Earlier this month, over fifty people gathered with us and Groundswell to learn more about online organizing. The training focused on how to maximize the impact of online petitions. And we know there are lots more tools you use in your social justice work.
Next month, we’re teaming up with the folks at FAITHIFY to bring you a special webinar on crowdfunding your social justice work.
RSVP HERE to join us on Wednesday, February 11th at 8pm EST/5pm PST for Crowdfunding your Social Justice Work with Standing on the Side of Love, by FAITHIFY.
The call will be a chance to learn how Unitarian Universalism’s new crowdfunding website FAITHIFY can help amplify your faith-rooted work for change. Hosted by FAITHIFY founders Sue and Hilary, we’ll learn about how tapping the power of the crowd can fund and “faithify” your ministries. They’ll translate this new medium for a Standing of the Side of Love audience with tips and tricks just for change agents. Don’t miss this engaging chance to learn how crowdfunding can launch your justicemaking into action and how activating your networks can inspire a revolution.
We’ll be using the AnyMeeting platform for this video-based webinar, but you can also join by phone if that is a better option for you. RSVP here to join us and you will receive more information in a follow up email after you register. If you do not receive the info email, please let us know at email@example.com.
The Standing on the Side of Love teamMore >
As we plan to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma Voting Rights Movement, people have asked us, “Why do we care so much about something that happened so long ago when we have such important work to do today?” Racism is rampant. People, especially young men and transgender women of color, are dying in the streets, the broken immigration system is tearing families apart, citizens are being denied the right to vote, the criminal justice system is incarcerating people of color at a much higher rates than white people, the economic divide continues to grow, and it goes on and on…
Why do we care so much about commemorating Selma? It is for all these reasons: remembering what happened on a bridge in Selma, when people, exercising their right to protest, were beaten, trampled by horses, tear-gassed, and were left to die by the police whose job it was to protect them.
So many of the things the people of the Civil Rights Movement fought for continue into this time.
The people who marched in Selma, the people who were beaten on that bridge, who spent time in jail because they dared speak out for the rights of black people to vote, to ride the bus, to eat wherever they wanted, who were killed for standing up, did all that so that fifty years later their children and children’s children could be treated as equals with respect and dignity.
Their work isn’t done. It is up to us to continue it. In the Akan language in Ghana, the word Sankofa means to look forward by looking back, literally, “to reach back and get it.”
In order to continue this work, we have to learn from those who came before us, be inspired by their resilience, understand the non-violence they practiced, and learn from their mistakes.
Selma Sunday is a time for every congregation to reflect on the
journey. It’s a time to give thanks for the incredible sacrifices the veterans of this Movement made. It’s a time to let their stories flow through us so we can draw on their strength when times get rough in our struggle, in today’s Movement.
We hope that, on this day, the day we honor the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., that you will begin plans to commemorate Selma Sunday in your congregation. Look back so we can look forward into a brighter, more just future for all.
Dr. Janice Marie Johnson & Annette Marquis
Dr. Janice Marie Johnson is the Multicultural Ministries and Leadership Director for the UUA
Annette Marquis is the LGBTQ and Multicultural Programs Director for the UUAMore >
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is always a special time for those who work for justice & equity. For the past three years, this holiday has kicked off our Thirty Days of Love campaign. While this year we won’t be hosting the Thirty Days of Love campaign, the MLK Holiday remains just as close to our hearts as ever. We know that many of you are part of communities and congregations that will celebrate this year through the lens of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the lessons and strategies of those who have gone before and the many 50th anniversaries of civil rights landmarks.
As we prepare for MLK Day this year, the words of Minister Carol Thomas Cissel come to mind:
His is a heritage of faith and hope, laughter and tears—that can only be moved from dream to reality by our actions. Each day that we lean into Dr. King’s vision of a multicultural America, we move one step closer to making his Dream come true… Yes, I see glimpses of the Dream, but that is not enough. I want to live the Dream every day.
If you are part of a congregation, interested in religious education or seeking community resources for MLK Day, we have many things to share.
First, check out our resource page on taking action for racial justice today. We also have many resources on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including resources from past holidays, Dr. King’s Ware Lecture from 1966, and a reflection from Michelle Alexander on the New Jim Crow.
Let us know what you are planning for MLK Day 2015, and as always please share your photos, stories and the bold new actions you are taking this year with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Standing on the Side of Love TeamMore >
Right around this time of year, many of us are thinking about resolutions we want to create and honor to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.
How about making one of your resolutions to stand on the side of love all year round? Want help in sticking to your resolutions? We’ve got you covered! Add these dates and commitments to your calendar and you will be doing your part to harness the power of love from January through next December.
