Our Unitarian Universalist Society devotes each month to a new Dedicated Offering (DO) recipient whose representative speaks to us on the first Sunday. We split every Sunday’s offering plate 50/50 with the recipient organization. This move symbolizes the solidarity we feel with the organizations we choose to support, and it gives us all more opportunities to contribute. As always, please specify whether the funds you send to the office or by PayPal are for the Plate, your pledge, or some other purpose.

Anne Perkins, a member of our Dedicated Offerings Committee, writes: In recognition of Black History Month, the February Dedicated Offerings will be donated to a recently opened learning center in Northampton named 80 Acres. It is for children in K-6 and is “steeped in the excellence, beauty, and celebration of Black culture and Black cultural knowledge. It is also a farm school.” The center also has after-school programs for school-age children that include art, science and math, and Black history. See: https://www.80acres.org/ The school director is Adrienne Wallace, who grew up in Amherst and attended both Mount Holyoke College and Yale University. She explained to me in an email that the name 80 Acres has “a historically important name: After emancipation, enslaved folks were supposed to get 40 acres and mule. That promise wasn’t delivered on, but we commit to this generation and ones to come.” This history is reflected in the doubling of the number in the learning center’s name.  Ms. Wallace added, “We also believe in the promise of community and doubly invested in it!” She will speak to the congregation at our February 6 service.

Janaya Collins is the Director of Early Learning at 80 Acres. I spoke with her a few weeks ago and she was clearly excited about helping to create a space for children that is grounded in Black culture. Both women are interested in following indigenous land practices and sharing those with the children as part of the farm school.

The UUSA donations will support their tuition scholarships.