United Methodist Women and their powerful influence on justice

For more than a century, Methodist women have led a struggle for human rights and social justice. Three brief examples will describe their efforts:

Our first national assembly was scheduled in 1942 at St. Louis, Missouri. We changed the location to Columbus, Ohio, so that our integrated group could be housed in the same hotel. This led the way for the Charter for Racial Justice, an outline of our beliefs, adopted by the Women’s Division in 1952, then adopted by local units throughout the country. On petition by the Women’s Division, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church adopted it in 1980.

Locally, in 1956 we found an underserved area called Montopolis, where we began Austin’s first bi-lingual kindergarten. By 1965, we had added a health clinic, community room, thrift store and other services. The city gradually took over the school and clinic, but scholarships and other projects still expand justice through Montopolis Friendship Community Center.

Here in Texas in 1989 we began January Legislative Events, bringing United Methodist Women leaders from across the state to Austin to meet with legislators and to hear powerful speakers, scheduled by Texas Impact. These women lobby both in Austin, and on their return home, for justice issues.

The Texas State Legislature is in session right now, and as usual the UMW have extended their lobbying and advocacy efforts on behalf of the State’s children and all others who deserve better justice.

So we celebrate the work of the UMW, and hold them up as our first role model for Austin.