1 00:00:00,066 --> 00:00:02,066 [Applause] 2 00:00:05,576 --> 00:00:10,586 >> Just goes to show you that sometimes beauty arises out of 3 00:00:10,587 --> 00:00:15,572 chaos. I'm pleased to introduce Reverend Kathleen Mack Teague 4 00:00:15,573 --> 00:00:20,078 to bring us up-to-date on what is happening at the UU College 5 00:00:20,079 --> 00:00:24,818 of social justice. Let's give it up for Kathleen. 6 00:00:42,831 --> 00:00:47,818 >> I wasn't actually in bed,. I was in route here. The time 7 00:00:47,819 --> 00:00:49,822 has been changed several times. Because flexibility is the name 8 00:00:50,072 --> 00:00:53,326 of the game, we are all rolling with what unfolds. So I have 9 00:00:53,327 --> 00:00:55,831 the proud honor ever speaking to you about the College of social 10 00:00:56,082 --> 00:01:01,321 justice on the occasion of our exactly five-year anniversary. 11 00:01:06,330 --> 00:01:08,833 >> Those of you who remember Phoenix, Arizona, will probably 12 00:01:08,834 --> 00:01:11,570 remember that that was when it was officially announced that we 13 00:01:11,571 --> 00:01:14,077 were forming the College of social justice justice. And the 14 00:01:14,328 --> 00:01:19,083 time has gone like that. The College of Social Justice grew 15 00:01:19,084 --> 00:01:24,322 out of a longing for the UUA and UUSC to collaborate more 16 00:01:24,323 --> 00:01:26,323 closely on the issues we all 17 00:01:27,329 --> 00:01:31,835 care about so deeply. The goal was to inspire and equip 18 00:01:31,836 --> 00:01:33,836 spiritually grounded activists. 19 00:01:36,323 --> 00:01:38,829 The strategy was to offer direct experience, training, and 20 00:01:43,336 --> 00:01:44,837 face-to-face encounters that would lead to long-term 21 00:01:44,838 --> 00:01:49,572 commitment. None of us could have predicted five years ago 22 00:01:49,573 --> 00:01:51,573 that we would find ourselves in this political 23 00:01:56,334 --> 00:01:58,839 moment: a government that would deny climate change and support 24 00:02:00,824 --> 00:02:02,824 the most polluting industries; 25 00:02:03,831 --> 00:02:08,336 one that enacts willful, conscious racism, from voter 26 00:02:08,337 --> 00:02:10,337 suppression to mass 27 00:02:12,073 --> 00:02:14,073 incarceration to phobic 28 00:02:16,078 --> 00:02:20,336 hostility toward migrants; a national leadership. Hell-bent 29 00:02:20,337 --> 00:02:22,590 on widening the gulf between the ultra-rich and 30 00:02:27,579 --> 00:02:32,083 The rest of us. We did not anticipate this moment. And like 31 00:02:32,084 --> 00:02:37,572 most of you, we had some weeks of angst right after the 32 00:02:37,573 --> 00:02:39,830 November election, wondering what we are called to 33 00:02:43,085 --> 00:02:47,821 now in response. As we regained equilibrium, we realized that 34 00:02:47,822 --> 00:02:49,822 our mission is 35 00:02:51,829 --> 00:02:53,829 more relevant now than ever 36 00:02:55,088 --> 00:02:57,088 before. Those entwined 37 00:02:58,093 --> 00:03:00,093 malignancies of racism, economic 38 00:03:01,323 --> 00:03:03,323 injustice, a broken immigration 39 00:03:04,579 --> 00:03:06,579 system, and the impacts of 40 00:03:08,336 --> 00:03:10,336 climate change were of course 41 00:03:11,571 --> 00:03:14,578 already with us. We did not anticipate this political 42 00:03:14,579 --> 00:03:16,579 moment, but the College of Social Justice was created for 43 00:03:20,338 --> 00:03:22,338 it: to help our people see more clearly what we face, imagine 44 00:03:25,575 --> 00:03:27,578 more boldly the ways we can act, and live our values more 45 00:03:33,837 --> 00:03:35,837 radically and courageously on the side of justice. 46 00:03:44,838 --> 00:03:46,838 One way we've done this is through focused attention on our 47 00:03:50,576 --> 00:03:52,327 leadership. Our dynamic programs are possible only 48 00:03:52,328 --> 00:03:54,831 because of the skill and commitment of the people who 49 00:03:54,832 --> 00:04:00,075 lead them. Of the 21 CSJ Program Leaders this year, Most of whom 50 00:04:00,076 --> 00:04:02,076 you see in that photo, 51 00:04:04,839 --> 00:04:07,594 half identify as people of color. 