1 00:00:36,017 --> 00:00:38,501 - Hi all, for those of you just joining us, 2 00:00:38,501 --> 00:00:40,264 we're so glad you're here. 3 00:00:40,264 --> 00:00:43,500 We'll go ahead and start in a few moments, 4 00:00:43,500 --> 00:00:44,645 but we're really glad that you're 5 00:00:44,645 --> 00:00:47,562 spending your evening here for some 6 00:00:48,749 --> 00:00:51,666 post-election spiritual sustenance. 7 00:02:51,462 --> 00:02:54,764 Hi all, my name is Reverend Elizabeth Nguyen. 8 00:02:54,764 --> 00:02:57,278 I'm with Side With Love, Justice Ministry 9 00:02:57,278 --> 00:03:00,562 of the Unitarian Universalist Association, 10 00:03:00,562 --> 00:03:02,088 and I bring greetings. 11 00:03:02,088 --> 00:03:03,564 I'm here in Massachusetts. 12 00:03:03,564 --> 00:03:05,463 I'm just really grateful to be 13 00:03:05,463 --> 00:03:08,630 together, to have some space together. 14 00:03:10,093 --> 00:03:15,093 Whether folks are celebrating or mourning or meh, or TBD. 15 00:03:15,470 --> 00:03:19,523 Whether folks are exhausted or fired up. 16 00:03:19,523 --> 00:03:21,524 Just really grateful to be together. 17 00:03:21,524 --> 00:03:25,274 I know many of you have worked hard and long, 18 00:03:27,514 --> 00:03:30,545 not just around this election cycle, 19 00:03:30,545 --> 00:03:34,735 but many before and will for many to come, 20 00:03:34,735 --> 00:03:37,033 to live our Unitarian Universalist values, 21 00:03:37,033 --> 00:03:42,033 so it's really a pleasure and an honor to be together. 22 00:03:42,134 --> 00:03:43,509 Just a few tech things. 23 00:03:43,509 --> 00:03:44,957 We're using Zoom. 24 00:03:44,957 --> 00:03:48,780 You may be joining by video or by phone. 25 00:03:48,780 --> 00:03:51,367 We are recording this for folks who can't join us 26 00:03:51,367 --> 00:03:54,131 this evening, so just know that. 27 00:03:54,131 --> 00:03:56,752 If you have technology questions, 28 00:03:56,752 --> 00:03:58,517 I will do my best to answer them. 29 00:03:58,517 --> 00:04:01,517 You can find me in the chat feature. 30 00:04:04,542 --> 00:04:08,164 You all look to be doing great on mute, 31 00:04:08,164 --> 00:04:10,961 but if you're not muted, I may go ahead 32 00:04:10,961 --> 00:04:14,961 and mute you so that we don't have any feedback. 33 00:04:15,943 --> 00:04:18,776 And I'll do my best to stay on top 34 00:04:20,260 --> 00:04:23,691 of any other tech things as they arise. 35 00:04:23,691 --> 00:04:26,038 If your internet is being wonky, you can always 36 00:04:26,038 --> 00:04:29,844 try turning off your video to see if that works. 37 00:04:29,844 --> 00:04:31,744 And there is also a call-in option 38 00:04:31,744 --> 00:04:34,237 that you can always use as well. 39 00:04:34,237 --> 00:04:37,720 And we'll try to say out loud, there aren't 40 00:04:37,720 --> 00:04:39,846 a lot of visuals but if there are visuals, 41 00:04:39,846 --> 00:04:42,341 we'll try to briefly at least say what they are, 42 00:04:42,341 --> 00:04:45,703 since folks may be joining by phone. 43 00:04:45,703 --> 00:04:49,157 So I think that's all I have, and I'll turn it over 44 00:04:49,157 --> 00:04:52,728 to our Unitarian Universalist Association President, 45 00:04:52,728 --> 00:04:57,395 the Reverend Susan Frederick-Gray to welcome us further. 46 00:05:05,493 --> 00:05:08,243 I think you're still muted Susan. 47 00:05:10,292 --> 00:05:11,622 - Thank you Elizabeth. 48 00:05:11,622 --> 00:05:13,271 Hello everyone, and Elizabeth, 49 00:05:13,271 --> 00:05:15,773 I wonder if you'd be willing to stop 50 00:05:15,773 --> 00:05:17,598 the share screen just for a moment. 51 00:05:17,598 --> 00:05:20,048 I don't know if that's possible, great. 52 00:05:20,048 --> 00:05:23,048 Just so we can see each others faces 53 00:05:24,284 --> 00:05:27,746 as we gather, and I'm gonna light our chalice 54 00:05:27,746 --> 00:05:30,496 and just invite you to be present 55 00:05:32,114 --> 00:05:33,682 in body and spirit as we gather. 