Posts Tagged ‘Rev. Craig C. Roshaven’

Forward on Climate!

No Comments | Share On Facebook| Forward on Climate! Share/Save/Bookmark Feb 26, 2013

Post author Rev. Craig Roshaven and other UUs march under the SSL banner at the Forward on Climate rally. (Credit: Jennifer Toth)

Last Sunday I joined hundreds of Unitarian Universalists and tens of thousands of other concerned citizens at the largest ever gathering in the United States on climate change: the Forward on Climate Rally. One of the major demands of the day was urging President Obama to not approve the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Before the estimated 40,000 participants encircled the White House, we heard a number of inspiring speakers, including Bill McKibben of 350.org, Michael Brune of the Sierra Club, Chief Jacqueline Thomas of Saik’uz First Nation, and Crystal Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation.

Many oppose the pipeline because of the threat that extracting all that oil presents to the climate. Others oppose it because of the threat of a major spill from the pipeline and the potential for increased air pollution from refineries processing the tar sands in impoverished communities. While I share these concerns, my principal focus is the effect approving the pipeline will have on the First Nations people whose health and way of life are currently at risk from the impacts of tar sands development. If the pipeline is approved, the rate and extent of extracting oil from the tar sands will increase dramatically. Already people living downstream and downwind are suffering from an increase in rare forms of cancer. Fish in the Athabasca River are often visibly deformed and unsafe to eat.

Mikisew Cree First Nation leaders believe that water pollution from tar sands development may be linked to an increased incidence of cancers found in the population of Fort Chipewyan located directly downstream from the most intensive tar sands development. In 2006, these concerns were brought into the public eye when Dr. John O’Connor, who serves small First Nations communities in the regions where the are sands are extracted, reported a high number of cases of unusual cancers, particularly a rare form of bile duct cancer called cholangiocarcinoma. Despite these and other alarming findings, the Canadian government continues to deny these illnesses are a result of extracting oil from the tar sands. Concerns have also been raised that the amount of water being withdrawn from the Athabasca river system will threaten fish populations and the health of the Peace-Athabasca Delta.

In the face of this denial, First Nation leaders have been forced to turn to the courts to assert their constitutionally protected rights. According to Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation: “The federal government is neglecting its environmental responsibilities and ignoring our concerns. When the government fails to engage with First Nations about our concerns, and fails to respect our rights, these things have nowhere to go but the courts.”

It is because of these concerns that I am standing on the side of love with First Nations people in Canada, and adding my voice to theirs in opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. While the rally might be over, our work continues. Learn more about our work on environmental justice here.


This post was written by Rev. Craig C. Roshaven, Witness Ministries Director at the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Taking Our Voice to the White House for Immigration Reform

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Members of the IIC coalition including Rev. Roshaven (center) with Ms. Rodriguez.

Yesterday, I went with fellow members of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) Steering Committee to meet with Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Associate Director of Latino Affairs and Immigration in the White House Office of Public Engagement, and present our list of key principles for compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform to the Obama Administration. I felt honored to represent the Unitarian Universalist community and proud of the good work that so many of our congregational and community leaders have done for migrant justice and the Beloved Community.

For us, any immigration reform that does not include a pathway to citizenship and prioritize keeping families together is unacceptable. As people of faith, we are calling for compassionate immigration reform legislation that:

• Addresses the root causes of migration,
• Creates a process for undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship,
• Keeps families together,
• Enacts the DREAM Act,
• Protects workers’ rights including agricultural workers,
• Places humanitarian values at the center of enforcement policies, and
• Protects refugees and migrant survivors of violence.

What can you do to help support our work for compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform? Local congregations and individual faith leaders can sign on to our letter to Congress listing key principles of immigration reform. Click here to learn more.

Additionally, your congregation or community group can participate in the upcoming Breaking Bread and Building Bridges campaign—a program to create and strengthen relationships between people of faith, impacted communities, and immigrants’ rights groups, and increase local capacity to effectively advocate for just immigration policies.