52 00:04:08,096 --> 00:04:11,575 [Applause] Fourteen are religious educators, ministers 53 00:04:11,576 --> 00:04:13,829 or seminarians; and eight are Spanish speakers. 54 00:04:17,338 --> 00:04:19,338 It's because of these leaders that we have succeeded in 55 00:04:22,096 --> 00:04:26,328 bringing the lens of racial justice to every one of our 56 00:04:26,329 --> 00:04:30,335 programs. It's through them that we ground each program in 57 00:04:30,336 --> 00:04:34,342 spiritual practices. And it's because of them that the 58 00:04:34,343 --> 00:04:38,079 immersion learning we offer has so often been characterized as 59 00:04:38,080 --> 00:04:40,080 "life changing" by those who participate. 60 00:04:44,593 --> 00:04:46,593 Over the past five years, we have led immersion-learning 61 00:04:52,333 --> 00:04:54,333 journeys to India, Haiti, Tanzania, Guatemala, and, within 62 00:04:54,838 --> 00:04:58,345 the United States, to Lummi Nation in Washington, to New 63 00:04:58,346 --> 00:05:00,346 York to help with Hurricane Sandy recovery, to the border 64 00:05:05,585 --> 00:05:07,591 lands of Arizona, the tomato fields of Immokalee, Florida, 65 00:05:07,592 --> 00:05:11,579 and the devastated mountains of West Virginia. We are expanding 66 00:05:11,580 --> 00:05:13,580 our newest programs in Nicaragua 67 00:05:18,843 --> 00:05:19,844 With amazing grassroots partners working for women's 68 00:05:19,845 --> 00:05:21,845 rights, land rights, and climate justice 69 00:05:27,587 --> 00:05:30,844 . These partners remind us not to become isolationists, in our 70 00:05:30,845 --> 00:05:32,845 distress about our own country, 71 00:05:36,331 --> 00:05:38,331 but to keep one hand out for international solidarity. 72 00:05:40,592 --> 00:05:42,592 [Applause] 73 00:05:51,337 --> 00:05:53,338 We are expanding other programs as part of the Love Resists 74 00:05:53,339 --> 00:05:55,339 campaign. An example is our 75 00:05:59,579 --> 00:06:01,831 border witness journey. Even when participants think they 76 00:06:01,832 --> 00:06:06,840 know how warped and unjust current US policy is, immersion 77 00:06:06,841 --> 00:06:12,079 learning kicks things into a higher gear. It awakens us to 78 00:06:12,080 --> 00:06:14,080 the reality that this policy is not just wrong, it is literally 79 00:06:20,095 --> 00:06:24,581 murderous: many hundreds of people die in our deserts every 80 00:06:24,582 --> 00:06:26,582 single year. Their desperation 81 00:06:29,343 --> 00:06:31,597 is no less than that of refugees drowning in the 82 00:06:31,598 --> 00:06:40,840 Mediterranean - just less visible.[Applause] 83 00:06:42,343 --> 00:06:44,343 Our program brings home the truth that this is not happening 84 00:06:47,079 --> 00:06:52,087 on the Arizona border with Mexico, or the Texas or 85 00:06:52,088 --> 00:06:54,342 California border: it's the Massachusetts border with 86 00:06:59,079 --> 00:07:01,079 Mexico, the Illinois border, the Louisiana border: it's ours 87 00:07:08,597 --> 00:07:13,583 No matter where we live. Once we wake up to that truth, we 88 00:07:13,584 --> 00:07:15,835 can't go back to sleep. We have to pour ourselves into the 89 00:07:15,836 --> 00:07:17,836 struggle for justice. 90 00:07:19,091 --> 00:07:21,091 There are other kinds of immersion learning. Our 91 00:07:26,083 --> 00:07:28,083 Activate! programs. For high school youth are week-long dives 92 00:07:29,591 --> 00:07:32,345 into immigration, climate, or racial justice, grounded in our 93 00:07:37,333 --> 00:07:39,838 Faith and these are the programs we have that are 94 00:07:39,839 --> 00:07:43,091 expanding most rapidly and being adapted to the specific needs 95 00:07:43,092 --> 00:07:47,578 of districts and regions. We have collaborated with other 96 00:07:47,579 --> 00:07:50,584 branches of our UU family on new iterations of the Goldmine 97 00:07:50,585 --> 00:07:52,585 leadership training for youth, 98 00:07:53,843 --> 00:07:56,849 and on the UU-UNO spring seminar, strengthening the 99 00:07:56,850 --> 00:07:58,850 justice thread in each. We're 100 00:08:01,582 --> 00:08:04,338 making sure that the Love Resists campaign brings along 101 00:08:04,339 --> 00:08:06,339 our youngest leaders and activists. 