Canadian Unitarians For Social Justice (CUSJ) is a national membership organization. Its purposes are to develop and maintain a vibrant network of Unitarian social action and to proactively represent Unitarian principles and values in matters of social justice:
- To promote peace and security, environmental protection, education and literacy in keeping with the spirit of Unitarian values;
- To publish newsletters and provide opportunities for Unitarians and friends to apply their religious, humanistic, and spiritual values to social action aimed at the relief of:
- poverty and economic injustice
- discrimination based on religious, racial or other grounds
- abuses of human rights whether of individuals or peoples
- abuses of democratic process
The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) is a council of Canadian Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist congregations. Its mission is to enhance, nurture and promote Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist religion in Canada. The CUC provides tangible support for religious exploration, spiritual growth and social responsibility. Along with professional ministers, the CUC represents our faith in the larger social and religious environments.
The CUC exists to:
- Promote Unitarian Universalism, Unitarianism and Universalism in Canada by:
- Affirming and promoting the principles, practices, and traditions of the Unitarian Universalist, Unitarian and Universalist faiths;
- Supporting the development and growth of Unitarian Universalist, Unitarian and Universalist religious communities;
- Nurturing, supporting and enhancing religious communities and other groups to work together on mutual concerns for the benefit of the community.
- Providing basic necessities of life, including food, clean water, clothing, medical and dental care and supplies, shelter, and education, tuition and school supplies to those in need.
Purpose of the Covenant
This covenant recognizes that:
- The Unitarian movement in Canada benefits from excellent leadership in social justice by professional staff, ministers, and by lay leaders across the country;
- There are different roles played by CUC staff, Congregational Social Justice Committees and Boards, and a membership organization of activists like the CUSJ;
- The CUC encourages co-ordinated action as well as responsible individual action on matters of social concern;
- The CUSJ acts to mobilize Unitarians to become more engaged in social justice actions;
- Social justice work is one of the ways in which UUs live out our principles;
- Both the CUC and CUSJ are engaged in developing and furthering social justice initiatives and voices; the CUC through its monitoring groups and the work of CUC staff and volunteers; and the CUSJ through individual membership and chapter development;
- Both the CUC and CUSJ can best achieve our purposes and do more for our movement if we establish an effective relationship based on mutual cooperation, grounded in trust, respect, and clear communication.
Therefore, we covenant together to:
- Continue the affiliate relationship of CUSJ to the CUC, recognizing that the CUSJ is an independent, legally separate organization from the CUC; and that the CUC is not in any way responsible for programs, activities, or finances of CUSJ.
- Communicate clearly so that there will be no suggestion by CUSJ in print, word, or deed, that it speaks or acts on behalf of the CUC or the Canadian UU movement as a whole. CUSJ’s public actions are fully reported on the CUSJ website.
- Participate in the benefits awarded to CUC affiliate organizations as follows:
- Include a link to the CUSJ on the social responsibility page of the CUC website;
- Include a link to the CUC social responsibility page on the CUSJ website;
- Provide access to meetings/display facilities at Fall Gatherings and National Conferences;
- Provide access to the CUC calendar and inclusion in the written program with a link to the CUSJ registration;
- Include an official representative of the CUSJ in the CUC annual general meeting, on equal standing with voting delegate member congregations and others given the privilege;
- Include an official representative of the CUC in the CUSJ annual meeting;
- Provide mutual access to social action resource materials, news releases and other activities;
- Provide access to CUC communication mechanisms that support social action, in keeping with the CUC’s charitible purposes and principles.
- Strengthen the quality and quantity of our communications and engagement with one another, including face-to-face and through social media.
- Nurture the relationship among the CUSJ President, the CUC Social Justice Co-ordinator and the CUC Social Responsibility Board Liaison.
- On an annual basis, key representatives will meet to discuss mutual interests and priorities with a view to possible collaboration.
- Consult with one another on high profile social action issues to share how each of us will approach these issues and how we might work together.
This is a living covenant that is open to review and renewal, at the request of either the CUC or CUSJ.
Margaret Rao Vyda Ng
President Executive Director
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice Canadian Unitarian Council
November 8, 2016 November 8, 2016