In reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 General Assembly became the first-ever all-virtual UUA GA, ultimately drawing the third-highest attendance of any GA, with over 4,900 registered attendees from around the world.
With that proven success and with the pandemic still raging, the UUA Board of Trustees passed a resolution in October making the 2021 UUA General Assembly, June 23–27, another 100 percent virtual event.
“With more time and the certainty of being virtual again, we are more intentional in how we approach programming, worship, volunteer teams, and production,” said LaTonya Richardson, the UUA’s director of GA and Conference Services. “What we accomplished on two-months’ notice last GA was good enough that this time, our focus is not on enhancing our systems so much as enhancing user experience. We have a new GA production manager and choir director. We cast a wider net for daily worship, allowing more people the opportunity to propose and be approved to lead worship. Our new GA app allows more communication between attendees and makes our virtual exhibit hall a more interactive space.”
Richardson acknowledges that, while it is different from in-person interaction, “the tradeoff is that being virtual allows so many more of us to be together. Honoring accessibility and inclusion is where we shine as a faith-based community.”
This GA’s theme is “Circle ’Round for Justice, Healing, Courage.” Programming will incorporate recommendations from the Commission on Institutional Change report, Widening the Circle of Concern, and dialogue with the Article II Commission about the UU Principles and Purposes. There will also be increased time for networking, meetups, and caucusing during the five-day event.
GA is held for delegates to “do the business of the Association,” Richardson said, “but it is also an opportunity to be in community, learn, and be inspired by one another. This is where we gather and equip ourselves—spiritually and practically—to do the work of our faith throughout the world.”
Registration is $200 per person, with both financial support and a payment plan available. Registrants will receive access to the 2021 GA Participation Portal, including live and on-demand video content; a virtual exhibit hall; interactive chat rooms; pastoral care and tech support; and a new GA mobile app. Visit uua.org/ga for more.