102 00:08:09,349 --> 00:08:13,082 GROW - the Grounded and Resilient Organizers' Workshop 103 00:08:13,083 --> 00:08:15,083 -- is our program for young 104 00:08:16,089 --> 00:08:18,089 adults. Just this week, right 105 00:08:23,334 --> 00:08:24,335 here in New Orleans, our latest iteration of GROW Racial 106 00:08:24,336 --> 00:08:26,841 Justice brought together over thirty racial justice activists, 107 00:08:26,842 --> 00:08:28,842 two thirds of them young adults of 108 00:08:31,601 --> 00:08:33,601 color. In separate caucus groups, participants explored 109 00:08:37,837 --> 00:08:41,092 Racism and their racial and ethnic identities, and then came 110 00:08:42,595 --> 00:08:45,098 together for worship, community, and organizing 111 00:08:45,099 --> 00:08:49,336 skills. In this political moment - of both our wider world and 112 00:08:49,337 --> 00:08:51,840 our religious movement - it's hard to imagine 113 00:08:55,347 --> 00:08:59,333 a more essential program to support bold, grounded young 114 00:08:59,334 --> 00:09:07,853 leaders for racial justice. [Applause] 115 00:09:15,341 --> 00:09:17,341 We have a wide range of summerlong internships for 116 00:09:22,353 --> 00:09:25,086 college age young adults, in organizations around the U.S. 117 00:09:25,087 --> 00:09:26,838 and overseas. By the end of this summer we will have given 118 00:09:26,839 --> 00:09:28,839 nearly 70 young people a deep dive 119 00:09:34,102 --> 00:09:37,336 , a summer long dive into a justice organization that in 120 00:09:37,337 --> 00:09:40,589 some cases will change in some cases will change the whole 121 00:09:40,590 --> 00:09:43,342 trajectory of their lives. The immersion programs we've 122 00:09:43,343 --> 00:09:45,346 developed have one more incarnation: skilled volunteer 123 00:09:48,836 --> 00:09:53,341 placements. In our most robust of these programs, the College 124 00:09:53,342 --> 00:09:55,342 of Social Justice has organized 125 00:09:57,352 --> 00:09:59,352 more than sixty volunteers to 126 00:10:03,591 --> 00:10:05,844 work in San Antonio, TX, for one to eight weeks, supported 127 00:10:05,845 --> 00:10:12,334 with -- he bet those are San Antonio folks. Supported with 128 00:10:12,335 --> 00:10:14,335 home stays through the amazing 129 00:10:18,345 --> 00:10:22,354 San Antonio UUs. [Applause] 130 00:10:22,355 --> 00:10:26,843 These volunteers engage in literally lifesaving work with 131 00:10:26,844 --> 00:10:30,100 women and children refugees who are in danger of deportation 132 00:10:30,101 --> 00:10:32,101 back to the violence they have fled. 133 00:10:39,594 --> 00:10:42,097 In the coming year, we'll have new volunteer placements. As 134 00:10:42,098 --> 00:10:43,350 part of Love Resists, we hope to channel volunteers toward 135 00:10:43,351 --> 00:10:45,351 voting 136 00:10:47,337 --> 00:10:50,341 rights in a few key states, so if you have some time to give, 137 00:10:50,342 --> 00:10:52,342 stay tuned: we may be looking 138 00:10:54,600 --> 00:10:57,102 for you! I am so grateful for our exceptional Program Leaders, 139 00:10:57,103 --> 00:10:59,103 for our small but mighty staff, for 140 00:11:03,092 --> 00:11:05,098 the incredible generosity of the donors who have supported us 141 00:11:05,099 --> 00:11:07,099 in 142 00:11:08,103 --> 00:11:10,103 these first five years, and for 143 00:11:11,337 --> 00:11:14,093 the many hundreds of you who opened yourselves to 144 00:11:18,099 --> 00:11:21,354 True transformation through our programs. The UU College of