UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST SERVICE COMMITTEE: Fighting to End Child Detention
In 2020, UUSC’s collaborative campaign with the UUA, Love Resists, entered its third year funding local projects that build capacity for and mobilize UUs in solidarity with immigrant communities who are already organizing. In November, members of the Emerson UU Congregation in Marietta, Georgia, reached out
to UUSC with concerns that a local business was trying to open a child detention center there. Alongside both new and long-time partners – New Sanctuary Movement of Atlanta and Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR), respectively – we prepared members of the congregation to challenge the construction through appealing a zoning variance, bringing the issue to the City Council, and generating strong public opposition in advance of a Marietta City
Council vote. UUSC also provided media coaching for a local UU minister who was interviewed live on the local National Public Radio station about the campaign just two days prior to the vote. As the day of the City Council vote approached, UUSC led a preparation session with the Emerson congregation and provided sources and data to support the coalition’s arguments against the detention center. When the time came for the vote, Marietta’s City Council unanimously opposed the facility — the result of grassroots efforts and “strong solidarity[,] UU values, and support.” The campaign to oppose the Marietta facility is a powerful example of how UUSC can help build and strengthen powerful coalitions of grassroots partners and interfaith allies.