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Social Justice

First Universalist seeks to transform ourselves, our community, and our world through advocating for economic, environmental, LGBTQIA+, immigrant, and racial justice. You'll often find First Universalist members putting their faith into action at protest marches, prayer vigils, and homeless shelters; marching in the Pride parade, cleaning up Washington Square Park, and collecting school supplies for School No. 7.  We follow the Unitarian Universalist (UU) tradition of "deeds not creeds." If you share these values and are looking for a place to get involved, we welcome you to join us in our justice ministries. 

Current Programs:

Housing For All: Sock it to Me!

Winter is coming, that’s for sure, but people experiencing homelessness aren’t sure of much of anything. Where can I sleep tonight? How can I stay warm and safe? Housing For All, our all-congregation, two-year social justice project, is gearing up its Service arm by collecting socks to distribute to organizations that provide shelter and/or assistance to these folks. You can begin your participation in Housing For All by bringing new, white socks to a collection box in the Clara Barton Lounge during the month of November. Let’s fill it up to overflowing! Thanks!

Housing For All logo  w smaller case.jpg

We are proud to support the following organizations through monetary donations and hands-on involvement.


Clara's Cupboard/Community Garden

Initiatives to reach out to the local community include our community garden and little free library (known as "Clara's Cupboard") located on the southwest corner of the building. Both of these provide free food, supplies, and literature to workers, residents, and visitors to our downtown neighborhood.

Food Cupboard

On the second Sunday of each month, we take up a collection of toiletries, paper goods, and non-perishable food items during our service to benefit the Community Food Cupboard on Nester Street. Our congregants continue to give generously each month.  

New York UU Justice

We are organizing a New York UU State Advocacy Network and we are in the organizing phase. We had three meetings in the summer of 2020 to get input and are now working hard on vision, mission, values and governance. The best way to find out what is coming up is to sign up for our Mailchimp list we are using to keep in touch with all the folks who have participated or shown interest so far! Together, we herald our good news of hope, always standing on the side of love. We are the ones we've been waiting for.

Rochester LGBTQ+ Together & Pride Parade

We march in the annual Rochester Pride Parade every year to show our support to the LGBTQIA+ community of Rochester. Our local group is now Rochester LGBTQ+ Together.

Family Promise of Greater Rochester

(formerly RAIHN)

Family Promise of Greater Rochester (FPGROC, formerly RAIHN) is a not-for-profit, interfaith, culturally-competent organization that assists families to achieve sustainable independence by supporting them with tailored services including shelter, food, personalized case management, and a diverse network of caring volunteers.

Family Promise of Greater Rochester is an affiliate of Family Promise National. 

Social Justice Plate Collection

On the third Sunday of each month, our Sunday morning plate collection is donated to an organization involved in social justice work. Most recipient organizations are local and often underfunded.

2023-2024 recipients:​​​

  • Rochester Refugee Resettlement Center — July 2023

  • St. Joseph house of Hospitality — August 2023

  • Rural & Migrant Ministry — September 2023

  • Center For Youth — October 2023

  • Family Promise of Greater Rochester — November 2023

  • REACH Advocacy— January 2024

  • Black Lives of UU (BLUU)— February 2024

  • Girls Rock! Rochester—March 2024

  • Diverse & Revolutionary UU Multicultural (DRUUM)— April 2024

  • Black Community Focus Fund — May 2024

  • Worker Justice Center of Central NY — June 2024

Planning a church event? Here's a handy checklist

​to help you plan!

Learn more at

Joy Leccese & Connie Valk
FIAC Co-chairs

To learn more about our Social Justice Circles and how to create your own Social Justice Circle, click here.

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