Media roundup: Youth survivors of 2008 UU church shooting lead vigil for Parkland students

Media roundup: Youth survivors of 2008 UU church shooting lead vigil for Parkland students

A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.

Rachel Walden


Two young UUs who lived through the deadly 2008 shooting at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville helped lead a vigil for Parkland students that drew 300 people and called for gun reform. Local civil rights leader the Rev. Harold Middlebrook ended the event with a call to action: “Tell them that people together in this city have joined together and we shall stand together and we shall say no more! No more! No more!” ( 2.25.18)

The story behind Beacon Press and the Pentagon Papers

Publisher’s Weekly shared the story of how Beacon Press came to publish the Pentagon Papers despite heavy opposition from President Richard Nixon and surveillance by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. The Unitarian Universalist Association, the American Library Association, and the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock joined in to help. ( Publisher’s Weekly- 2.23.18)

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock also shared its part in the story for local media outlets, noting that when they learned of Beacon Press’ acute need for funds for this important project, the congregation made a $100,000 loan that was immediately forgiven to meet their needs. The current director of Beacon Press, Helene Atwan, said of the effort, “I can only hope for the opportunity to do something as daring and courageous as publishing these critical documents.” ( The Island Now- 2.27.18)

Buffalo church installs Black Lives Matter banner

When the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, New York, installed a Black Lives Matter banner recently, they saw it as a natural continuation of the congregation’s commitment to social justice that dates back to 1831. The story notes that only 3 to 5 percent of the church’s roughly 350 members are African American. That makes the sign all the more significant, the reporter noted, because white people are the ones who need to end racism. ( Buffalo News- 2.28.18)

More coverage:

“Another Voice: Churches stand together after 'Black Lives Matter' sign was vandalized” ( Buffalo News- 2.27.18)