Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

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UUSC’s Impact: Making a Difference for Human Rights

UUSC works with grassroots partners in an eye-to-eye partnership model that centers the voices of those most affected by systemic oppression, humanitarian crises, and more.

At UUSC, we believe that a more just, equitable, and regenerative world is not only possible, it is necessary. To create that future, we must do more than just address the symptoms of injustice—we must also treat “the groundwater.” This means dismantling the systems that were designed to oppress—colonialism, white supremacy, extractive capitalism, and patriarchy to name a few—and replacing them with alternatives that allow every human life to flourish without destroying our planet.

Of course, the systemic solutions we so desperately need are unlikely to come from our institutions. More often, change arises from interconnected social movements pursuing dynamic actions and alternatives.

Yet, activists and grassroots organizations around the world—including many of UUSC’s partners—often do not have the time or resources necessary to build and strengthen those movements by themselves. Overworked and on the verge of burnout, movement leaders need more opportunities and resources to connect and build relationships, learn from each other, plan together, and put pressure on the levers of power. Access to funding is itself a significant hurdle for many grassroots groups, and those who receive it are frequently hamstrung by overly restrictive and purely transactional relationships with funders that begin and end with financial support.

UUSC strives to be different. We aim to be a true movement partner, in eye-to-eye relationship with the grassroots organizations we support. As one of our partners told us, “We don’t consider UUSC as our donor, we consider UUSC as our longstanding partner…”

That is our impact.

Moreover, when we center these elements of our work in how we frame our impact, we acknowledge the enormity of our mission and the importance of the long-term work of frontline communities and their movements. We communicate to our partners that we are in this struggle for the long haul and are not just another institution preserving the status quo of inequitable systems. And we distance ourselves from the extractive, colonialist practices of counting, quantifying, and forcing grassroots groups to fit their urgent work into our theoretical models.

Assessments & Reports

FY20 Impact Report (2020)