UMW National Seminar in Chicago
“Interrupting Indifference: Jesus, Justice and Joy,” was the theme of the United Methodist Women's (UMW) quadrennial National Seminar in Chicago in late July. There were 200 women at the event with four from the California-Nevada Conference: Judy Church, Victoria Din, Maca Malugu, and Komera Tale. Worship, plenaries, workshops, site visits and actions across the city offered new insights and development of skills relevant to the four social justice issues of United Methodist Women for 2016-2019: climate change, economic injustice, mass incarceration and maternal and child health.
A panel addressed systemic racism. The plenary, Criminalization and Racial Injustice: Mass Incarceration, offered ways to mobilize for racial justice in communities.
Social determinants and policies have contributed to health inequalities of Maternal and Child Health in the US. The speaker, neonatologist Dr. Richard David, mentioned possible closing of a Chicago Hospital’s children’s health section, a group of United Methodist Women took signed placards, “Children’s Lives Matter,” to protest at the hospital the next morning.
Following two days of workshops and plenaries at the University of Illinois, Chicago campus building, they divided into three groups and set out for a day of planned visits and actions across the city of Chicago. At the end of the day, they reunited at Hartzell Memorial/St. James UMC for a public action/forum with invited aldermen who were urged to increase funds for incarceration prevention and re-entry support programs.