A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.
Police and members of the community were invited to a vigil at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark, New Jersey, in response to the recent killings of civilians and police officers. DeShanna Neal attended the vigil and gave an impassioned speech, telling police officers in attendance, “I want to protect you because you’re someone’s babies, too.” She gave them each a hug and said, “Thank you for what you do. And don’t be scared.” (Newark Post - 7.14.16)
Lena Gardner, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and a staff member of the Church of the Larger Fellowship, spoke out about the demonstration that shut down the Interstate 94 highway last weekend. She clarified the movement’s commitment to nonviolence and emphasized the important symbolic role that I-94 played as a major roadway through Minneapolis’s black community. “At the end of the day...Black Lives Matter as a movement has been a continual call for a de-escalation of violence, it's been a continual call for structural changes that are going to stop the killing and the violence against black people and poor people and people of color all across the nation," Gardner said. (MPR News – 7.11.16)
The DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church held a panel discussion on gun violence in response to recent police violence and shootings. The Rev. Tom Capo, minister of the congregation, said that the event was just one part of DuPage’s commitment to healing racial injustice and building a greater sense of community across the Chicago area. (Chicago Tribune – 7.8.16)
“Allies on the front lines: Black Lives Matter's non-black activists” (MPR News – 7.14.16)
“Clergy, community reflect after week of violence” (Salem News – 7.11.16)
“After A Tragic Week, Many In Minneapolis Seek Solace In The Sanctuary” (NPR.org – 7.10.16)
“Reaching out to our own” (Elkhart Truth – 7.9.16)
Unitarian Universalist Association President Peter Morales joined the Rev. William Barber, leader of the Moral Mondays movement and pastor of the Greenleaf Christian Church in North Carolina, and others at a press conference and march to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. They hoped to deliver a moral agenda to the convention urging political leaders to take a moral position on issues disproportionately affecting poor and marginalized groups. They ended the day with a revival service at the UU Society of Cleveland. (Cleveland.com – 7.11.16)
“Leaders march to send RNC ‘higher ground' message” (WKYC.com – 7.11.16)
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals gave Compassion Action Awards to boaters who rescued a raccoon in distress. The boaters were members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, Maryland, and this was a regular outing for them. When they saw the raccoon struggling in the water, they extended a life preserver and towed the animal to shore. (Baltimore Sun – 7.12.16)
“Video shows boaters rescuing ‘Rocky Raccoon’ in the Chesapeake Bay area” (Washington Post – 7.12.16)
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Rachel Walden is the communications specialist in the UUA Office of Information and Public Witness.
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