Articles, Reflections, & Announcements
Honoring One of Our Own- Tom Chase
There will be a private family memorial service this coming Saturday, July 25th. Cards can be sent to the family c/o Tom’s daughter Beth Hollister, 1800 Old Fort Dr., Tallahassee 32301
Voter Suppression: That’s What Racism Looks Like
In half an hour of watching the video Suppressed: the Fight to Vote you can learn what happened in the 2018 election to suppress the vote. It was more than poll closures and voter purges. It was not by accident, it was a carefully planned strategy that was targeted to suppress the votes in African-American communities. It was so effective in 2018 that there will undoubtedly be voter suppression tactics used again in 2020. The news coverage on election day will probably be about long lines and confused voters, not the reasons why voters gave up or were fooled by confusing messages.
Voting is a right that we value highly. For some voting is a sacred act. We demand that our vote is heard and properly counted. We cannot afford to have it taken away from any of our citizens. Watch the short film and then share it with your family and friends. There will be an opportunity to discuss it after the service on August 9th.
In the Sunday worship service on August 9th a featured guest speaker will educate us about voter suppression. We will have another service soon focused on voter mobilization. If you have personal memories of voting that you are willing to share during in an upcoming service, please contact Rev. Levwood.
The UUCT Social Action Committee has already begun to send out postcards to the most vulnerable voters encouraging them to register to vote and to request a mail in ballot. Our goal is to send out 2020 postcards to people using the tools from Reclaim Our Vote. We will have more details in the next issue of the Meridian or you can contact Janet Temkin or Susan Fleming. We need your help to Reclaim the Vote.
Phonebanking with New Florida Majority from UUA
UU the Vote is very excited to launch this partnership. New Florida Majority https://newfloridamajority.org/ is working to turnout millions of voters in Florida. They are reaching out to people who are marginalized and get targeted for voter suppression. They are also reaching out more broadly as people are concerned about the pandemic, about policing and criminal justice reform, systemic racism and how this all relates to the elections. We’re very grateful for their work. Your support of this progressive statewide community organization is very much appreciated – and needed! Do take a look at their website, you’ll be inspired.
We will be hosting three phone banks on Thursday evenings — July 30, August 6, and August 13 from 6:00-8:00 pm ET.
Sign up for the July 30 phone bank here. We’ll have sign up links for the August 6th and August 13th phone banks soon.
When you sign up you’ll receive more info and the zoom link for the event, so make sure to save it! They will also be sending out more specific information about the script and who and where we are calling as we get closer to July 30th. I have let NFM know that some of you are Spanish speakers and they will be getting back to us about if that will be needed for these phonebanks.
New Florida Majority staff will be orienting and training us. We’ll be using the Open Virtual Phone Bank platform to make our calls. You will need a phone (for audio) and a laptop, tablet, or iPad. As I explained in the info session, the platform will be doing the dialing automatically for us, and we’ll record people’s answers on our laptops etc. We’ll get trained right at the phonebank. We’ll be together on Zoom for our training and can check in throughout the phonebank with our trainers if questions arise as we’re making our calls. It’s a great system and easy to do.
This is an all hands on deck moment! Many of you have already been recruiting more volunteers, please continue to do so and forward this message, send people the sign up link, send it to your lists, post in your newsletters, and share the sign up link on Facebook. We have a goal of 150 UUs and friends in Florida making calls! There are 63 of you on this e-mail. If everyone recruits even just 2 more people we’ll exceed our goal. And I think we can do even much better than that. People understand what a crucial moment we are in, in Florida, and in our nation.
Thank you so much Florida UUs for rising to the challenge. We hold the phonebanks on Zoom so that we are able to make our phone calls together. Working this way is fulfilling, faithful, and fun! I’m so glad to be in it with you!
In faith & hopefulness,
Centering BIPOC Voices: An Online Book Group
By Robin Gray
This group will read books, both fiction and non-fiction, by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) authors. The group will meet online through Zoom.
When books are selected they will be announced to the entire congregation, along with the date of the discussion. All books will be available in print and audio format, and everyone who has read the book will be welcome to share in the discussion.
Fourteen people have already indicated their interest in participating. We are in the process of picking a planning meeting date sometime in the first week of August. If you are interested in helping to shape the group and pick the first book, contact Robin Gray (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be added to the poll for the planning meeting. Also contact her, if you’d just like to put your name on a list for the first discussion in September. We’ll make sure you get an invitation.
Lunch Bunch: In the New Normal
Coming in August the Lunch Bunch will be meeting twice a month via Zoom on alternate Wednesdays. Keep your eye on the Meridian for the actual dates. Join others in our community for a casual gathering with no particular agenda. Bring something to eat or not. This is a purely social time, a way to meet with folks you don’t know already, or folks you do know but want to know better. Sign up in advance with either Linda to get the Zoom link to join.