Media Roundup: Black Lives Matter, in the spirit of sitting shiva, stalling the climate kids, brutally honest and fiercely optimistic

Media Roundup: Black Lives Matter, in the spirit of sitting shiva, stalling the climate kids, brutally honest and fiercely optimistic

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


Black Lives Matter

When the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, California, refused to cover their Black Lives Matter signs for Election Day, the county decided that the church would no longer serve as a polling place. The church’s minister, the Rev. Tim Kutzmark, said that, “The sad part of this story . . . is that banners that simply affirmed the worth and dignity of black people made white people uncomfortable. . . . As if their discomfort for 10 minutes on one day is more important than the discomfort that people of color live with every minute and every day of their lives in a white primacy culture.” (The Fresno Bee, 11.2.18)

In the spirit of sitting shiva

Many Unitarian Universalists participated in services remembering those killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

The Rev. Kevin Tarsa, minister of the UU Community of the Mountains in Grass Valley, California, participated in a service at the Nevada County Jewish Community Center. "Those of us who are not Jewish sit with you tonight in the ways that we can, as best we can, in the spirit of sitting shiva," he said. (The Union, 11.4.18)

The Rev. Dawn Fortune joined with other clergy at an interfaith gathering at City Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Fortune, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Jersey Shore in Galloway, said, “We are past the time for compromise. . . . There is no room for moderation. . . . Where is the middle ground on mass shootings? . . . How many is too many? How many worshipers must die before we agree that gun control is necessary? How many dead children are enough for us to act?” (Press of Atlantic City, 10.30.18)

Stalling the climate kids

In August 2015, a group of children and teens sued the United States government for failing to adequately address climate change. The suit has yet to move forward, and the plaintiff’s feel like their voices are being silenced. The youngest plaintiff, Unitarian Universalist Levi Draheim, said, "I am a kid, and so I'm very impatient--and I'm impatient for a very good reason. . . . I live on a barrier island, and I have seen the sea level rise maps. I have personally had to evacuate my home because of hurricanes. I have seen fish kills on my beach, and I have seen changing weather--more and more hot days. That's why it's so important to move forward with this trial." (CNN, 10.30.18)

UU World profiled Draheim in its Summer 2018 issue.

Brutally honest and fiercely optimistic

Glamour magazine named Unitarian Universalist Betty Reid Soskin as one of their 2018 Women of the Year, noting that “Her long view of history—brutally honest and fiercely optimistic—is what draws people to her speeches, both at the park and at her numerous engagements. But what keeps listeners enthralled is hearing a woman who speaks extemporaneously and inclusively about America in its fullness. She also offers a blueprint on how not to despair about our times.” (Glamour, 11.2.18)