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United Valley Interfaith Project


BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS AND GRASSROOTS POWER

IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND VERMONT

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United Valley Interfaith Project


BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS AND GRASSROOTS POWER

IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND VERMONT

OUR WORK

There are so many ways to support our efforts to create long-lasting social change in the Valley, New Hampshire, Vermont, and nationwide.

Whether you spend 5 minutes a month advancing economic justice by becoming a "5 Minute Friend" or share your story for an hour with one of our Story Listeners or work monthly with one of our campaign teams tackling car-title lending or aging with dignity, you are one of the hundreds of people building a movement grassroots change grounded in common faith values.

OUR Issue CAMPAIGNS

Aging with dignity

Economic Justice

Immigration support

OUR SPECIAL PROJECTS

5 Minute Friends

The MIcah Awards

Stories Project

UVIP LEAD ORGANIZER ASMA ELHUNI RECORDS EXCHANGE WITH BORDER AGENT

By SIOBHAN LOPEZ
WMUR News

WOODSTOCK, N.H. — Border Patrol agents stopped cars at a checkpoint on Interstate 93 in Woodstock on Tuesday.

A Vermont woman who was stopped invoked her right to not answer the agent's questions, so she had to wait longer for them to confirm her status.

Asma Elhuni recorded the exchange in a video on her cellphone.

“I have a legal right to remain silent about that question,” Elhuni said to the agent in the video.

“I don't detect any foreign accent, so I’m assuming that you're a U.S. citizen, but I don't know yet,” the agent said.

“So now the presumption is accents?” Elhuni asked.

“That's a good indicator,” the agent replied. . . . See More

 

Letter to the editor: get healthcare while you can

By CAYLA DYER
Former UVIP Lead Organizer
Valley News

A few weeks ago, I paid my last $380 bill for treatment of breast cancer. In February 2014, a cancerous lump was found, and I was without insurance. During the three years prior, I could not afford to pay for insurance on a $10-an-hour wage. When I moved into a managerial position at $13.50 an hour, it was still impossible.

There was no doubt that I was waiting until the last minute to enroll in the Affordable Care Act. Since the doctor’s phone call, however, that “last minute” came quicker than I thought. Thankfully, the ACA marketplace had a health insurance program that “would do.”  Though the deductible was high, I had the assurance that 1.) I would not be denied because of my pre-existing condition and 2.) after the $6,000 deductible, everything would be paid for. That’s exactly what I needed. . . See More

 

Network launches to support immigrants

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

Manchester — Nearly 200 people braved driving rain and high winds Sunday night to celebrate the formal launch of the New Hampshire Immigrant Solidarity Network during an event at St. Anne-St. Augustin Parish.

The network was informally launched nearly six months ago by the Granite State Organizing Project to unify people statewide in support of immigrants. According to organizers, many members of the new network have also participated in several interfaith prayer vigils outside the Norris Cotton Federal Building on Chestnut Street in Manchester. . . See More

 

A toolkit to help seniors live well, plan well and 'Age with Dignity'

By GRETCHEN M. GROSKY
New Hampshire Union Leader

The Upper Valley region of New Hampshire has one of the oldest populations in a state with one of the oldest populations in the country, according to U.S. Census figures. 

Rob Wendt said the group representing 15 religious groups in the Upper Valley spent three years talking to 400 seniors to hear their stories, see their needs and find ways to help. As part of its work, they are now offering a free toolkit and curriculum to help get seniors talking about self-advocacy, living and dying, and advanced care planning. 

“We’re offering this to the world as a tool for helping with their seniors,” Wendt said. . .See more

 

Faith Groups Gather in Hanover to Discuss Issue of 'Sanctuary'

By ROB WOLFE
Valley News Staff Writer

Hanover — Members of more than a dozen Upper Valley faith groups gathered on Saturday to discuss ways to support immigrants threatened by the current political climate, an effort that could involve offering sanctuary from deportation to undocumented immigrants.

