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How We Began

It all started with a response to the Sarasota School Board. 

In the Spring of 2023, a group at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice (UUCOV) learned that members of the School Board had been making disparaging comments about Tom Edwards, the only gay member of the group. They also heard that the Board was planning on hiring Vermillion, a conservative company that would create a "Christian" curriculum for Sarasota Public Schools. 

The UUCOV group rallied together both to publicly support Tom and to voice their disapproval of Vermillion, and, voila! the seeds of the Social Justice Alliance of the Florida Suncoast were sown. 

Deciding to focus on hosting a banned books festival, and knowing that there is strength in numbers, they invited a variety of faith-based and secular organizations in the Venice/Sarasota/Port Charlotte areas to meet and discuss the event. Fifteen people from eight different organizations agreed to work together to make a festival happen. But that wasn't all!!!

Since each organization was already doing other social justice work, the group decided to support each other with the existing projects as well, thereby creating the start of a whole social justice movement.  

The group voted on a name, and SJAFS became a reality!!!

We hope to engage more and more individuals and organizations in this effort so that we can make our voices heard loud and strong.

 

Won't you join us ?

 

See a list of Our Members.
 

Our Mission

Our Mission

At the Social Justice Alliance of the Suncoast of Florida, we are dedicated to fostering a
more equitable and inclusive society.

 

Our mission is to recognize and address systemic
barriers, promote fairness, and empower marginalized communities to thrive.

Our Vision

We reaffirm our shared belief that democracy – government reflecting the effective participation and will of the people – is humanity’s most enduring means to advance peace, prosperity, equality, sustainable development, and security. Democracy is necessary to ensure that every voice is heard, that the human rights of all are respected, protected, and fulfilled.

Our Core Values & Goals

  • We believe that every individual, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or abilities, should have equal access to opportunities and resources.
     

    • We recognize the historical and ongoing injustices faced by various groups, and we are committed to challenging and eradicating all forms of discrimination and oppression.

       

  • Our alliance strives to create a platform for open dialogue, understanding, and empathy.
     

    • We aim to inspire action and cultivate a collective commitment to positive change by raising awareness about social issues and promoting education. 

       

  • We commit to the empowerment and inclusion of youth, recognizing their unique perspectives, passion, and energy in driving meaningful change.
     

    • Through education, outreach, and grassroots organizing, we seek to amplify the voices of youth and provide them with platforms to speak out on issues that affect them directly.

       

  • Through advocacy, activism, and collaboration with diverse stakeholders, we work towards developing policies and initiatives that address systemic inequalities and promote social transformation.
     

    • We actively support grassroots efforts and community-led initiatives that contribute to building a just and compassionate world.

       

  • We pledge to engage in our civic responsibility to speak out against harmful words, actions, and political influences that deny individual freedom and dignity to every citizen.
     

    • We further pledge to raise the visibility of and educate the community about these critical issues and to build coalitions to support these principles.

       

  • Our principles of respect, compassion, and fairness guide all our endeavors.
     

    • We encourage everyone to engage in meaningful conversations, to listen to and learn from one another, and to stand together in solidarity.

       

  • Together, we envision a future where social justice is an inherent part of our society, where all individuals can lead fulfilling lives, and where inclusivity and equality are the cornerstones of our shared humanity.
     

    • As a united alliance, we commit ourselves to tirelessly pursuing this vision and making it a reality for generations to come.

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