UUSC President Rev. Bill Schulz and UUA President Rev. Peter Morales have issued this joint statement in response to the ongoing refugee crisis:

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) remain gravely concerned about the global refugee crisis and are committed to taking action. That's why today we're announcing two new initiatives: 

  • A special UUSC-UUA Refugee Crisis Fund, with the goal of raising $250,000 over the next 15 days
  • A petition drive to pressure the Obama administration to substantially raise the number of refugees admitted into the United States to 200,000

Donations to our UUSC-UUA Refugee Crisis Fund will go directly to our partners operating on the ground in countries receiving refugees. Our work will focus on ensuring the safe passage of refugees seeking safety and helping refugees access their rights in host countries.

Raising the general refugee admission ceiling to accommodate the growing number of people seeking asylum from Syria and other countries in crisis is a simple policy change that will have a huge impact. Right now, 11 million Syrians have been forced to leave their homes after four years of civil war. Worldwide, an estimated 60 million people have been displaced, leading to the largest crisis of forced displacement since World War II. The United States must step up as a leader in aiding these vulnerable people.

It is our moral imperative to act during this tragedy, and the UUA and UUSC will continue to respond in the coming weeks and months. The UUA and UUSC have a long history of aiding people who are fleeing violence and persecution — a history rooted in helping refugees fleeing Nazi oppression during World War II. Today, we are building on that tradition.