Blogs, posters, and scholarships encourage attendance at Phoenix GA in June.
The 2012 GA is a departure from past General Assemblies. Thanks to a resolution adopted by the 2010 General Assembly, this year’s annual convention will focus on immigration and social justice and will conduct a minimum of traditional GA business. Trustees shared a number of resources they can each use to promote the Justice GA. Congregations and individuals can use them to spread the word, too. They include:
Many of the trustees who represent UUA districts are planning to speak about the Justice GA at district annual meetings this winter and spring.
The Rev. Dr. Walt Wieder, chair of the GA Planning Committee, and the Rev. Leslie Takahashi Morris, co-minister of the Mt. Diablo UU Church in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a member of the GA 2012 Accountability Group, both participated in the conference call.
Wieder addressed a concern raised by Lew Phinney, trustee from the Mountain Desert District. Phinney said that he has heard some people wonder why civil disobedience events were not scheduled during the upcoming GA.
“Our partners have not asked us to do civil disobedience,” Wieder said. “Strategically, it is not the thing to do.” The focus of public events will instead be on public witness. One event being considered by the GA Planning Committee is a vigil at Tent City, an outdoor jail maintained by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which has been criticized as inhumane and unconstitutional.
Takahashi Morris encouraged board members to make personal appeals to people to attend.
Natalia Averett, trustee from the Joseph Priestley District, inquired about the availability of scholarship money to encourage people to attend even if cost is an issue. Wieder said that more scholarship money is available this year. “We need to encourage people to go who don’t traditionally go because of cost,” he said.
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Michelle Bates Deakin, a member of First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington, Massachusetts, was a UU World contributing editor from 2006 to 2011 and a UU World senior editor from 2011 to 2014. She is the author of Social Action Heroes: Unitarian Universalists Who Are Changing the World (Skinner House, 2011) and Gay Marriage, Real Life: 10 Stories of Love and Family (Skinner House, 2006).
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