Just Acts: Facing the Challenges Ahead

Rebroadcast from UUA Congregational Advocacy and Witness

While I woke up the day after the election feeling horrified by the results, I reminded myself that all the people’s movements that have grown over the past two years are still here and still strong. Of course, I am terrified about what state power can do to those movements and the people they are organizing and advocating for, but I also believe and know deeply that the power of faith is stronger. That love will prevail—if we organize with it—and that facing and speaking truth is what we need to do.

Congregations across the country held special vigils and vespers last week, and many reported high attendance last Sunday. The people need hope. Rev. William Barber, II, calls hope a subversive act. So let’s engage in subversive just acts of hope and faith together.

Here’s what we can do:

1. Join the We Say Enough! campaign of the Interfaith Organizing Initiative (a coalition of denominations and organizing networks). Sign the Moral Manifesto, sign up for the On Call for the Movement Virtual Mass Meetings, and attend or host a radical truth-telling speak-out in your community. We recently livestreamed 13th and recommend showing it in your congregation.

2. Step up our support for Black Lives of UU and the Movement for Black Lives. We are launching a campaign next week at the request of Black Lives Matter to transform Black Friday and contribute to their effort to purchase books and clothing for Black children (watch for our special alert next week). Partner with an organization in your community.

3. Report hate: The Southern Poverty Law Center has set up a special web page to report hate incidents and crimes.

4. Be prepared to intervene when you see people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, Muslims, women, and people with disabilities being harassed or threatened. This video from our Standing on the Side of Love Campaign Director Caitlin Breedlove will help you be prepared.

5. Connect with the Sanctuary Movement to fight for migrant and refugee rights and to provide welcome and safe harbor. The Sanctuary movement helps congregations become sanctuaries, support others that are sanctuaries, and advocate for sanctuary city policies in their communities. Watch this Interfaith Immigration Coalition webinar and sign the pledge to resist deportation and discrimination through sanctuary. Join the Sanctuary Call for People of Faith on Thursday, November 17th at 8 pm ET, 5 pm PT. Register here.

6. Support Standing Rock by contributing to Black Lives Matter Stand with Standing Rock Fund, Bismarck-Mandan UU congregation’s ministry to Standing Rock, and the UU Presence at Oceti Sakowin Yurt Fund.

7. Engage in the UUA Social Witness Process. Our draft Statement on Escalating Inequality is now up for review and comment. The new Study Action Guide on the Corruption of Our Democracy (the Congregational Study Action Issue that was chosen at General Assembly) is now posted as well. Both look at how structural racism undergirds these systemic problems and are timely for the moment we face.

Stay strong, stay loving, stay connected with the Moral Movement and faith coalitions and community organizations in your area. We need each other now more than ever and our communities need us too.

In faith,

Susan Leslie
UUA Congregational Advocacy and Witness Director
Multicultural Growth & Witness Staff Team

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