Please join us at our next MSJE Organizational Meeting
Sunday, April 11th 12N.
Always the 2nd Sunday of each month, 12N.
I. The Split the Plate Recipient for April 2021 - June 2021 will be for the BV African American Museum. We want to increase our connections with Bryan organizations with which we work. The Brazos UU supports the mission of the the Brazos Valley African American Museum, which, is to explore, develop, preserve and present the cultural history and heritage of African Americans.
II. Confronting Our Racism. The Confronting Our Racism Group (CORG) is a coalition of community organizations started by the Brazos UU. Members of the CORG include:
Brazos Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Social Justice and the Environment
Bryan/College Station Library System
Brazos Valley African American Museum (BVAAM) Curator and Board of Trustees
Brazos County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Brazos Valley Black Lives Matter (BLM) Group
Consulting team of specialists in racism and segregation
In an effort to increase our understanding of systemic racism and the ways it impacts individuals and our communities, the CORG will soon invite members of the B/CS community and surrounding areas to sign up for small reading groups of the book, Stamped, Racism, Antiracism, and You, A Remix (2020) by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. We will send those who signed up a Learning Guide and suggest that they get their reading group together to read the book over the summer. We will then invite all small book reading groups to an online panel discussion of the book by community leaders and experts in the field. During the panel discussions, we hope to again break up into randomly assigned smaller groups to continue discussions with facilitators, followed by a question and answer session with the panel.
Race matters in our community and it is time that we have open and truthful conversations about it. We hope to address persistent racial disparities intentionally, explicitly, and comprehensively and to learn from these discussions. The CORG will provide a forum to effectively engage, sustain and deepen interracial dialogue so that, as a community, we can make changes that will benefit all.
III. Texas UU Justice Ministry News by Jerry Wagnon
TxUUJM is an organization made up of UU congregations across Texas that have come together to influence opinion and legislation on social justice issues inside the state’s borders. A big part of that work involves citizen lobbying of the state legislature when it meets every two years for a 140-day main session that is often extended to include one or more shorter special sessions. With a state as populous as Texas, a lot of legislation – some in accord with our UU Principles and other bills very much at odds with our beliefs – is enacted in a short amount of time.
While we wait to see which bills make it to the floor of the House and Senate, TxUUJM is working alongside some of our partner organizations to be able to respond quickly. You are urged to check out their websites for fast breaking actionable responses:
Reproductive Freedom. Several bills are moving to the floor of the Senate to greatly restrict the right to reproductive health, including safe and legal abortion. We partner with Just Texas on opposing these measures. https://justtx.org/
Transgender Rights. This year, it looks like the anti-LGBTQ right is pushing at the top of their agenda a bill to ban transgender children from competing in sports based on their gender identity. For more information, see the Equality Texas legislative website: https://www.equalitytexas.org/
Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion, Criminal Justice Reform (Including the George Floyd Act) and Migration. A major push to suppress voter turnout is underway, aimed especially at denying lower-income and minority persons access to the ballot. This is just one of the areas in which we partner with Texas Impact. In fact, their website is a go-to place for information: https://texasimpact.org/action-center/
We will try to keep you informed as the legislative session heats up on ways you can make a difference through the eCast. This will likely include a TxUUJM legislative action day with meetings on Zoom with our local elected state officials in late spring.
IV. The E in MSJE Stands for the Environment!
Brazos UU Lunchtime Environmental Talks
Every 2nd Thursday of each month,
At 12N - 1 PM, Take a lunch break!
Pre-TALK Conversation 11:30A-12N
B. Upcoming Lunchtime Talks On The Environment
Thursday, April 8th - Global ‘Weirding’
By Professor Alan Pepper, TAMU Ecology and Evolution Biology
Expected, But Not-So-Obvious Consequences of Climate Change.
Prof. Pepper will explain the basics of global warming and its erratic effects on our climate
The TX Electric Grid: How Can We Prevent Future Catastrophes?”
By Prof Alfredo Garcia, Professor, Industrial & Systems Engineering
Thursday, May 13th, 2021
In this talk we describe the market design features that currently render Texas's electricity market vulnerable to rare events (such as the recent Polar Vortex) with catastrophic consequences. In addition, we survey regulatory design solutions that have been tried and tested in many electricity markets worldwide.
V. BRAZOS VALLEY AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM. Several members of the Brazos UU showed support for our soon to be new neighbors and attended the virtual BVAAM 20th Annual Virtual Appreciation Banquet on Saturday, March 27, 2021. Our friend, Ebony Peterson, Co-founder of the Black Lives Matter B/CS Organization, was the featured speaker.
V. Green Tip of the Week. Maya Lazarus continues her wonderful job of updating the Green Tip of the Week. If you would like to add a Green Tip, contact Maya.