Jane Bacon, of White Bear UU Church, a longtime activist and friend of MUUSJA, wrote a wonderful summary about the UU social justice groups of which we are an interconnected part! Here it is (below)…. First, I’d like to add mention of a great idea that Jane coordinated at WBUUC last week: On Sunday evening, October 6th, the White Bear UU Church held a Social Justice Dinner, forum, and fair — it was a wonderfully planned affair and inspiring to attend. They served a simple but delicious supper, after which Attorney Nicolet Lyon spoke. She is a WBUUC member who has interviewed and witnessed to the conditions of refugee and immigrant children. Then everyone gathered in the foyer where the various social action groups and initiatives were represented at a circle of tables, giving members and guests a chance to discover and explore what’s happening. White Bear is one of the larger UU churches in Minnesota, but I can imagine this kind of format working well for regional congregational gatherings, such as the one that Danny and Karen are planning this fall with leaders from southern MN congregations (Rochester, Winona, Northfield, Mankato and Nora).
What do you care about? Racial equality? Immigration? Climate change? Gun violence? All this and more? My own list is long and sometimes overwhelming. To fend off despair, I remind myself that working for justice is an integral part of Unitarian Universalism. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and affiliated organizations commit time, money and staff to provide materials and training to congregations, and direct action opportunities
Many of you will recognize the Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA) because its leaders, Rev. Ashley Horan and Pastor Danny Givens, have spoken from our pulpit, and because we support that organization through special collections. MUUSJA inspires and connects UU congregations in MN. (Note: Rev. Ashley Horan recently left MUUSJA and has joined the UUA staff as Organizing Strategy Director. Karen Wills is the new Executive Director for MUUSJA.)
The UU Service Committee (UUSC), begun to help refugees escape Nazi persecution during WWII, is celebrating 75 years of advocacy for human rights. Our Guest at your Table collection every December supports UUSC. The familiar flaming chalice symbol came into being at the dawn of UUSC and was later adopted as the symbol for the UUA.
Because UU leaders recognize the importance of following the lead of marginalized groups, there has been an increased emphasis on service learning or immersion learning journeys. The UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ), begun in 2012 is a collaboration of the UUA and UUSC, and this organization offers such trips.
To learn about these and other organizations connected to Unitarian Universalism, go to uua.org and/or use your browser to find the websites of each organization.
You are not alone. We are not alone. We are stronger… and braver together.
[from Jane Bacon, social justice leader at White Bear UUC]