- Unitarian Universalism Connection
The First UU Church of San Diego’s Women’s Chorus is committed to helping women in our own city and beyond. This growing chorus, currently with 26 members, sings in a wide range of musical styles to inspire others on how to live UU values in all aspects of life.
A year ago, chorus members chose Women’s Empowerment International (WE), a San Diego-based non-profit, as the beneficiary of our first concert ever—Rise Up! Refugee women who had benefited from WE’s San Diego program shared their stories throughout the concert and others sold their wares before and after the concert. WE members helped with concert planning and ticket sales and organized a post-concert reception. A wonderful partnership has been formed. The chorus was invited to sing at WE’s Annual Meeting; many chorus members are now WE members; and the concert planning committee includes members of both groups. We see this partnership flourishing for many years.
Adding a new project in Haiti this year and with established projects in San Diego, Honduras, Mexico, and Uganda, WE gives women tools they need to work their way out of poverty. In partnership with nonprofit micro-finance organizations, WE provides small, repayable business loans and services for women and supports other poverty-reduction strategies in the places where WE has determined their programs can make a difference. WE’s commitment is to education, to mutual communication, and to furthering the worldwide effort to alleviate poverty.
Although our first concert was a great success and we received donations to help defray expenses, some of the funds raised last year had to be used to cover production costs (sound, lighting, programs, promotion, etc.).
Our 2nd Annual Benefit Concert Stronger Together! takes place on Saturday, April 29, 2017. To increase the amount we can donate to WE, we’re seeking funds to cover production costs including but not limited to:
– Sound – Cellist and Drummer – Sign Language Interpreter
– Lighting – Event Coordinator – Flyers, programs, and tickets
Our congregation has been strengthened and energized by the chorus’ collaboration with WE. A number of groups within the church’s ministry teams collaborated on last year’s concert—an example of building community within and beyond our walls to act on our values to help heal the world. The:
– Practical Care Group of the Caring Ministry Team identified and canvassed shut-ins and church elders about their interest in attending and arranged rides to and from the concert.
– Reproductive Justice Group of the Social Justice Ministry Team sold concert tickets at their annual fundraising event and featured the chorus as part of the event’s entertainment.
– Women’s Federation sold tickets and provided ushers on concert day.
– Art Guild donated to WE a percentage of proceeds of artwork sold during the month of April.
The chorus wishes to use its artistic endeavors towards building just and inclusive societies, both here and abroad, and this concert will allow us to project this desire in an uplifting and fun way. It’s our hope that our success will gain traction and build an audience in the greater San Diego community. The chorus would like to be known for singing our UU values and to be a part of the solution to end poverty. In so doing, it’s our hope that children in impoverished families will rise up to realize their potential and join us in changing this world for the better.
By helping fund this project, you’ll be helping women and families around the globe break the cycle of poverty that limits them in so many tangible and intangible ways.
To meet some of the women helped by WE’s programs throughout the world, go to http://www.womenempowerment.org/learn/meet-our-clients
Our project is supported by many. Here are words from two of them:
Last year’s concert was very moving and a beautiful weaving of music, justice and community partnership. The songs were inspiring and the spoken words in between the songs added touching context. Having women from the Women’s Empowerment project share a bit of their heartfelt stories and how this organization has helped them begin their lives again in this country was powerful. I’m deeply moved that this event will happen again and inspire more people to act on our values to help heal the world. – Rev. Kathleen Owens, Lead Minister, First UU Church of San Diego
The First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego is committed to freedom, justice, and healing the world. And that’s what this inspiring, beautifully-woven Women’s Chorus concert is all about. It will support WE’s microfinance and training programs, which enable impoverished women in San Diego and around the world to start sustainable businesses. These hard-working women don’t want charity, they want opportunity–to stand up for themselves and for their families; to feed, clothe, and educate their children; and to leave poverty behind. – Winifred Cox, President, Women’s Empowerment International (WE)