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Social Justice

First Unitarian-Portland Pride flag

Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.

Cornel West

In my experience, working for justice is how we make our UU principles real in the world.

How we do that work is different for different people and congregations. Some find protest and social witness their calling. Others are drawn to easing the pain of injustice by providing social services and support. Some are called to analyze what is unjust and lobby for policy change. Still others minister to those who are on the front lines, offering spiritual grounding for the long-haul work required. To me it is less important how people choose to contribute to this work, than that, as time allows, we live out our principles in a meaningful way.

Talking with young protesters at an immigration justice rally, Oregon State Capitol

I have experience in each of these areas, and feel most comfortable providing pastoral care and advocacy. Policy analysis and legislative action was part of my work in state government and I have continued this work as a minister as I have been able.

These are my current commitments:

  • Allies for Racial Equity, anti-racist movement for white UUs         
  • Racial Justice Organizing Committee, a white ally organization, Salem OR
  • Oregon UU Voices for Justice, Portland OR
  • Salem Community Action Agency, social services organization, Salem OR

I look forward to discernment and discussion with a congregation to establish our shared priorities.

One of the beautiful consequences of our interdependent web is that no matter where we work to make change, it will affect the whole. No matter where we enter the work for justice, not matter what strand we pull, it will have ripples for the good of the entire web.

Climate justice rally at Waterfront Park in Salem, OR

This is the central task of a worshiping community: to invite the spiritual presence; to unveil the connectedness of all humanity through the story of life; and thus to reveal this universal truth, which is only discovered amid the particulars of our own lives and the lives of others. Once felt it inspires us to work for justice.

Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed
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