Social Justice at UCBR
Social justice is a value deeply woven into the fabric of Unitarian Universalism, and made explicit in our seven UU principles. At UCBR, we put our principles and passions into action in many ways.
We are proud to be involved in community organizations that support our principles, and we work on many service projects for the local and global community.
UCBR is affectionately known in our city as “the church that shows up,” reflecting our passionate involvement in equality, justice, and anti-oppression projects in the Baton Rouge area.
Beloved Conversations is a program for congregations to process how race and ethnicity shape their spiritual and social lives. UCBR has run three different iterations of Beloved Conversations, with 60 members participating so far. Graduates of the program continue their involvement by holding book studies, film nights, and regular discussions.
Dialogue on Race
Dialogue on Race Louisiana is a nonprofit dedicated to educating residents of Baton Rouge about institutionalized racism. Members of UCBR have been heavily involved in the Dialogue on Race since its creation over 20 years ago. Over 50 members have participated in the program, and the church has hosted meetings for DoR many times.
In 2016, UCBR investigated the history of the property where the church campus has been located since the 1960s. Property records revealed that church land had been home to more than 40 enslaved people in the 1850s. The power of naming the enslaved individuals is an important way to rehumanize the people who have been erased by history.
UU Asylum Seeker Assistance Project
UCBR supports asylum seekers from Central America by providing transportation to Baton Rouge for detainees released from Louisiana detention centers. UCBR works with a specific family of asylum seekers to provide meals and assistance as the family seeks a new life free of violence and oppression.
East Baton Rouge Pride
The Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge is an enthusiastic presence at Baton Rouge Pride every year. We are proud to host a booth at PrideFest, and we’ve been performing weddings and unions for couples of all genders since the 1980s.
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Every year on November 20, the trans community comes together around the world to remember transgender people who have lost their lives to hate-based violence. UCBR has hosted the Day of Remembrance for over 10 years.
Disasters such as hurricanes and floods disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color, so disaster relief is an important part of UCBR’s social justice mission.
In the aftermath of the 2016 floods in the Baton Rouge region, UCBR’s Weekend Warriors worked throughout the capital area, cleaning and gutting houses alongside teams from Together Baton Rouge and the Red Cross. The church building itself was home to a group of UUs from other states who came to help with cleanup.