Since the Supreme Court's ruling in June 2013 eviscerating the Voting Rights Act, states such as North Carolina have passed legislation that restricts voting access for students, immigrants, the working poor, people of color, and the formerly incarcerated. We kicked off our campaign in August 2013, on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and joined UUs from around the country at the Moral March on Raleigh in February 2014.
We are devoted to making DC a just city for each and every soul who calls it their home. In partnership with over 50 local congregations and service organizations from every ward in the city, WIN organizes to honor and respect our city's theological, racial, and economic diversity. Current issues: criminal justice, affordable housing, jobs for DC residents, and housing for homeless youth. We invite everyone to our open meetings and citywide actions.
We cook good food and serve it with love, aiming to accommodate diverse diets with menus that appeal to a variety of tastes. As part of our green commitment, we support zero-trash lunches and composting; although there is typically a small charge for lunch, we provide free meals to guests and low-income congregants. We seek individuals or groups to chef, prepare, serve, and clean up. You can sign up for just one Sunday, but many volunteers enjoy it so much they become regulars.
In 1948, inspired by the sermons of the Rev. A. Powell Davies, children at All Souls collected school supplies to send to Hiroshima, Japan. In appreciation, the school children in Hiroshima created original works of art, which they sent back to All Souls as gifts. The HCD Committee shares this transformative story as part of All Souls’ peace and reconciliation initiative.
Following UU principles (especially the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th principles), we work to rectify imbalances of power in trading relationships by offering coffee, tea, cocoa products, and olive oil for which the growers receive a fair price (above the market standard), allowing them to send their children to school instead of work and to establish clinics. And virtually all of our merchandise is organic (add the 7th principle!). Buy them, enjoy them, and consider helping to sell them.
We express our commitment to building a Beloved Community by welcoming all immigrants and English-language learners in the DC area who wish to improve their speaking and listening skills. The program focuses on conversation and pronunciation rather than grammar; provides training and ongoing support by an ESL education expert; has a high teacher/tutor–to-student ratio; schedules classes on Sunday outside of the work week; and shares information from other DC-based agencies.
We toll our historic 1822 Revere Foundry “Abolition” Bell, which has served our community for 190 years. We mix the joys and sorrows of the world by pealing the bell for several minutes, pausing for two minutes to wind the weights on our bell tower clock to keep it running, and then tolling the bell in memory of all the deaths in current wars. After training, volunteers are given access to a Google calendar to sign up for open slots.
Established in 1973 through a generous donation from Earl and Meta Beckner, the All Souls/Beckner Advancement Fund helps make the community around the church more cohesive, attractive, and forward-looking, while fostering human rights and dignity. The Fund supports efforts to advance social justice, distributing over $100,000 in grants annually. More information at www.all-souls.org/beckner.
A non-profit corporation composed of All Souls members, ASHC seeks to build a healthy, diverse community in our neighborhoods by developing and maintaining affordable housing and services to residents. In 1971, as Change-All Souls Housing Corporation, we helped build Columbia Heights Village on 14th Street, for which we have continuing responsibility. We work with community partners to build and rehab affordable housing units, sponsor information forums, and advocate for the community. Our board meetings are open for all All Souls members periodically after church.