First, check out our resources that you can access 365 Days a Year!
- Sign up to join our webinar with Groundswell to learn practical tools for online organizing on January 14 at 2pm EST/11am PST. Interested in joining? RSVP here. This will be the first in a series of webinars on Justice Tools: Love in Action!
- Honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in a new way this year. Renew your commitment to civil rights and racial justice work in your congregations, family, and community!
- Celebrate Share the Love Sunday on February 15. Check out resources here.
- Last year, close to 1,500 UUs joined together in Raleigh, NC, to join with the state NAACP and the Fusion Coalition at their Mass Moral March. Many UUs will join the march again this year. Sign up to join our webinar with Faithify to learn more about how to fund your social justice work on February 11 at 8pm EST/5pm PST. Interested in joining? RSVP here.
- Check out the resources available to commemorate Selma Sunday in your congregation.
- Join Commit2Respond for Climate Justice Month from World Water Day (March 22) to Earth Day (April 22)! Individuals, families, congregations, and groups will get faith-filled resources, engage in powerful practices, and begin to take action in new ways to shift our energy, advance human rights, and grow the climate justice movement. Don’t miss it! Save the date now by joining Commit2Respond.
- Close out Climate Justice Month by celebrating Earth Day. Commit to a future of clean, renewable energy using resources from UU Ministry for Earth.
- Consider registering for the UUA General Assembly in Portland, OR! This year’s theme will be “Building a New Way” and will feature a public witness event focused on climate justice in partnership with Native peoples at the frontlines of our collective struggle.
- Join with our partners at Interfaith Worker Justice on April 15 to advocate for an increase in the minimum wage to $15/hour.
- Consider taking up a donation to support the work of Standing on the Side of Love!
- If you are headed to the UUA General Assembly, consider the theme this year of Building a New Way. What is your congregation doing to assess and invigorate your role in building the Beloved Community?
- June 26th marks the 2nd Anniversary of the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court. How are you staying committed to voting rights work?
- Join us in person or in spirit at General Assembly. We’re excited to be offering a program we’re calling: Building a New Way through Arts, Partnership & Justice. We’ll be exploring all year long how to bring more creativity into our social justice work, and we’ll be sharing resources throughout the coming year so you can join us on this journey.
- Many pride events across the country are held in June or July. How are you celebrating Pride in your community? If you are part of a congregation, check out 10 ways for your congregation to celebrate Pride!
Check out a regional camp/conference in your community to restore your heart and soul! Click here for details on UU camps, retreat centers and conferences taking place throughout the Summer.
- Our partners at the UU College of Social Justice are launching the first youth trip to the Border, called Activate Southwest Border from August 1-9. Learn more about the Youth Border trip here or check out www.uucsj.org to learn more about all of the great service learning opportunities available!
- Following the murder of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, people rallied across the country to launch the nation-wide #BlackLivesMatter movement calling for an end to white supremacy and justice for victims of police brutality. What will your congregation or community do to recommit to working for racial justice? Check out resources here.
If you weren’t able to celebrate Share the Love Sunday in February, consider kicking off the congregational year with a justice themed worship service! Materials are available here.
Mark your calendars for National Coming Out Day on October 11 and don’t forget to wear purple on National Spirit Day Oct. 16!
- While 2015 will be an off year for federal elections, there will be several state and local ballots to watch out for. Don’t forget to vote on the side of love every election, and stay up to date on our voting rights work!
- Honor Transgender Day of Remembrance this year, and join the transgender community in mourning violence against trans people worldwide.
- International Human Rights Day is December 10. What organization will you support on this important day? In 2014, we lifted up the important work of No More Deaths, a Ministry of the UU Church of Tucson.
- You can get all your Holiday Shopping at UUA Bookstore, including lots of great Standing on the Side of Love gifts!
Of course, as we move throughout 2015, we will have tons more info to share. But for now, mark your calendars and let’s set some new years intentions together!
Campaign CoordinatorMore >
However you choose to (or choose not to!) celebrate the holidays, we hope one thing is certain for you this year: that you have some joy, justice and LOVE this holiday season.
Here at SSL HQ, we know it has been both a difficult and joyous year. We hold the sadness of lives lost by police brutality and at the border and the ongoing impacts of racial injustice alongside the victories of equalities and halt to some deportations won across the country.
We hope this time of year offers you the chance for reflection. In case you haven’t seen it yet, check out our end of the year web-magazine to bring you some inspiration.
As we move towards a new year, we look forward to continuing to work for a more just, loving and equitable world with you.
Love to you and yours,
Jen, Nora & the entire SSL teamMore >