By UUCSC member Rachel Bennett Steury.
In June, I attended General Assembly in Kansas City Missouri in my role as Administrator of UUs for a Just Economic Community (UUJEC). While there, I helped to coordinate our Annual Meeting, Board Retreat, Poster and Networking Session and our advocacy on two AIWs.
Here are several highlights from General Assembly. I included links for those who are interested in learning more about these topics.
Public Witness: Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) hosted the Public Witness event on “Criminal Justice Reform and the Money Bail System” and will be working in partnership with Side with Love and Love Resists for strategic planning ahead. During GA, BLUU facilitated the collection and assembly of 1,000 care packages for local victims of domestic violence.
Actions of Immediate Witness (AIWs): Eight AIWs were proposed and six were voted upon. The result: three passed and three did not pass.
- End Family Separation and Detention of Asylum Seekers and Abolish ICE
- We Are All Related: Solidarity NOW with Indigenous Water Protectors
- Dismantle Predatory Medical Care Practices in Prisons and End Prisons for Profit
Congregational Study Action Issue (CSAI): The CSAI that passed during GA for the 2018-2022 study period was Undoing Intersectional White Supremacy. The study guide will be available from the UUA in October.
Ware Lecture: Activist, educator and organizer Brittany Packnett was our Ware Lecturer. While I was unable to attend in person, I watched it with my husband when I returned home. Please take an hour to watch how powerful her words and her call to action are for us to heed.
A handful of members of the Westboro Baptist Church showed up one afternoon to protest GA, and they were met by more than 50 UUs with guitars, “Love Thy Neighbor” signs and megaphones. Like the good Dr. King once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Attendance was low this year compared to past GAs. There were 2,600 UUs in Kansas City, down from the average of 4,100 the past three years. It could be in part due to the travel advisory issued by the NAACP and affirmed by the ACLU. Next year GA will be in Spokane, Washington June 19th – 23rd. Please consider participating!