Ethical Culture has an extensive history of Social Action. What follows is a sketch of the Society’s major social justice initiatives, listed by decade. Between these actions has been an ongoing history of social justice activities in the form of panels, educational seminars and more transient programs.
The Sanctuary Committee
We are at a xenophobic moment in American history. Americans pride themselves on being a nation of immigrants, yet it is ironic — and tragic — that we go through periods of contempt for the immigrant.
The major beneficiaries of the early Ethical Culture movement’s social justice and social service efforts were overwhelmingly immigrants. Ethical Culture’s tradition as well as the challenges that asylum seekers coming to the United States currently face prompted the creation of The Sanctuary Committee.
The Sanctuary Committee is a coalition of six religious congregations, human rights organizations and affiliated groups who have joined together to provide humanitarian support and advocacy for political asylum seekers.
Since 2005 the group has provided homes, educational assistance, medical care and other support to those seeking asylum and those recently granted asylum who are still in need of help in getting their lives started in a new country.
President & Founding Member, Sanctuary Committee
As mentioned, this list is partial. The Sanctuary for Central American Refugees, B-Ray and the current Sanctuary Committee were distinctive efforts in that their establishment was preceded by years of study and education that led to their creation.
As the Society approaches its 60th anniversary this year, we can be proud regarding how much we have done together — and yet aware of how much there is yet to do!