Center for Transformative Action
Who We Are
The Center for Transformative Action was established in 2010 as a private nonprofit activity (501(c)3) of First Unitarian Church to work with other nonprofits, churches, and community activists to improve our communities. The Center recognizes the need for targeted actions to improve social, economic, and environmental justice.
- Encourage people to engage in positive social change.
- Catalyze the talents, power, and resources of all stakeholders seeking social justice.
- Engage our communities in social and economic justice, human rights, and the preservation of our planet.
Our focus for the 2023-2024 timeframe is to expand involvement in creating compassionate communities. We are doing this through four projects.
1. Sanctuary Project – We are active in helping communities build racial justice and equity. During the racial justice unrest upon the death of black citizens in Louisville and other cities, First Unitarian Church gained national recognition for providing sanctuary and medical assistance to social justice activists.
We established a fund of $25,000 from internal and external donations to support the protest movement and to award direct assistance to other nonprofit organizations. We award support from $250 to $5,000 to those nonprofits who join us in working for racial justice and equity. This seed money is making a difference and this project will continue as resources are available.
2. Homelessness Compassion, and Affordable Housing Project: Our members are active in volunteering and leading efforts to improve our community’s response to the unhoused. A team of our volunteers is working to improve the treatment of those who are most in need.
Working with other nonprofits, we conduct education sessions and forums. We provide meals, temporary housing guidance, and access to mental health services with the help of our community partners. Help for the most vulnerable remains a challenge in our community.
3. Social Justice Program: This is a continuing concern in our faith community. Minorities, women, and the LGBTQ community are treated as second-class citizens. As demonstrated in recent Supreme Court rulings, women’s rights are subject to inconsistent standards.
Social services and healthcare access are limited by gender identity, racial, and economic injustices. Our existing long-term connections with the Center for Women and Children and the Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights (with offices in our building) have brought some of our community’s needs to the forefront. One specific project is planned:
- Expand access to a homeless women’s day center one or more mornings per week. Men have a non-sectarian day shelter three-fourths of a day seven days a week. Women have one half-day, three days per week. Funding needs include volunteer recruitment, training, and facility improvements by our church and partner organizations.
4. Environmental Justice – FIRSTU FIX-IT Program: An environmental justice project to assist those with limited incomes and/or access to technicians to get help in repairing small appliances that they need in daily living. It will reduce the number of items that enter the waste stream and impact the cost-of-living for those who have limited resources.
Smaller items like lamps, clothes, fans, clocks, radios, toasters, kitchen appliances are too often discarded when, with some care and minor parts, they can continue to have a useful life. Regularly scheduled FirstU Fix-It Events will help those who normally would not be able to get things repaired with funding (for those who qualify) for parts and any specialized labor.
Volunteers will conduct the program as a community service to improve our recycle, repair, and reuse processes and help our most vulnerable to reduce/remove repair expenses. Partnerships with small business repair shops will be developed as an additional resource for clients and volunteers.
Changing the world is not an easy task.
We seek consensus on what projects merit more attention.
We find ways to intervene for the greater good.
We identify and invite allies in making a difference.
We coordinate and gather resources to bring about change.
We conduct pre- and post research to judge effectiveness.
We celebrate successes and learn from missteps,
Our Teams & Volunteers
Teams are formed from the members of First Unitarian, our social justice allies, and community activists who seek organizational assistance. The Center works to identify those who can contribute to meet our goals and contribute to our mission. Our team brings together a variety of experiences and professions.