learn more! You can email Abby to get involved with this effort or you can reach out to Rebecca Schaefer if you have questions.

    Saturday from 10-2

    Cincinnati Recycling and Reuse Hub, 911 Evans St, 45204 will hold an electronics drop-off; there are fees for some items to pay for the cost of responsible recycling. Electronics are defined as anything that has a power cord or uses batteries; you can see the schedule of fees here:

    Also Saturday

    The UU Council of Greater Cincinnati quarterly meeting will take place via Zoom at 9:30; email the council office to receive the link. 

    Please forward any items of interest or send unsubscribe requests to Debbie Davidson

  • Social Justice/Public Witness newsletter: Last Week of Summer Edition

    On Monday, 9/11

    The highly-acclaimed Race and the City series will commence on Monday, 9/11. The ten-session series will host critical conversations on the historical systems of generation barriers to equitable opportunities, facilitated by Melanie Moon, to explore the roots of systemic racism. Send an email to to register.

    Wednesday at 7

    Kentucky UU Justice Action Network Meeting will occur via Zoom; this one is specific to Northern Kentucky so, if you are interested, email for more information. You can find their Facebook page at

    Thursday at 7

    The Festival of Faiths Peace Walk will take place at Ault Park, 5090 Observatory Circle, Thursday at 7.

    On Sunday 9/17

    Don’t forget that First UU will Walk to Defeat ALS on Sunday, 9/17 to honor Leslie Edwards Jr., the Tuskegee Airman who was a member of both Northern Hills Gathering and First UU. If interested, use the link below to reply to me and I’ll get you hooked up with the event coordinator.

    Please forward any items of interest or send unsubscribe requests to DebbieDavidson

  • Social Justice/Public Witness newsletter: Late Summer Edition

    Big weekend ahead!

    Friday, you can attend a Lunch & Learn at noon: Community Bail Funds. It features Atara Rich-Shea from the Community Justice Exchange. Atara is a Regional Organizer at the National Bail Fund Network. She provides capacity, technical, and systems coaching for the network bail & bond funds, and assists with larger campaigns to end pretrial detention. Learn more about Community Bail Funds and how they can contribute to fighting against the unjust and inequitable justice and jail systems in our communities. Register here

    Join SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Cincinnati for a field trip to Ripley. We will be visiting two historic stations in the Underground Railroad. First stop is at the Rankin House at 11 am, one of the best-documented and most active Underground Railroad stations in Ohio. The Rankin House was the home of abolitionist and minister John Rankin and his family. Approximately 2,000 enslaved people stayed with the Rankins. After lunch at the Ripley Boat Club, we’ll also stop at the Parker House, where formerly enslaved person and conductor of the Underground Railroad, John P. Parker, lived. He helped hundreds of enslaved people to freedom. Registration is required and help us reserve spaces and set up carpools.

    Be sure to look for the Faith Communities Go Green booth at the Festival of Faiths, Sunday, Aug. 27, 12 – 5 PM, at the Cintas Center at Xavier University! On Tuesday, August 29th, Faith Communities Go Green will host Dr. Cj Willie who will introduce the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) developed to teach faith communities worldwide to care for our common home. Faith Communities Go Green partners with religious communities to create a more sustainable and equitable future for all by mobilizing their moral voice to reduce the risk of catastrophic climate change. To learn more and join Faith Communities Go Green, a Green Umbrella & EquaSion Collaboration, go to

    Please forward any items of interest or send unsubscribe requests to Debbie Davidson

  • Social Justice/Public Witness calendar: Week of August 7

    Welcome Rev. Alex!

    We welcome Reverend Dr. Alex Riegel to First UU this week! If you didn’t get a chance to attend in person, view the service yesterday on our YouTube Channel

    Thursday at 7

    Heritage UU will host a screening of Smoke Signals as they continue their exploration of Native American issues. The film is a 1998 coming-of-age comedy-drama based on a screenplay by Sherman Alexie from the short story collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993). The film won several awards and accolades, and was well received at numerous film festivals. Heritage is located at 2710 Newtown Rd, Cincinnati OH 45244

    Sunday, September 17th

    We will walk to honor the memory of Tuskegee Airman Leslie Edwards, Jr. His grandfather, Rev. W.H.G. Carter founded the Church of the Unitarian Brotherhood in the West End more than a century ago. You can participate and/or donate:

    August 22nd from 7:00pm to 8:30pm

    The SPAN Ohio Equity Committee is presenting a health equity workshop. This health equity event is a special one as Willa Evans, President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, will be hosting. The event will feature Charleta B. Tavares, CEO of PrimaryOne Health in Central Ohio, who will lead a discussion on barriers to health-care access for PoC and how a single-payer system could remedy this historical inequity. Register here

    Saturday, September 23

    Our partner Ignite Peace will hold a workshop from 9:30 to 1:30 at the Peaslee Neighborhood Center during Nonviolence Action Week. Join Samantha and Bekky for a four-hour introductory workshop on the tenets of strategic nonviolence, nonviolent communication, de-escalation, bystander intervention, and more. $50 registration fee includes lunch. Register here. Questions? Email Bekky

    Cincy Action for Housing Now is mobilizing to pass a charter amendment that will require the City to restore the earned income tax to it’s 2020 levels and use the funding generated (average household burden of ~$11/month) to invest in truly affordable housing for all. Go to to get involved.

    Please forward any items of interest or send unsubscribe requests to Debbie Davidson.

