1 00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:04,020 Jessica York faith development director and interim director of ministries and 2 00:00:04,020 --> 00:00:08,160 faith development for the presentation of the Angus H McLean award for 3 00:00:08,160 --> 00:00:29,550 excellence in religious education good morning have you ever heard it said that 4 00:00:29,550 --> 00:00:37,100 ours is a questioning faith you know often when I'm giving my elevator speech 5 00:00:37,100 --> 00:00:42,300 that answer to Unitarian Universalism I've never heard of that religion what 6 00:00:42,300 --> 00:00:48,660 do you believe I might say that if you ask 10 you use what they believe about 7 00:00:48,660 --> 00:00:54,410 God or what happens after you die you'll probably get 10 different answers and 8 00:00:54,410 --> 00:00:59,820 one of the reasons for that is because as Unitarian Universalists we ask 9 00:00:59,820 --> 00:01:06,720 different questions dealing with life's big questions is the basis of our faith 10 00:01:06,720 --> 00:01:12,720 development programs we feel this not just our privilege but it's also our 11 00:01:12,720 --> 00:01:18,030 responsibility to ask the question and to wrestle with the answers individually 12 00:01:18,030 --> 00:01:25,170 and communally now sometimes you might hear some folks say the important thing 13 00:01:25,170 --> 00:01:31,619 is not so much the answer but to ask the question yes and yet sometimes the 14 00:01:31,619 --> 00:01:38,369 answers are really vitally important i man our whole lives facilitator and 15 00:01:38,369 --> 00:01:40,700 trainer 16 00:01:43,190 --> 00:01:48,450 and in that program we use a question box how many people here have ever seen 17 00:01:48,450 --> 00:01:54,870 or used or created a question box yes so the question box is great 18 00:01:54,870 --> 00:01:59,190 and we tell participants that they can use the question box to ask any question 19 00:01:59,190 --> 00:02:04,830 and at the next gathering it will be answered the first time the congregation 20 00:02:04,830 --> 00:02:09,660 I was serving offered the junior high level of our whole lives the 21 00:02:09,660 --> 00:02:14,040 facilitators brought me the first question from the question box and it 22 00:02:14,040 --> 00:02:22,520 was how do fish have sex and they said to me we don't have to answer this do we 23 00:02:22,520 --> 00:02:31,920 and I said yes you do and maybe you want to start doing some research some 24 00:02:31,920 --> 00:02:36,150 questions that come through the question box may seem silly but one of the values 25 00:02:36,150 --> 00:02:41,010 we lift up is that we respect the search for knowledge because knowledge can 26 00:02:41,010 --> 00:02:46,739 sometimes lead to power another reason we answer every question 27 00:02:46,739 --> 00:02:51,510 that comes through the question box is because we believe that no question is 28 00:02:51,510 --> 00:03:00,209 too dangerous to be asked and no truth too hard to be told the religious 29 00:03:00,209 --> 00:03:08,600 educator being recognized here today is nothing if not an asker of questions 30 00:03:12,950 --> 00:03:19,620 last spring they asked a question whose answer forced a hard truth that our 31 00:03:19,620 --> 00:03:25,200 faith was not living up to this ideals that religious professionals of color 32 00:03:25,200 --> 00:03:29,400 were not only not playing on a level playing field but that many were not 33 00:03:29,400 --> 00:03:36,420 even admitted to the ballpark that a culture of white supremacy inherited 34 00:03:36,420 --> 00:03:40,530 from the white dominant culture was ingrained deep in Unitarian Universalism 35 00:03:40,530 --> 00:03:46,860 norms of behavior and thought now since that time this question has sprouted 36 00:03:46,860 --> 00:03:53,160 many other questions it's also open space for some possible answers how many 37 00:03:53,160 --> 00:03:59,520 of you participated in a white supremacy teaching in the last year a nice 38 00:03:59,520 --> 00:04:05,720 majority there thank you the first one was created by three religious educators 39 00:04:05,720 --> 00:04:10,710 Cristina Rivera Kenny Wiley and this morning's honoree 40 00:04:10,710 --> 00:04:13,700 Aisha Hauser 41 00:04:19,500 --> 00:04:23,050 now Aisha could have just stopped with answering 42 00:04:23,050 --> 00:04:29,199 the question asking the question instead of coming up with some answers but 43 00:04:29,199 --> 00:04:34,720 instead Aisha rolled up their sleeves and plunged their hands in deep and along 44 00:04:34,720 --> 00:04:42,789 with Christina and Kenny did the work that religious educators always do the 45 00:04:42,789 --> 00:04:49,900 work of sensing the margins of living our faith and this uneven distorted and 46 00:04:49,900 --> 00:04:59,650 unjust world and they pull those margins out further yet or from the inside they 47 00:04:59,650 --> 00:05:06,460 push those edges stretching them not to a breaking point because our faith is 48 00:05:06,460 --> 00:05:13,990 strong but to a place of greater wholeness religious educators do this 49 00:05:13,990 --> 00:05:21,720 work from a deep and powerful love a love for what we could be together 50 00:05:21,720 --> 00:05:25,780 bringing people together to create something more than what exists right 51 00:05:25,780 --> 00:05:32,169 now is ministry that Aisha has been doing for a long time after working as a 52 00:05:32,169 --> 00:05:36,639 social worker they found their calling and service as director of religious 53 00:05:36,639 --> 00:05:41,590 education at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County Orange New Jersey 54 00:05:41,590 --> 00:05:47,949 and fourth Universalist society New York New York and as director of lifelong 55 00:05:47,949 --> 00:05:53,979 learning at insure Unitarian Church Bellevue Washington Aisha was a colleague 56 00:05:53,979 --> 00:05:57,159 of mine in the life span faith development office for three years 57 00:05:57,159 --> 00:06:02,400 writing and developing curricula and programs to bring people together in 58 00:06:02,400 --> 00:06:07,990 congregational religious education programs they have chaired the Loretta 59 00:06:07,990 --> 00:06:12,190 integrity team a committee of the liberal religious educators association 60 00:06:12,190 --> 00:06:17,760 that worked to try to keep LREDA true to his anti-oppressive anti-racist 61 00:06:17,760 --> 00:06:21,360 multicultural principles 62 00:06:27,430 --> 00:06:33,160 as a religious professional and as a volunteer Aisha has demonstrated and 63 00:06:33,160 --> 00:06:37,540 promoted different models of shared leadership and service to uu 64 00:06:37,540 --> 00:06:42,880 institutions ranging from the UUA nominating committee to their religious 65 00:06:42,880 --> 00:06:47,620 education credentialing committee and by co-authoring along with Reverend Natalie 66 00:06:47,620 --> 00:06:53,110 Fenimore a chapter in the book centering navigating race authenticity and power 67 00:06:53,110 --> 00:07:00,190 and ministry Aisha created a bystander training to empower people to intercede 68 00:07:00,190 --> 00:07:05,800 in bullying situations as Aisha received more and more requests for the training 69 00:07:05,800 --> 00:07:11,590 instead of marketing it for sale to you use they created a webinar showing 70 00:07:11,590 --> 00:07:15,070 others how they could hold their own bystander training and it's still being 71 00:07:15,070 --> 00:07:21,049 used today 72 00:07:21,879 --> 00:07:27,259 speaking engagements and requests for trainings from secular organizations are 73 00:07:27,259 --> 00:07:32,990 increasing and yet Aisha always finds time to collaborate with others tour 74 00:07:32,990 --> 00:07:37,819 stretching the margins of our faith as witnessed by their work over the past 75 00:07:37,819 --> 00:07:42,080 several months with the faith Development Office on the team creating 76 00:07:42,080 --> 00:07:46,789 the white supremacy accountability assessment tool for religious education 77 00:07:46,789 --> 00:07:51,430 programs a program that we're rolling out at this ga 78 00:07:57,150 --> 00:08:05,280 now here is another hard truth asking the hard questions can make you a target 79 00:08:05,280 --> 00:08:14,479 for other people's fear Aisha has been attacked on social media has mas friends 80 00:08:14,479 --> 00:08:23,880 has been labelled as hysterical and a troublemaker no one ever said our 81 00:08:23,880 --> 00:08:33,960 ministry would be easy but one of the qualifications for this award is someone 82 00:08:33,960 --> 00:08:39,919 who has brought dignity to the profession of religious education 83 00:08:51,520 --> 00:08:57,750 I believe that Aisha has not only brought dignity I believe she has redefined dignity 84 00:09:03,810 --> 00:09:10,990 Aisha leads Unitarian Universalism to labor towards creating that heaven on 85 00:09:10,990 --> 00:09:17,470 earth that we all dream of Aisha makes me so proud to be a Unitarian Universalists 86 00:09:17,470 --> 00:09:28,180 religious educator my people I give you the recipient of the 47th annual Angus H 87 00:09:28,180 --> 00:09:45,760 MacLean award Aisha Hauser 88 00:10:00,240 --> 00:10:06,400 thank you so much Jessica thank you to so many people that I love that are here 89 00:10:06,400 --> 00:10:15,040 today thank you I love you too I first want to quote my friend Reverend Natalie 90 00:10:15,040 --> 00:10:19,390 Fenimore who said I am in love with the Unitarian Universalism that does not 91 00:10:19,390 --> 00:10:29,890 exist yet and then I'm gonna quote my friend and colleague Kenny Wylie he 92 00:10:29,890 --> 00:10:36,190 wrote in a blog the post that went viral there are so many things to fight and 93 00:10:36,190 --> 00:10:42,400 fight for in the world we mostly do a great job on climate justice and 94 00:10:42,400 --> 00:10:48,570 immigration our LGBTQ work has saved and changed lives 95 00:10:48,570 --> 00:10:55,810 black lives too are worth fighting for when the next Ferguson happens and sadly 96 00:10:55,810 --> 00:11:04,540 it will we can and must do more we have to show up be willing to follow others 97 00:11:04,540 --> 00:11:11,170 and be willing to change ourselves the next call to action for racial justice 98 00:11:11,170 --> 00:11:20,500 has arrived my people will we answer this was written years before the white 99 00:11:20,500 --> 00:11:27,490 supremacy teachin the uu white supremacy teaching movement was unprecedented in 100 00:11:27,490 --> 00:11:33,490 its scope and it was just the beginning of a crucial conversation this 101 00:11:33,490 --> 00:11:40,930 conversation has angered some and empowered others it is for the first 102 00:11:40,930 --> 00:11:49,360 time an honest conversation what is at stake is the heart and soul of Unitarian 103 00:11:49,360 --> 00:11:58,200 Universalism we are a people of faith a faith that demands of us reflection 104 00:11:58,200 --> 00:12:06,070 determination and yes a commitment to justice centering the voices of the 105 00:12:06,070 --> 00:12:09,450 marginalized will be part of becoming whole as a 106 00:12:09,450 --> 00:12:17,310 and as a people I am grateful for this award I thank the Unitarian Universalist 107 00:12:17,310 --> 00:12:23,280 Association and I share this honor with kenny wiley and Cristina Rivera black 108 00:12:23,280 --> 00:12:28,980 lives of Unitarian Universalism and all the religious educators who collaborated 109 00:12:28,980 --> 00:12:43,620 together to help move this faith we love forward thank you