Social Justice

We work with community partners to build a Beloved Community with justice, equity, and compassion for each living being.

Faith in Action

Our work for justice is based on the principles of equality and solidarity. How we live matters; our living can make a positive difference in the world. We honor the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and honor all life. We have a long tradition of involvement in work for social change.

To get involved, contact Toni Nading, Chair of our Social Justice Council

Our Goals are to:

  • Provide opportunities to grow and be transformed through action and service.
  • Educate others and invite the wider community to join us in living our seven Unitarian Universalist Association Principles.
  • Be a community leader in social justice through the active participation of the members and in coalition with other justice-seeking organizations.

Within our congregation, the Social Justice Council leads our efforts, and provides vision, direction, and organizational support for our growing involvement in social justice activities.

Homelessness Task Force

Safe Parking Program (new in 2021)

We are in the process of becoming a host site through the Safe Parking Program. Once we are approved by the City of Denver, folks experiencing homelessness who have a vehicle can apply to for a six-month permit to park and rest overnight in our north parking lot.

We welcome First Universalist members to volunteer as opportunities are available. To volunteer to support the program or to learn more, please contact Linda Baggus or Nancy Bolt.

Banner reading Black Lives Matter in large font and a big heart and Side with Love FirstUniversalist.org in smaller font
Our Racial Justice Task Force facilitates opportunities for education and advocacy in our congregation, as we work to identify and overcome implicit racial biases.

We are exploring this together in a series of virtual “Faithful Conversations about Race” hosted via Zoom. To get involved, contact Erica Stetson.

We are hopeful that by listening and sharing with each other we will gain some insight and clarity about all that we are seeing and hearing and find some comfort and reassurance in each other’s presence.

Conversations about race and violence can be uncomfortable; we will provide structure to make sure that people are listened to carefully, and that it feels safe to speak up and speak from your heart.

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Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

We embrace and promote the seventh principal of Unitarian Universalism: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. The Green First Task Force pursued, and achieved certification as a Green Sanctuary Congregation in 2010. Since then we have continued to work on environmental issues both within and beyond the walls of the First Universalist Church of Denver.

Minimizing our footprint on the environment is our first goal, but we want to leave a trace and have a positive impact on the earth and all living beings around us. Our building was built to be carbon positive, putting more energy back on the grid than we use. Through a combination of geothermal heating, solar panels, energy efficient lighting, and reclaimed and environmentally sustainable building materials, we have built a church home that reflects our commitment to making positive impact.

Interested in joining us or finding out what First Universalist’s Green First task force has been up to? Meetings meet the second Tuesday of each month, year round, and are open to everyone. To learn more, please contact our Chair, Hilary Morland.

We are committed to Compassion in Action.

Most weeks out of year, the congregation gives 100% of the donations collected during the Sunday Offering to organizations doing work for social justice and equity in the local and global community. Compassion in Action is our congregational tithe shared to improve our world. The other Sundays (approximately one Sunday a month) the collection stays within our congregation to support our church and the work of its ministries.

Participating Compassion in Action organizations are nominated by members of the church and approved by the Social Justice Council.

To nominate an organization for Compassion in Action, click the button below to go to our simple online form. Questions? Reach out to Rhoda Whitney.

Nomination Form

Hunger Alleviation: IFCS

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Integrated Family and Community Services (IFCS) has been meeting the basic needs of families and seniors for over 50 years. First Universalist has participated in a partnership with this non-profit for over three decades.

Food insecurity is a national crisis. We are in concert with IFCS in the devotion to their mission to prevent the downward spiral of poverty, hunger and homelessness. We act out this commitment through donations of food, clothing and financial assistance. We also encourage volunteering and awareness of the need to sustain and interact with our local communities in this endeavor.

IFCS is open on the following days and times:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
8:30-11:30am and 1:00-3:00pm

3370 South Irving Street,
Englewood, CO 80110
Ph: 303-789-0501

To learn more, contact Jean James.

Housing for Denver Metro Neighbors in Need

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One of our longest-running social justice projects at First Universalist, our Habitat Task Force has led our work over the last two decades to help build 19 homes in the Denver Metro area. Through Habitat, we continue to:

  • Share leadership in the Habitat Interfaith Alliance, with whom we build a new home every year.
  • Partner with Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver to address the affordable-housing shortage in our area.
  • Strengthen interfaith ties so that we continue to become a recognized force for justice by the various faith groups in our community.
  • Provide opportunities to participate in activities which increase the availability of decent, affordable housing.

To learn more, contact Chair Molly Frank.

Gun Violence Prevention Task Force

Update for January, 2021: This task force is currently on a hiatus. When we are able to gather in person safely once again, we will share news of our planned activities.

Protesting Gun Violence in Denver

The GVPTF was formed in response to the tremendous impact that firearm violence has in our society – over 30,000 deaths and 50,000 non-fatal woundings annually. Of the deaths, the majority represent suicide, highlighting the public health nature of the epidemic. Colorado is in the top 5 states in suicides. Most suicide attempts using guns are successful. GVPTF was formed to bring attention and awareness to the issue, and to work to reduce the toll of gun related violence in our society.

Stay Informed

Join our email list to get alerts about pending state and national legislation related to gun safety and other opportunities for civic action. To sign up, send an email to Jackson Turnacliff.