  • Social Justice/Public Witness newsletter week of 7/31/23

    Stop whitewashing of Ohio history

    Courtesy of the League of Women Voters Cincinnati Area: We call your attention to Ohio House Bill 103, Establish Ohio Social Studies Standards Task Force. This bill will create a task force to rewrite the Social Studies standards based on a document designed to sanitize our country’s history and discount diverse cultures. These standards will forego lessons on citizenship and fundamental democracy. This task force, seeded by the Ohio Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House, aims to roll out these standards in the 2024-2025 school year, negating the hard work done by educators across the state on standards that will equip our students to be informed citizens. Please take time to read the information from Honesty For Ohio Education here.

    Here is the guiding document for the proposed standards: “American Birthright: The Civics Alliance’s K-12 Model Social Studies Standards”.

    Here is the Ohio Capital Journal’s analysis.

    Contact members of the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee and urge them to vote NO on this bill. It should not make it out of committee!

    Please forward any items of interest or send unsubscribe requests to Debbie Davidson

  • Social Justice/Public Witness newsletter week of 7/17/23

    Monday at 8

    Side With Love presents Combating Fascism Without & Within: An Organized UU Response – Session 1. In her 2023 Berry Street essay, the Rev. Cecilia Kingman reflects upon the rise of authoritarianism, right-wing ideology, and fascism. In this first session, join Rev. Kingman and the Side With Love team for an interactive opportunity to engage with this essay and the kinds of faith responses it demands on behalf of our UU faith. Register here. PRE-REQUISITE: Read or watch the 2023 Berry Street essay, “My Little Pony Was Right: Reflections on Fascism Without & Within” by the Rev. Cecilia Kingman (it is approximately one hour long beginning at the 23:00 mark of this Facebook video

    Tuesday at 3

    Interfaith Power and Light presents Climate and Energy Resources for Faith Communities:  A Briefing with The US Department of Energy. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) created the largest climate and clean energy investment America has ever made. Learn more about direct pay, tax credits, programs, and the role faith communities can play in helping our country address the climate crisis and ensure that all communities are supported. Watch live on Facebook or Zoom in here. 

    Thursday at 6

    Join a peace potluck with our community partner Ignite Peace (formerly IJPC/Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center 😉 at the Peaslee Center, 215 E 14th St, beginning at 6. Bring a dish to share and learn about the August special election with Jean Henderson of Common Cause. 

  • Social Justice/Public Witness newsletter: Lazy Days of Summer Edition

    This Week – July 9 -15

    On Wednesday at noon

    CROW will present a program: Who Speaks For The Sacred Rights of the Ohio River Watershed? Our beautiful Ohio River was declared the 2nd most endangered river by American Rivers in April due to threats from industrialization and pollution. Under U.S. law, nature is considered property to be used as humans decide; some initiatives are now challenging the legality of this mindset. Join this presentation and discussion at Community Friends Meeting – 3960 Winding Way, Cincinnati, 45229. Bring your lunch – drinks and dessert provided!

    Thursday night

    Let’s have a community gathering of east side First UU members at the ever-popular Beech Acres Park Concert Series; the featured band is String Theory (classic rock). Meet at 6:30, bring a picnic and text (703-200-7895) or email me at the link below to arrange a meet point (since I am still trying to figure out the park restrictions on where I can take our dog 😉

    Feel free to forward anything you would like to see included in the newsletter or send unsubscribe requests to Debbie Davidson

  • Social Justice/Public Witness newsletter: Preserve our freedoms edition!

    Legislation in the Ohio House and Senate

    Ohioans better start paying attention to what is happening in Columbus. State government, especially the work of the Ohio General Assembly, is publicly the least known part of the entire governmental process. For instance, most of us are hard pressed to name our representative in the Ohio House.

    Despite this fact, the members of the Ohio House and Senate pass a lot of legislation that greatly impacts our lives. The legislature funds public schools and many programs related to health care and public safety. Although lobbyists for corporations effectively advocate for their interests, General Assembly members are not accustomed to hearing testimony from average citizens. 

    Although it’s important to know what the General Assembly is doing, the subject which requires our immediate attention relates to the democratic process itself. Here in Ohio, the House and Senate have passed one of the most rigid voter ID laws in the country. Students and older adults will find that this law makes it much harder for them to cast their ballots.

    Then there is the issue of gerrymandering. In 2011, the ranking majority in the Ohio House and Senate locked in a large majority of seats for their candidates. A grassroots movement led by the League of Women Voters held successful campaigns in 2015 and 2018 to pass two constitutional amendments that prohibited this. However, the majorities in the House and Senate failed to follow the new guidelines when drawing new districts in 2021. Although the Ohio Supreme Court initially rejected the partisan district maps, this initiative is far from finished.

    Finally, Ohio votes who cherish democracy must become knowledgeable about a constitutional amendment on the ballot August 8th. This proposal would make it harder for grassroots citizen coalitions to place on the ballot and pass a constitutional amendment. Not only would it require a lot more signatures to get an amendment on the ballot, it would require a super majority, a 60% affirmative vote, to approve it. This latest anti-democratic initiative is an effort to greatly reduce citizen participation and requires educating Ohioans how to use an unnecessarily complicated absentee voting process. Nevertheless, advocates for democracy could transform this special election into a starting point for making people aware of the dangers of ignoring state government.

    Excerpted from Streetvibes No. 503, June 2023, by Bill Woods, Contributing Writer (lightly edited for content and clarity)