56 00:05:33,682 --> 00:05:37,265 This chalice was a gift made by a UU member 57 00:05:38,351 --> 00:05:39,957 of a congregation I served. 58 00:05:39,957 --> 00:05:43,716 It's called The Tree of Life, and underneath it, 59 00:05:43,716 --> 00:05:47,633 it says roots hold me close, wings set me free. 60 00:05:53,486 --> 00:05:56,236 (match striking) 61 00:06:06,514 --> 00:06:10,847 And it'll burn off to the side here while we gather. 62 00:06:15,651 --> 00:06:18,984 The poet Alice Walker offers these words 63 00:06:20,279 --> 00:06:25,279 from her collection of poetry called Revolutionary Petunias, 64 00:06:25,711 --> 00:06:28,390 and this is one of my favorites. 65 00:06:28,390 --> 00:06:31,557 It's called In These Dissenting Times. 66 00:06:36,251 --> 00:06:40,993 To acknowledge our ancestors means we are aware 67 00:06:40,993 --> 00:06:44,403 that we did not make ourselves. 68 00:06:44,403 --> 00:06:47,120 That the line stretches all the way back, 69 00:06:47,120 --> 00:06:49,287 perhaps to God or to gods. 70 00:06:52,372 --> 00:06:54,743 We remember them because it is an easy thing 71 00:06:54,743 --> 00:06:58,024 to forget, that we are not the first 72 00:06:58,024 --> 00:07:01,191 to suffer, rebel, fight, love and die. 73 00:07:04,513 --> 00:07:07,778 The grace with which we embrace life in spite 74 00:07:07,778 --> 00:07:10,695 of the pain, the sorrows, is always 75 00:07:11,556 --> 00:07:14,389 a measure of what has gone before. 76 00:07:20,951 --> 00:07:23,951 We gather this evening just to share 77 00:07:26,988 --> 00:07:30,071 some of our learnings and experiences 78 00:07:31,721 --> 00:07:34,054 and work across the country. 79 00:07:35,411 --> 00:07:39,721 At the UUA this year, knowing how much was 80 00:07:39,721 --> 00:07:43,703 on the line in these mid-term elections, 81 00:07:43,703 --> 00:07:46,946 we were looking at places where we could really 82 00:07:46,946 --> 00:07:51,552 invest our resources, our time at the UUA in line 83 00:07:51,552 --> 00:07:54,879 with our core values and key justice priorities 84 00:07:54,879 --> 00:07:57,750 in ways that might strengthen and fortify work 85 00:07:57,750 --> 00:08:01,055 that was happening locally by grassroots, 86 00:08:01,055 --> 00:08:02,769 directly impacted communities, 87 00:08:02,769 --> 00:08:05,682 and UUs partnering with those groups. 88 00:08:05,682 --> 00:08:07,239 And so, several months ago, 89 00:08:07,239 --> 00:08:11,614 we chose a few key areas where we wanted to try 90 00:08:11,614 --> 00:08:13,721 to support work that was already happening, 91 00:08:13,721 --> 00:08:17,845 that was in Florida, around Amendment Four, 92 00:08:17,845 --> 00:08:21,627 which was a constitutional amendment 93 00:08:21,627 --> 00:08:24,294 to re-enfranchise former felons, 94 00:08:27,062 --> 00:08:30,395 and that was a huge campaign in Florida. 95 00:08:31,458 --> 00:08:33,291 It means 1.4 million-- 96 00:08:37,578 --> 00:08:42,495 We also looked at Ohio, where there was an incredible issue 97 00:08:43,354 --> 00:08:46,250 on the statewide ballot, Issue One, 98 00:08:46,250 --> 00:08:50,903 and a lot of momentum to get that issue on the ballot, 99 00:08:50,903 --> 00:08:54,356 730,000 people, more than that in Ohio, 100 00:08:54,356 --> 00:08:58,442 signed a petition to get Issue One on the ballot. 101 00:08:58,442 --> 00:09:02,192 It really was an effort to begin to dismantle 102 00:09:03,320 --> 00:09:06,969 the mass incarceration system and the war on drugs. 103 00:09:06,969 --> 00:09:10,552 Lowering, reclassifying non-violent charges 104 00:09:14,798 --> 00:09:16,928 as misdemeanors and not felonies, 105 00:09:16,928 --> 00:09:18,902 both now and retroactively. 106 00:09:18,902 --> 00:09:21,494 It is such an important effort, 107 00:09:21,494 --> 00:09:24,744 an effort that we need not just in Ohio 108 00:09:25,726 --> 00:09:27,376 but places around the country, 109 00:09:27,376 --> 00:09:30,209 and so we're gonna hear from folks 110 00:09:32,032 --> 00:09:35,820 who were organizing there on that issue. 