None of the congregations have formally declared themselves “sanctuaries” — an ill-defined term that generally refers to policies of noncooperation with immigration authorities — save for the Hanover Friends Meeting, the Quaker society on Lebanon Street where the area congregations met for the whole-day forum. . .See more

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OUR NAME


OUR NAME


Our name is important to us because it explains WHO WE ARE.

UNITED VALLEY--When UVIP started, people from across the area began building relationships through 1:1 conversations. And through those conversations we quickly realized that the "Upper Valley" was not a term that included all communities. So we adopted a name that communicated our dedication to bringing people together across boundaries of all types, including town.

INTERFAITH--All of our work serves to benefit the broader community, regardless of religious (non) affiliation, but the values that guide are work are values derived from our diverse faith traditions.  Common values like honoring the dignity of every person and a deep belief in the possibility of change bind us together and drive our work forward.

PROJECT--The word "project" is one commonly used in the world of community organizing.  The word "project" in our name  denotes that we are an organization committed to changing the world through the process and techniques of community organizing.  We believe that when people come together with common values to build grassroots power we have the ability to create real, long-lasting change.

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OUR MEMBERS


OUR MEMBERS


POWER IN NUMBERS

We know real power is built by people power and people power is built through meaningful, values-based relationships.  Our organization is made up of thousands people all working hard to live meaningfully.  They are connected to our social change mission through our 15 faith and value-based member groups.

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OUR STAFF


OUR STAFF



Rod Wendt 

Executive Director

Rod has been involved with what would later become UVIP since the very beginning in 2004. He served as UVIP’s first president, from 2009 to 2011 and again from 2013 to 2017, and has been Executive Director since 2017. He has been involved with virtually every campaign UVIP has ever conducted. These range from improving public transportation, to creating warming shelters for people who are homeless, to fighting predatory payday and car title lending practices, to fighting for a minimum wage, to aging with dignity, to the new immigrant justice campaign.

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ASMA ELHUNI

Lead OrganizeR

Asma joined UVIP as the new Lead Organizer in 2018. Prior to her arrival in the Upper Valley, Asma was most recently the Communications Outreach Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, where she was responsible for representing the organization. She has also worked on numerous social justice issues in Georgia, including the right for undocumented students to attend state colleges, the right to livable wages through the Fight for $15 campaign, and on the negative effects of gentrification on communities. Growing up as a person of color in the US and an immigrant from a working class family has led Asma to want to organize around these important issues. Asma believes that there is a real power when people of faith and people of consciousness and values come together to organize for a more just society. She also believes in the concept of collective liberation - that no one is free until we are all free. She thinks that in order for this to happen, it is vital to center impacted communities when organizing around certain issues. Asma is excited to put her beliefs into action and join UVIP and our fights for
racial and economic justice. 

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Yegene Joyce Lee

COMMUNICATIONS INTERN

Yegene joined UVIP in the summer of 2017 as communications intern.  Currently, she is developing a special volunteer stories project to enhance the work of UVIP.  As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, she is double majoring in Government and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Yegene is also an editor for the campus newspaper, The Dartmouth and has been involved in the Rockefeller Center's leadership programs. Outside of campus, Yegene has been involved with North Koreans in America, an organization that seeks to improve the lives of North Korean defectors living in the U.S. During the summer of 2018, Yegene also worked with the nonprofit organization Lava Mae in San Francisco.

 

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donia tung

communications intern

Donia Tung joined UVIP as a communications intern in the fall of 2018. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, she is currently undecided in her major but is thinking about a double major in History and Computer Science. On campus, she is also involved with NextGen America, a non-partisan organization aiming to eliminate voter apathy and encourage young people to vote. Donia has formerly worked as a Teen Leader at the New-York Historical Society and as a Social Media Intern at the Center for Human Rights in Iran. She is excited to get involved with UVIP