Take Action

Join a campaign task force or committee

MCU’s work is organized through intentional campaigns and committee work that support the mission of the organization.

Many MCU congregations conducted Sacred Conversations on Race (+Action) in 2015.  Our congregations declared that the place to begin the most effective work addressing structural and systemic racism would be in the areas of education and policing.  At the same time, leadership from Liberation Christian Church was identifying a third issue: juvenile court reform.  Task forces were developed and a unifying theme emerged:

the school to prison pipeline.  The teams began understanding just how this system is limiting prospects for and criminalizing the lives of young people of color.

Click on the pictures below for more information about a

Break the Pipeline Campaign or a Working Taskforce 

Meeting Our Neighbors…Sharing Our Issues

Four Meetings, Four Districts4 Meetings, 4 Districts. One is near YOU!

Join us with a crew from your church or your neighborhood to knock doors and talk to our neighbors about CLEAN and RUM!  We will provide a brief training on how to go door-to-door, and then we will head out into the neighborhood together.  Never canvassed before?  Don’t worry – this is a perfect opportunity to get your feet wet.  We are all learning together, and we plan on making a big splash in our community during this election season! Bring a friend!

Reclaim Our Democracy. No More Sitting Out!

MCU congregations are taking back the decision making in our schools. We have challenged the overuse of out of school suspension of our children of color, the overuse of police for discipline, lack of trauma care trained teachers, and more. We are getting results, but do you know how your districts stands up? We will also launch a final push toward the November mid-terms and getting a win on our issues: CLEAN and RUM. Join us at one of the meetings near you (see listed times and places). We’ll hear from our school district administrators and the police on how our children are being treated.

We have been engaged at different times in the issue of Civil Rights for Immigrants. In that vein. we support the efforts of the sanctuary movement and Alex. Alex is living in sanctuary in one of our local congregations.

Visit Alex’s FaceBook page

Check our FaceBook pages  Metropolitan Congregations United

Follow us on Twitter: @MCUStLouis

MCU Acts to End the Separation of Families

On Monday, July 2, 2018 at 4:30pm, MCU leaders will gather outside of the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at Tucker and Spruce to demand the end of family separation at the border. This event is being held simultaneously with other Gamaliel affiliates across the country.

The abusive, unjust, and immoral separation of immigrant children from their families cannot continue. Senator Blunt is a critic of the policy. MCU is asking him to lead the effort to reunite families and push for immediate comprehensive immigration reform.

“Nearly every faith tradition on the face of this earth holds in common this key tenet, that all of us are divinely created and worthy of compassion,” said Rev. Karen Anderson, president of the board of MCU.  “But what we are doing at the border of this country to children and families seeking asylum from violence and oppression in the countries from which they have escaped is inconceivable.  I cannot imagine the irreparable harm being done to children as they are being torn from their mothers’ arms.  And what about the impact on this nation?  What scars will our non-immigrant children and their families suffer if we continue this immoral policy?”

Social scientists and modern ethicists have noted that one of the marks of a just society is its treatment of the most vulnerable. This is a cornerstone message in both both Hebrew and Christian texts. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety.

Families are a foundational element of our society and our government must not tear them apart.  Immigrant families have historically built prosperous businesses that contribute to the economic growth of this nation. Keeping families together and reuniting the families who have been separated by unfair detention and deportation practices and policies must be central to any piece of legislation that Congress enacts.

The Gamaliel Network is a community organizing network with affiliates, like MCU, in 17 states and 44 regions.  Gamaliel’s organizing work draws on struggles for justice by people of faith spanning many nations, creeds, and cultures.  Our work draws on the sacred writings of our multiple faith traditions—the Torah, Christian teachings from the Bible, Catholic social teaching—as well as the founding principles of American democracy, the U.S. civil rights movement, and many other sources.  Above all, our work begins and ends in an expression of the personal faith and values of our members.

 

 

Something is Wrong — Letter to the Editor, St. Louis American

“Something Is Wrong”

On February 8, of this year the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) held a collaborative meeting. Our youth are being sent to detention instead of in class. Something is wrong.

Jessica Karins writes that the disparities in juvenile justice are a: “constitutional violation in the county’s juvenile justice”, “fails to provide constitutionally required due process” and “that juvenile justice discriminates black children”, “fails to ensure adequate legal representation”. The St Louis Family Courts are failing our youth. Something is wrong when a program has been implemented or initiated since 2006 to address these failures, but are not being utilizes to the fullest to be effective. The JDAI aims to keep families and communities together by reducing the number of youth in detention.

This concept of joining families and communities and the success of programs like JDAI and campaigns like Break the Pipeline (BTP) , is deserving of committed workers and public notice. Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU) is very passionate towards doing away with detentions and focusing on breaking the pipeline to prisons. In 2017, MCU had a public meeting. The lack of justice on behalf of the courts gives some explanation why not one judge attended that meeting to make a commitment of justice for our youth.

Again, this year MCU will provide a platform through its public meetings. The event Jammin’ for Justice, held on June 14, 2018 and other grassroots actions to affect change within the justice system and schools will be ongoing.

MCU Going Public and Making Money Training

Don’t forget about the coming training day on Saturday, June 2.

It’s that time: Public Meeting Planning! We’ll form our teams and create great events for October 7. We’ll be creating the agenda, the communications, the logistics, the staging, looking at our issues. It’s THE event of our year! We’ll also launch our Community Resource Guide, learn more about money and how it impacts our work.

Reserve your space today. Lunch is provided for $10. You can pay at the door or pay ahead on line.  If you pay for lunch on line there will be a processing fee of $2.61.

Click here for more information and tickets.

Juvenile Justice Task Force

The Juvenile Justice Task Force works to address inequality within the Family Court System. These issues include inadequate access to lawyers, allowing probation officers to be advocates for the children while serving as an arm of the prosecution, and the subjugation of black youth to formal cases and harsher outcomes. The Task Force seeks to address these issues by 1) asking the court to appoint counsel for the youth in every hearing who meet the standards of the National Juvenile Defender Center, 2) having Family Court staff participate in implicit bias, structural racism, and rapid intervention training, and 3) having the Family Court hold stakeholder conversations to create alternatives to detainment and over-commitment to the Division of Youth Services.

Education Task Force

The Education Task Force continues to work to Break the Pipeline. We have commitments from most Metropolitan St. Louis and St. Charles school district superintendents to reduce out of school suspensions for K-3rd graders, and to explore/implement new discipline practices. The ultimate goal is to end out of school suspensions for K-3rd graders. Our goal is to continue to meet with area school superintendents and school boards to ask for and support their efforts to change school district policy to eliminate out of school suspensions for their youngest students, and implement restorative discipline and trauma-informed practices.

Policing Task Force

We understand that every department has its policies, procedures, and practices. Some of them work well and others do not. We are working toward insuring that all police departments are well trained, with community-positive policies and practices that not only foster safety and trust with the civilian population but also protect the men and women in law enforcement.

These are long-term goals of the Police Reform Task Force:

  • Quality, annual implicit bias awareness training for all department employees
  • Quality training on cultural and social interaction.
  • Quality training on appropriate use of force.
  • Collection and reporting to State pedestrian stop data.
  • School Resource Office (SRO) agreements and accountability.
  • For St. Louis City: strengthening the Civilian Oversight Board (COB) with subpoena power and department independence.
  • Passage of a new and improved Police Profiling statue for the State of Missouri.
St. Charles Organizing

St. Charles OrganizingIf you are interested in making policy changes for the common good in St. Charles, reach out to our office at 314-367-3484 or office@mcustl.com