Category Archives: Social Action News

Here are resources and news related to Social Action.  Get additional ideas from the National UMW Social Action resources.

July 25, 2020: Interrupting the Cradle to Prison Pipeline

The CA-NV Conference United Methodist Women invite you to a live Zoom presentation with  Jessica Nowlan, Executive Director, Young Women’s Freedom Center*

Saturday, July 25, 2020
10:00 am – 11:45 am
Additional event and registration information is below

Register for July 25, 2020 event

Jessica Nowlan, Young Women’s Freedom Center

Jessica Nowlan, Young Women’s Freedom Center

About our presenter:  Jessica Nowlan came up through the Young Women’s Freedom Center program, walking in the door in 1996 as a homeless mother of three escaping domestic violence and with a history of incarceration and then developing into the Center’s first Deputy Director. Returning first as a board member and then agreeing to come on as the Executive Director in 2016, Jessica has grown YWFC from one to four sites and launched the Sister Warrior Freedom Coalition with 12 chapters.

Her own experience as a young person navigating the juvenile justice system, as a single mother dealing with poverty, homelessness, and intimate partner violence, coupled with her experience in the field, propels her work to advance the field and she was recently named a 2019-2021 Leading Edge Fellow for her work. Prior to her current role, Jessica worked for several years as a Social Entrepreneur and as a consultant to organizations working with women and girls and at the intersections of violence, poverty, racial justice, incarceration/ re-entry and workforce development.  Jessica is a Bay Area native and currently lives in Oakland with her youngest sons.

About this topic:  From the Prison Policy Initiative report,  ‘Women’s Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2019’, we learn:

  • Women’s incarceration has grown at twice the pace of men’s incarceration in recent decades.
  • Women of color are markedly over-represented in prisons and jails.
  • A recent study revealed that a third of incarcerated women identify as lesbian or bisexual, compared to less than 10% of men.
  • The same study found that lesbian and bisexual women are likely to receive longer sentences than their heterosexual peers.
  • Of the girls confined in youth facilities, nearly 10% are held for status offenses, eg incorrigibility, running away, truancy. These statistics are particularly troubling because status offenses tend to be simply responses to abuse.
  • As with women, girls of color and those who identify as LBTQ are disproportionately confined in juvenile facilities. A staggering 40% of girls in the juvenile justice system are lesbian, bisexual, or questioning and gender non-conforming.

About the presentation:  Jessica’s presentation will shed light on how women and girls are being swept into the criminal justice system and the strategies that the Young Women’s Freedom Center is deploying to decriminalize and end the mass incarceration of girls and women in CA.  She will also share some ways in which participants can become involved.

Following Jessica’s presentation, there will be time for questions.  During breakout groups, participants will have an opportunity to brainstorm ideas for action.

You can participate in the Zoom meeting using your smart phone, your computer or laptop, or tablet.  You can also join simply by calling the designated number – although sometimes the results are not satisfactory.  If you are able to meet in small groups at your church or in someone’s home, this will provide the opportunity for those without the required technology to participate.

Registration:  If you plan to participate, please click here to register and you will be emailed the link to join the zoom meeting.   

* Young Women’s Freedom Center is supported by the mission giving of United Methodist Women

June 20, 2020: Virtual Mass Poor People’s Assembly

Mass Poor People's AssemblyJoin United Methodist Women and United Methodists in a virtual
Register here:

The Poor People’s Campaign reminds us that “Everyone has a Right to Live.” The turmoil in our nation reveals long-term structural injustice and we cannot go back to an untenable “normal.” The Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the campaign, observes that:

Long before COVID-19 came to our shores, 140 million Americans were poor and low income. Seven hundred people were dying every day from poverty in this nation before we declared a national emergency. Eighty million people were uninsured or under-insured… The lethal violence of racist officers is only one manifestation of the systemic racism… George Floyd’s murder comes after the compounded death and deadliness of a pandemic that has wreaked havoc on poor and low-income communities across this nation. More than 100,000 people have said, “I can’t breathe,” as this disease choked them to death.

United Methodist Women is a national faith member of the Poor People’s Campaign, A National Call for Moral Revival, and serves on their Prophetic Council of faith leaders. You will also hear about Poor People’s Campaign demands for voting rights and a just economy and how you can connect to the campaign in your state for local faith and community responses.

Building on the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign of 50 years ago, the campaign addresses the intersecting realities of poverty, racism, environmental degradation and militarism, including State violence in communities of color in the U.S. It integrates United Methodist Women priorities of Economic Inequality, Racial Justice and Ending Mass Incarceration, Climate Justice and Maternal Health. It advocates for strengthening our democracy and voting rights in order to achieve the goals of an ambitious transformative agenda, see the full statement at

Get more information and learn about what United Methodist Women are doing to address economic inequality:

Celebrate Earth Day 2020

Earth Day

On April 22, 2020, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day.  Here are a few ways you can participate.

  • United Methodist Women invites you to join them in honoring the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Visit their website to learn about the 5 ways you can participate in Earth Day this year that connect with UMW’s Just Energy for All Campaign.
  • Join United Methodist Women’s Just Energy for All 101 3-part webinar series on April 23, May 7 and May 21, and learn more about the campaign and how your unit, district or conference can be involved. Register here.
  • April 22-24, there will be a 72 hour livestream focused on fighting back against the climate crisis. I’m planning to watch a lot of it — will you join me? Check it out:
  • Want to get involved now? Contact your members of Congress and urge them to implement a moratorium on utility shut-offs during the COVID-19 national emergency.
  • See additional ideas on our Climate Justice: Be Just. Be Green. web page.

Interrupting the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline, Part 2 – Event postponed

Cradle-to-Prison PipelineThe CA-NV Conference United Methodist Women Social Action Event, “Interrupting the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline, Part 2”, originally scheduled for April 25, 2020, has been postponed due to COVID-19 health concerns.

With the current statewide “shelter in place” order, which may be in force into May, the event team is considering other options, including hosting a “virtual event.”

The original plans for this event are on the CA-NV Conference UMW website.  Please check their site for updated information.