A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.
Shocked by backlash to posting a “Black Lives Matter” message on the church’s electronic sign last year, the Rev. Karen Mooney of Beverly Unitarian Church in Chicago, Illinois, sought other local religious leaders for advice. The consultation led to the creation of a multi-faith Easter Sunday campaign called “Thou Shalt Not Murder.” Thousands of Chicagoans pledged to commit to learning more about the sources of gun violence and gang violence. The campaign worked, as Easter Sunday came and went without a single murder throughout the city. (Chicago Tribune – 3.25.16)
“'Amazing gift' — no homicides in Chicago on Easter Sunday” (Chicago Tribune – 4.1.16)
“Thou Shalt Not Murder Campaign To Continue After An Easter Without Killing” (DNAinfo.com – 3.28.16)
After North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory recently signed a bill into law that would force transgender people to use restrooms that do not fit their gender identity, Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) President the Rev. Peter Morales offered some advice on truly fair bathroom access. “Gender is a social construct and is not based on biological sex assigned at birth. Our laws are meant to protect the most vulnerable members of our society—and the assault and murder statistics are ample evidence of the vulnerability of transgender people,” affirmed Rev. Morales. (Huffington Post - 4.1.16)
Since placing Black Lives Matter signs throughout their property in December 2015, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces, New Mexico, has experienced escalating incidences of theft and vandalism. Most recently, a cinderblock was thrown through the Rev. Suzanne Redfern-Campbell’s office window. No one was hurt and the congregation feels that these recent events only reaffirm their commitment to the movement for Black Lives. (Las Cruces Sun-News – 3.25.16)
“Vandals target Las Cruces church after putting up 'black lives matter' signs” (KVIA.com – 3.28.16)
In Cincinnati, Ohio, members of First Unitarian Church will dedicate a their Black Lives Matter banner this Saturday. A representative of the multiracial Cincinnati chapter of Black Lives Matter will attend the unveiling. The banner is part of broader racial justice work that the congregation has undertaken, including participation in the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio organization working against police violence and to improve race-based educational disparities. (Cincinnati.com – 3.29.16)
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County in West Lafayette, Indiana will host a Black Lives Matter open house next week to provide a safe space for the community to learn about the movement. Event organizer Jada Haughey noted that the movement is not anti-police but anti-racism. “It’s about celebrating black lives, why they matter and why they are not considered equal,” said Haughey. (Lafayette Journal & Courier – 3.30.16)
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Rachel Walden is the communications specialist in the UUA Office of Information and Public Witness.
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