At General Assembly and across the country, UUs urged to devote the day to justice.
All congregations and all UUs who are not able to be in Phoenix are being asked to find a way to witness in their local communities around the issue of immigration and related causes. Possibilities include a demonstration at a local Immigration and Customs Enforcement office or courthouse or state capitol, hosting a letter-writing party, helping with voter registration, passing out immigrant rights brochures, or working at a homeless shelter or building a Habitat for Humanity house.
“We’re excited about the possibilities,” said the Rev. Craig Roshaven, director of Witness Ministries for the Unitarian Universalist Association. “We’re asking people to witness for justice in their communities on the same day as GA’s big witness in Phoenix. We know that not everyone can make it to Phoenix. This is an opportunity for people to add their voices wherever they are.”
The UUA’s Standing on the Side of Love National Day of Witness for Justice web page will be used to share information about events and provide the latest information. “People can register their events there, and we’ll have information on suggested chants and slogans and signs,” said Roshaven. People are also encouraged to post photos of their events there.
“It’s up to people at home what they do,” said Roshaven. “They might do a prayer for justice on the steps of a federal building, for example. We hope that by doing this people will feel connected with what’s going on in Phoenix. Also, they’ll raise awareness in their local communities of these important issues. No matter where people live there are immigration issues that need to be addressed.”
Congregations are encouraged to make their events multigenerational and accessible to people with disabilities. They are also invited to make an effort to involve other faith groups in the events they plan.
On June 23, GA participants will witness and serve in a variety of ways in Phoenix in cooperation with local immigrant rights groups. Many of those efforts are still being defined. They will likely include a voter registration effort and a public witness at the Maricopa County sheriff’s “Tent City” detention center.
General Assembly is from June 20-24.
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Donald E. Skinner was the founding editor of the InterConnections newsletter for congregational leaders and a senior editor of UU World from 1998 until his retirement in 2014. He is a member of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.
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