Member Spotlight

Anyone who has known Aimee Vanduyne during her dozen years as a Member of UUCMC knows that her passion is racial justice. In 2016, Aimee helped launch the Racial Justice Task Force and, along with Ann Sherwood, is currently co-chair. She was instrumental in organizing the large UUCMC Black Lives Matter Rally in 2016, as well as the forum, Voices of the Black Experience: Inspiring Us to Resist the New Jim Crow, in 2017. During Poor People’s Campaign protests in summer 2018, Aimee was part of a group arrested in Trenton. She represents UUCMC in the NJ Remembrance Coalition for Social Justice, which is working to erect a Historical Marker on the site of a lynching that took place in Eatontown. She is a vocal proponent of The NJ Institute of Social Justice and Salvation and Social Justice, two organizations dedicated to improving the lives of Black and Brown people in NJ. In her hometown of Brick, Aimee is one of a group of residents pushing the school board to add an African American History course and to have a more diverse curriculum overall, and seeking to review policing practices with the town council and mayor.

Aimee manages to find time to volunteer at Fulfill and work with a local organization to deliver food throughout Ocean County to families in need. She was chair of UUCMC’s Family Ministry Committee from 2015 to 2020 and recently became one of two liaisons with UU FaithAction NJ along with Judy Stevens.

The UU Social Action group initially loaned $25 to 8 different entrepreneurs back in 2008 on Kiva, a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Since then, we have made 92 loans to 38 countries which equates to $2300 overall with our initial contribution.

One of our recent loans was to Maram. She is 27 & lives with her husband (a builder) and three young children in the village of Jebal Muhaber, in east Jerusalem. She has been selling infants’ clothing from her house, but now wishes to set up shop, and to expand the range of baby and toddler clothes and accessories that she can offer.

Environmental leaders cheer as NJ Legislative votes to pass Single-use Waste Ban Bill Legislation. It is now the strongest in the country.

Assembly passes Public Health Emergency Credit Legislation to release people nearing end of prison sentences. The Bill now goes to the Governor’s desk.

Thanks to all who responded to the Action Alert! A resolution creating a commission to study sexual assault, misconduct and harassment by staff against inmates in state correctional facilities was signed into law on Sept 14th. The resolution, SJR-79/AJR-167, is sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein and Senator Nia Gill.

New Jersey state legislature passed landmark environmental justice legislation (S232/A2212) that seeks to promote environmental justice by ensuring that low-income communities of color are not burdened with unfair shares of pollution.

The NJ Remembrance Coalition for Social Justice is pleased to announce that our proposal for Soil Collection and an Historical Marker for Samuel Johnson has been approved by the Equal Justice Initiative. We will now be working directly with EJI to educate the public and complete the project.

Thank you to all the congregants who have helped out Fulfill, Lunch Break and Casa Freehold!

Take action with the NEW 15-minute version of The Long Shadow. Witness the impact of white supremacy from America’s history to today in this short version of the PBS documentary.

From the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, a 2 page takeaway on what you can do now and hereafter to follow the courage of your convictions. As they say: This time it MUST be different.

Nikole Hannah-Jones explains the history of economic injustice and argues that if black lives are to truly matter in America, the nation must finally pay its debts. Read here.

UU FaithAction NJ Environmental Task Force newsletter is full of information, news and action items and can be found here.

To keep up to date on continuing actions and ways to fight systemic racism in our country, please check out the following sites:
Showing Up For Racial Justice
Movement For Black Lives
Campaign Zero
National Bail Fund Network

An informative video that tells you the most important aspects of New Jersey’s Green New Deal legislative efforts can be found on the 30 minute documentary “Part 1 of ‘Here’s the Story, the Green Amendment’“.

Please consider signing on in support of this critical and urgent legislation to address voter intimidation.

Take Action: Contact your legislators to pass the Reproductive Freedom Act. Passing it will help protect and expand everyone’s ability to receive reproductive health care, such as birth control and pregnancy-related care, including abortion.

The UU the Vote team would like to share with you these list of actions and resources to check out before the 2020 election. #VoteLove #DefeatHate

We’ve had a setback passing A4235 to save lives in New Jersey prisons and need continued actions.  Read more from Salvation and Social Justice about this and the bill to limit the use of deadly force by NJ Police and take action here.

Create NJ Reparative Justice Task Force

Tell These NJ Officials to Release All Detainees & Incarcerated #FreeThemAll
ICE | Bergen County | Essex County | Hudson County | CoreCivic

Do you have an event to share? Email Us!