World Water Day, March 22: Commit2Respond begins first major collective campaign.

Are you ready? On World Water Day, March 22, Commit2Respond will begin its first major collective campaign. Climate Justice Month will launch us into a fully-fledged movement, but only if we all join together.

Climate Justice Month quote

Be a Climate Justice Month leader! Here are 5 ways you can get ready for Climate Justice Month:
  1. Sign up to receive the Climate Justice Month daily messages in your inbox, full of faith-filled resources, powerful practices to engage in, and tools to understand how shifting to a low carbon future, advancing human rights, and growing the movement are our moral charge.
  2. Follow and share the daily messages by liking/following Commit2Respond on Facebook or Twitter.
  3. Gather a group of friends, family, or people from your faith community if you have one and set aside time once or twice a week during Climate Justice Month to reflect together on the daily messages and discern how to support each other in committing to long term actions.
  4. If you are part of a congregation, plan to celebrate World Water Day and Earth Day. Climate Justice Month will kick off with Climate Justice Sunday, and new worship resources for the entire month are now available.
  5. Spread the word! It will take all of us to grow into a movement. Forward this email to your friends and community members, and check out our media page for cool shareable materials.

Get ready to revel in connection with the natural world, reckon with the impacts and injustices of climate change, reconnect with hope through relationship, and commit to long-term actions that will help save our world.

In anticipation and excitement,
Your fellow Commit2Respond leaders


Keep up with Commit2Respond on Facebook and Twitter.

Sat Aug 3rd, 10am – Rally at the Rio! to put Climate Change back in the Spotlight

In the spirit of UU Principles 5 – 7:

  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Will you join us on August 3rd to put climate change back in the spotlight? In the heat of the summer, more than a dozen local environmental groups are coming together to send the message that we have a moral obligation to deal with this issue NOW.

WHAT: Rally at the Rio!
WHEN: Saturday, August 3rd, 10:00AM
WHERE: 2700 Central Ave SW, Abq, NM (near the BioPark)

Please click here to RSVP.

Our rally is just one of many actions happening this summer as part of the national Summer Heat mobilization. From tar-sands-free flotillas to civil disobedience, folks across the country are braving the summer heat to call for climate action. August 3rd is our chance to be part of the uprising.

Let’s make our Rally at the Rio huge. Bring a friend, and help spread the word on Facebook too. For more information and a printable event flyer, visit

See you there,

Bill Balassi & 350NM

Westside Forum April, 2013


at Unitarian Universalist Westside Congregation
1650 Abrazo Road NE, Rio Rancho, NM

Viki Harrison of Common Cause NM CommonCauseNM_logo

provides a wrap up of the 2013 NM Legislative Session
With discussion on what’s next.

Viki Harrison is Common Cause New Mexico’s Executive Director, where she manages the state office in Albuquerque, organizes and coordinates legislative programs, conducts research, directs fundraising initiatives and serves as a lobbyist. Before joining Common Cause, Viki was the Executive Director of NM Repeal, where she led the winning campaign in New Mexico to abolish the death penalty. Earlier in her career she was the Program Manager for Animal Protection of New Mexico, and part of the team that successfully banned cockfighting in NM.

Ms. Harrison has extensive knowledge of the legislative process in New Mexico, having successfully lobbied in NM since 1997 on the local and state level. Viki graduated summa cum laude from the UNM with BA’s in Women’s Studies and African American Studies.

Westside Forum™ is a project of Unitarian Universalist Westside Congregation’s Social Action Committee.

The Forum is a non-partisan service to the community at large.


All are welcome.  FREE, donations gratefully accepted.

Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion that embraces theological diversity; we welcome different beliefs, affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and work for social and environmental justice


Contact:  Priscilla at (505) 896-8192 or

Valentine’s Day the Fair-trade Way

UU Service CommitteePrograms

UUWC wishes you a Valentines Day filled with love and laughter.  We also hope you will consider a few things when choosing gifts for those you love.

For flower farmers, fair trade certification means more than just a fair wage.  It requires that farms provide employee benefits including 12 weeks maternity leave and child care. Read more  about the growers.  Each fair-trade flower sold by the Hoja Verde flower farm in Ecuador, enables the cooperative to send one more child to school.  from Bread for the World blog

We are all looking for the best value for our money.  But the least expensive often comes with hidden costs.

  • Harvesting cocoa is dangerous work with long hours. Children laboring on cocoa farms must cut cacao pods down from high branches with machetes, split them open, and scoop out the beans, while they are also exposed to harmful pesticides without the necessary protective equipment. What’s more, the children who labor under these conditions are unable to attend school or to pursue other avenues for safe and sustainable work that could bring them and their families out of extreme poverty.
  • A similar picture emerges when it comes to flowers. Many of the roses and carnations grown in South America are exported to be sold in American florist shops. In many of the flower plantations in countries with big cut-flower industries, such as Colombia and Ecuador, pervasive problems include poor health and safety conditions (especially pesticide exposure), the use of child labor, sexual harassment, and targeting of union organizers.

from UU Service Committee

If you choose to put your dollars to work creating a world that protects workers and the earth, here are some links:

Buy Fair Trade and support a local business at

Flowers & Chocolate

to learn more about the issues, see >>

Tainted love: The dirty truth behind America’s traditional valentines

Child Labor: The Hidden Ingredient to the Billion-Dollar Chocolate Industry?

many more products