Social justice is central to who we are as Unitarian Universalists: a people of "deeds, not creeds." We dream of a better world, one that gives life the shape of justice. We put our principles into action, from respecting the inherent worth and dignity of every person, to protecting the interdependent web of all life of which we are a part.
Making our outer lives align with our most cherished values - living with integrity - helps each of us grow spiritually. By working together in religious community, we combine diverse perspectives and skills. We share much-needed hope and solidarity. And together, we can achieve much more than any one of us could alone: a planet transformed by our care.
The Fire of Commitment
Social justice is an important part of what drew me to Unitarian Universalism as a young adult. I was passionate about this work as a lay leader, and I have discovered during my ministry thus far that I am able to reach people from the pulpit, inspire learning and action, and nurture the leadership of others in a sustained way.
I have a longstanding interest and record of work in the areas of racial justice and multiculturalism, peace & principled nonviolence, environmental conservation and democratic economic forms. Today I find no concern more compelling in my sense of ministerial calling than the climate crisis. Time is short to prevent the worst scenarios of climate change. We must cope with the losses we face, and center justice and equity in all our relations, as we adapt our ways of life.
Additionally, I have been an advocate for women and girls, for interfaith cooperation and understanding, and for real democracy. My consciousness has been raised around the treatment of LGBTQ people, access and inclusion for people of all abilities, and the inhumanity of US immigration policy. I embrace opportunities to learn with and from the congregation I serve, as well as to help lead our witness work.
Building A New Way
From local actions to marches on the mall in D.C., I have participated in protests against things that disturbed me - what might be called Obstructive Program - especially with rising threats from 2016 on.
But I have been even more drawn to what Gandhi called Constructive Program: creating new forms of social organization and ways of living that reflect our highest values. For example, I learned about grassroots economic development in India, facilitated a study circle on nonviolence and the economy, and served on a co-op board, leading our education work while we explored how to further build the co-op sector as an alternative economic model.
I believe our work inside churches and other UU institutions, to decenter whiteness and dismantle white supremacy culture, is another form of Constructive Program - and some of the most powerful work we can engage in to "be the change we wish to see in the world." I am committed to continuing this work for the long haul.