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Social Action

United Methodist Women Texas Legislative Event

30+ Years of Faith in Action

January 27-29,2019

Over 200 Texas United Methodist Women and men met in Austin, Texas at the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown to plan our Texas United Methodist Women Legislative agenda for 2019. Our theme was “Boldly We Go!”. Texas Impact and Texas Interfaith Center Staff planned and based our speakers upon the National United Methodist Women Four Priority Social Justice issues for the 2016-2020 quadrennium. We had speakers on 1) Economic Inequality 2) Climate Justice 3) Mass Incarceration and Criminalization of Communities of Color and 4) Maternal and Child Health.

We started Sunday afternoon with Advocacy 101 training on how to be true advocates and how to have our state legislators effectively hear our voice. We then broke in to four different workshops: Bold Storytelling, Talanoa: Dialogue for Community, Courts and Ports, or Oral Health. For each of our meals we had different guest speakers.

Harriett Jane Olson, General Secretary of United Methodist Women, also joined us for our three-day Texas Legislative Event. Her presence and her talks greatly encouraged us.

On Monday, after hearing all our speakers, the Texas United Methodist Women conferences met and adopted a consensus legislative agenda. We focused on UMW issues impacting the State of Texas’ women, children, and youth.

For Economic Inequality we agreed public school education funding needed to be increased and go only for public purposes not for private purposes or private education. We also agreed to support fully funded pre-kindergarten statewide as studies show children who receive a pre-K education have a higher chance of succeeding in school.

For Climate Justice we agreed there is a problem and it is solvable. We encouraged our legislators to pass laws to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Texas by advancing the use of renewable energy and technology.  We asked for them to direct state agencies to plan for the costs attributed to climate change. We are already paying for these costs in our rising insurance policies due to recent catastrophic storm damage.

For Criminalization for Communities of Color, we agreed, after watching body cam videos and hearing personal stories, Senate Bill (SB) 4 needs to be eliminated. We agreed asylum seekers are humans and families need to stay together and federal detention facilities need more state oversight. We asked for increased accountability and transparency of state spending on border security.

For Maternal and Child Health, we agreed Texas should not rank #50 in the nation for the most uninsured. We also lead developed nations in highest maternal mortality deaths. These deaths are preventable. We asked our legislators to ensure all Texans have access to health insurance by expanding Medicaid and removing all obstacles so there will be a continuity of care.

If you would like more information contact your District Social Action coordinator or your Conference Social Action Coordinator. We have handouts and a list of how your legislator voted, supported, or opposed the bills which effect UMW priorities.

Attached is our 2019 Legislative Agenda and the UMW Take Action. If you would like speakers and /or be more involved, Texas Impact would love to help. You may contact them at texasimpact.org

 

Charter for Racial

Justice: Sing A Rainbow
“The School to Prison Pipeline”
February 16 th , 2019
Cogdell Memorial Methodist Church

Emily Jones, the United Methodist Women Executive for Racial Justice,

was our guest speaker for our Charter for Racial Justice Event. Emily explained the term “the school-to-prison pipeline” and how children and youth of color are being rerouted by
school systems and taken from educational success to the criminal justice system.

She shared links from school district reports and the data center for kids count which showed many factors that result in this pipeline. This included racial and
gender biases, excessive out of school suspensions and expulsions, zero tolerance
policies, and status offenses.

Emily presented a 75-90 minute workshop which 
included role plays, practice scenarios and a 30 minute Bible study, we did in groups at our tables. 
She spoke on structural injustices, racism and how to equip ourselves for action based
on Ephesians.
Wesley Kids from Wesley United Methodist Church in Waco, Texas opened our program after a short video from www.youthfirstinitative.org . We were also
Blessed again by the singing of Joi and Jocelyn Hobdy.

In the afternoon a speaker from
the Bill Logue Juvenile Detention Center in Waco, Texas shared with us how we may
be involved in their volunteer/mentoring program for youths on probation and help them
stay in school.

For more information on The School to Prison Pipeline
https://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/racialjustice/school2prisonpdf

To access the School to Prison pipeline information in Spanish Download the translated document  here.

 

 

Not sure how to be a Charter for Racial Justice Unit?

First United Methodist Church of McGregor, King Memorial United Methodist Church, China Spring First United Methodist Church, and First United Methodist Church are the UMW to ask! They renewed their charters again for another year.

Check with your District President or District Social Action Coordinator for more information. They have a copy of the application in our 2019 Resource Book and pages 50-51 has the directions for application. You can also check out https://s3.amazonaws.com/umw/pdfs/racialjustice2012.pdf . The scenarios start on page 72 of the manual.

 

Blessings,

Susan Torpy

CTC

Social Action Coordinator


 

More resources are available on our Advocacy issue pages:  

   Human Trafficking
Global Migration
                                      Domestic Violence
                                  Climate Change
                                  Gender Justice
                                Racial Justice
                                    Economic Justice
                             Health Care
                              Food Justice

 
 

 

 
 
 

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