Each month our congregation dedicates a special collection to a recipient selected by the Social Justice Council.
Virginia Organizing is a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization dedicated to challenging injustice. Virginia Organizing especially encourages the participation of those who have traditionally had little or no voice in our society and is particularly mindful of the needs of the poor and vulnerable. Our members fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community (including marriage rights), for immigrant rights, for an end to racial profiling, for a strengthening of the social safety net, for a healthy environment, to limit climate change, to make sure that community members are registered to vote, and more.
We do our work to organize and build power with folks who have traditionally not had it in three major ways:
- We build power through our local organizing. Regular people have come together in communities all over Virginia to identify what issues are affecting them, and to strategize campaigns that win real improvements in their lives. We have seventeen chapters working on issues from trying to get more affordable housing, to improving relationships between law enforcement and communities of color, to ending the school to prison pipeline, and more. These campaigns are led by the people directly affected by these issues.
- We work on statewide and national issues. In the General Assembly this year alone, we are working on expanding Medicaid, fighting for driver’s licenses for immigrants, pushing for climate justice legislation, fighting against payday lenders, and working on school-to-prison pipeline legislation. We do not have paid lobbyists because we believe that the people dealing with these issues should be the ones determining our strategy and holding our Delegates and Senators accountable. We also work on restoration of voting rights and voter registration to make sure that everyone has the ability to vote.
- We believe in deliberate leadership development. We ask every person we interact with what they would like to learn. We have also spent years doing Dismantling Racism workshops all over Virginia (as well as workshops on heterosexism and classism). We believe we will only win long term changes in our state when more people are engaged in our organizing and truly in charge of making decisions in their local communities.
Virginia Organizing has appreciated TJMC’s support over the years. We look forward to continuing to work together to build power in Charlottesville, and around the Commonwealth.