Keep your eye out in the coming weeks—we are also organizing a national immigration reform call-in on the day after Inauguration (January 22). Join folks from across the country in asking President Obama and Congress to enact compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship and keeps families together. The IIC Steering Committee will be visiting key members of congress on that same day. Add your voice to ours and help ensure that the faith community is heard!


Rev. Craig C. Roshaven

This post was written by Rev. Craig Roshaven, Unitarian Universalist Association Witness Ministries Director and a leader in the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) Steering Committee.

Immigration Reform: A Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity

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Finally, all signs indicate that we will have the chance to pass humane, inclusive immigration reform in the coming months. This once-in-a-generation opportunity comes from the phenomenal work that immigrant communities, faith groups, and others have done to build partnerships and raise voices of compassion. Now that this moment is here, it’s important that grassroots migrant groups and faith communities have their voices heard–and lead the way.

Breaking Bread and Building Bridges is an interfaith campaign that will help us achieve Compassionate Immigration Reform (CIR) at the national level by building the power and capacity of interfaith coalitions at the local level. In addition to helping make CIR a reality, the campaign will help us continue to push for needed changes in local and state policies that affect migrants.

To learn more about the changed political landscape and how you can help roll out the Breaking Bread and Building Bridges Campaign early next year, join our conference call on Monday, December 10th at 4:00pm ET.

Click here to RSVP today.

At the heart of the Breaking Bread Campaign is an activity that every faith community is familiar with – potlucks! But these potlucks are special. We ask that one congregation in your area host a potluck to which members of every faith in your community are invited. In addition to other faith communities, invite members of migrant rights organizations to Break Bread together and Build Bridges between all our communities. We suggest that you schedule your potluck(s) between January 22 and May 22, 2013.

Now is the time for us to assemble and strengthen our local coalitions. The 2012 election created a significant shift in the dialogue on humane immigration reform and the voice of the faith community needs to be part of that conversation.

Please join our conference call on Monday, December 10th at 4:00pm ET and learn how you can be a part in this critical moment. Click here to RSVP.

Yours in a Shared Faith in the inherent worth and dignity of every person,

Rev. Craig C. Roshaven
Witness Ministries Director
Unitarian Universalist Association

The Breaking Bread and Building Bridges Campaign is sponsored by the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, a broad based national coalition of 32 faith communities in which the Unitarian Universalist Association plays a leading role.


The message above went out on Thursday, December 5, 2012 to Standing on the Side of Love supporters. You can sign-up for these emails here.

Changes at Standing on the Side of Love

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As the Unitarian Universalist Association bids farewell to Dan Furmansky, we are moving quickly to find our next outstanding Standing on the Side of Love Campaign Manager. On August 1st the position was posted on the UUA website under “Careers” and “Callings/Job Openings.”

Click here to access the position description and share it.

The purpose and principal responsibilities of the position remain the same, and it will continue to be based in Washington, DC.

We will be interviewing candidates in August. If you know someone you think would be an outstanding candidate for this position, please encourage them to apply.

Last month, we significantly expanded the capacity of the campaign by hiring a full-time program assistant. Meredith Lukow has served as both a summer intern with the campaign, as well as a part-time employee over the past year. A recent graduate of American University, Meredith brings a great deal of skill, initiative, and enthusiasm to the newly created position of Standing on the Side of Love Program Assistant.

Rev. Craig C. Roshaven
UUA Witness Ministries Director

An Image from the U.S. Supreme Court

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The Standing on the Side of Love Banner and Unitarian Universalist Association banners are on display in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building today as people of faith witness against SB 1070. Pictured are UUA Witness Ministries Program Associate Kat Liu holding up the UUA banner and UUA Witness Ministries Director Rev. Craig Roshaven at the far end of the Love banner.

photo courtesy of Catholic News Service

photo courtesy of Catholic News Service