October 21-27: Paricipate in a UU the Vote Phonebank with UUCA
October 21-27: Prepare for work after Election Day. Attend the training, “Ready and Resilient: Organizing for Nov 3rd and Beyond.” More information coming on that.
October 21: National Phonebank to Wisconsin
October 24: National Phonebank to Pennsylvania
October 25: UU the Vote Evening Worship
October 26: Vote Love Pledge Rally with DJ Carmen and special guests
October 27: National Phonebank to Florida
Make a gift to UU the Vote. As we head into this final stretch of the campaign, we need your support to ensure that we have the most possible impact. In honor of this pivotal year, can you make a gift of $20.20? Or $2,020, or $2.02? Your donation goes directly to the work of this campaign, funding calls and field organizing and our partners in the work.
Plan to join us at UUCA on Saturday, October 31st from 4-6 pm for food and fun!
While Halloween will certainly be different this year, we can still dress up and have a good time in a safe way. All are welcome to come enjoy a meal and fellowship on our front porch. Our friends Maria and Esteban will be here with their food truck to serve up some delicious tacos and other items and we’ll have a costume parade! Everyone is encouraged to dress up, make sure you don’t forget your face masks for everyone’s safety. The costume parade will take place at 4:30 pm so be sure to be there by then if you want to participate. We’ll also have some sweet treats on hand.
This is an outside only event and folks are asked to be mindful of social distancing. If it rains, the food truck will still be there and we encourage you to come grab some delicious food to take home to eat. The costume parade will not take place if it is raining. Please remember to bring cash for the food truck, they are not set up to accept credit cards. This event is being sponsored by the RE Council and we thank them for working on safe ways for us to be together!
Sunday, September 27, 2020 9am link Rev. Scott, Neely, Guest Minister
Beyond being an ally, in the fight for racial justice. That we may all be free.
Bio: Rev. Scott Neely serves as minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg, SC. He is a facilitator and strategist for Speaking Down Barriers, an organization that uses dialogue to build our life together across the differences that divide us. In April 2015 he presented a TEDx talk on race and racism entitled “What Will I Teach My Son?”
This weekend I did something completely out of my comfort zone. I packed my paniers and bicycled with Steve to Hot Springs, NC for a bit of relaxation. It was a big deal for me! Unlike Steve, I did not grow up riding a bicycle. Mastering an e-bike added an unexpected twist. Nevertheless, despite my hesitation and fear of riding in traffic (Hwy 25 has minimal shoulder) I decided to give it a try. I prepared over the last two months by riding this new contraption to the office and around town on errands to conquer my fear. It paid off! Our ride through Alexander, Marshall, Walnut and over the hill into Hot Springs in spectacular weather was more fun than I had imagined. When we returned home I was proud of myself for taking that risk. It was scary at times when big trucks drove by or a few drivers (two to be precise) chose to be rude and honk or get unnecessarily close. But we made it and I was elated at doing something I had never tried or even thought about attempting.
It isn’t easy going outside of one’s comfort zone and feeling vulnerable. Although my weekend, at times, was one of physical vulnerability, I perceive a similarity with the emotional vulnerability that comes with doing the work of exploring white supremacy culture and complicity in that culture, even if unintentional. It has been important to me to learn about the history, writings and legacies of people ignored in history and the literature of my educational experiences. I have gained a greater understanding of systems created in the US and beyond to uphold hierarchies based on skin color and power that favor White males. But reading is not enough. The hard work has been asking myself, “How did I learn to be anti-Black, to be racist?” and, “What will I do differently now that I recognize my biases?”
I once read that marginalized People of the Global Majority cannot be racist because they do not have power. That made sense to me. Furthermore, I thought that I could not a be racist given my life experiences. I have learned otherwise. I have a greater understanding of how I learned to be anti-Black, both in Colombia where I was born and here in the U.S. Because I recognize that reality in me, I catch myself being judgmental and racist. Last week when I was recording the Time for All Ages “Antiracist Baby” by Ibram Kendi, the section that said, “Confess to being racist. Nothing disrupts racism more than when we confess the racist ideas we sometimes express” resonated with me. I am being more mindful of racist ideas that go through my mind. I don’t confess them publicly (although in this blog I am), but I do pay attention, and interrogate where those attitudes are coming from. What socialization and conditioning led me to the attitudes that I am embarrassed to acknowledge?
Of course, I am not always as self-aware as I would like. I sometimes unintentionally offend. I am striving to engage people without making assumptions based on perceived identity. Doing that allows me to listen and be present at times when assumptions would have been a barrier. The gift has been a greater understanding of other perspectives and in some cases the beginning of new relationships. Awareness for how my biases affect my interactions motivates me to be more mindful. I’ve had a lifetime to learn how to be a racist, unlearning it won’t be easy, but I will keep trying.
This year we begin what I hope will be a multi-year focus on antiracism in Faith Development at UUCA. Our recent history and the pandemic have made it impossible to ignore the tragic impacts of racism on our community and nation. I invite you to consider how you will engage, re-engage or deepen your work in becoming an anti-racist. The work involves acknowledging and learning about the effect of White supremacy/racism in our lives and society and mobilizing to pursue justice and equity. What questions do you have? How can we support you? Starting Oct. 8 at 7PM, Rev. Ward will facilitate a second Thursday conversation, “White People Wondering”, to create space for reflection about where you are on the journey of disrupting racism in your life. Various lay leaders are facilitating the UUA adult curriculum, “Building the World We Dream About” as part of the Wednesday Thing programs. And, there are also discussion groups delving into the work of Ibram Kendi and Layla Saad. I welcome your feedback on the programs we are offering and your suggestions for future programs.