111 00:09:35,820 --> 00:09:39,689 And also in Massachusets, where even though 112 00:09:39,689 --> 00:09:41,573 transgender rights in Massachusets 113 00:09:41,573 --> 00:09:45,305 have already been protected, we had to vote on it again 114 00:09:45,305 --> 00:09:50,024 in order to protect including transgender identity 115 00:09:50,024 --> 00:09:53,707 in non-discrimination policies and laws. 116 00:09:53,707 --> 00:09:58,351 And so, we'll share from folks and some voter rights 117 00:09:58,351 --> 00:10:01,615 and combating voter suppression in Georgia. 118 00:10:01,615 --> 00:10:04,070 All these different areas where we as UUs 119 00:10:04,070 --> 00:10:06,605 at the UUA try to partner with local UUs, 120 00:10:06,605 --> 00:10:08,204 who are working in partnership 121 00:10:08,204 --> 00:10:10,635 with directly impacted communities. 122 00:10:10,635 --> 00:10:13,310 And we wanna give time for you all to share in the chat 123 00:10:13,310 --> 00:10:15,341 some of your stories from your local work. 124 00:10:15,341 --> 00:10:19,073 But this was a critical election where, 125 00:10:19,073 --> 00:10:21,432 and this is a critical time where our values 126 00:10:21,432 --> 00:10:24,880 as UUs are needed so desperately. 127 00:10:24,880 --> 00:10:29,547 And we honor the wins, we honor the grief at the losses, 128 00:10:30,985 --> 00:10:34,902 and we, I believe that we are building muscles. 129 00:10:36,276 --> 00:10:38,766 Building muscles that are gonna serve us well 130 00:10:38,766 --> 00:10:41,802 going forward 'cause we have long-haul struggles 131 00:10:41,802 --> 00:10:46,802 for dignity and humanity and justice across our country. 132 00:10:47,009 --> 00:10:49,926 So, I'm gonna, with that I'm gonna, 133 00:10:51,440 --> 00:10:54,561 I wanna turn it to some of our group. 134 00:10:54,561 --> 00:10:57,460 Back to Elizabeth who's gonna have some 135 00:10:57,460 --> 00:10:59,291 of our panelists and folks from around 136 00:10:59,291 --> 00:11:03,036 the country share some of their learnings. 137 00:11:03,036 --> 00:11:04,953 - Thanks so much Susan. 138 00:11:07,301 --> 00:11:09,475 And now just to remind folks as best you 139 00:11:09,475 --> 00:11:11,260 can to make sure you're muted. 140 00:11:11,260 --> 00:11:15,009 There's a button in the lower left corner that 141 00:11:15,009 --> 00:11:19,741 says the word Mute, that you can go ahead and hit, 142 00:11:19,741 --> 00:11:23,158 or someone may hit it for you if need be. 143 00:11:24,776 --> 00:11:27,571 Once again, I'm Elizabeth Nguyen with Side With Love, 144 00:11:27,571 --> 00:11:30,241 really grateful to be here this evening. 145 00:11:30,241 --> 00:11:34,522 We don't have time to hear from everyone in voice, 146 00:11:34,522 --> 00:11:38,408 but if you're able to join by Zoom and can share 147 00:11:38,408 --> 00:11:41,461 in the chat, we just wanna invite folks to put 148 00:11:41,461 --> 00:11:45,451 your name, the place that you're coming from, 149 00:11:45,451 --> 00:11:47,499 and if you wanna share something that is 150 00:11:47,499 --> 00:11:51,519 on your heart tonight that we can hold together, 151 00:11:51,519 --> 00:11:54,947 whether there's a particular campaign 152 00:11:54,947 --> 00:11:58,000 or community or ongoing struggle 153 00:11:58,000 --> 00:12:00,297 that you're bringing with you. 154 00:12:00,297 --> 00:12:02,551 So, if you'd be willing to share in the chat 155 00:12:02,551 --> 00:12:05,266 your name, the place you're coming from, 156 00:12:05,266 --> 00:12:06,903 and something you're holding on your heart 157 00:12:06,903 --> 00:12:09,488 tonight so we can hold it together 158 00:12:09,488 --> 00:12:13,071 and get a sense of our community over Zoom. 159 00:12:14,863 --> 00:12:18,280 And the chat should be on your far right, 160 00:12:19,719 --> 00:12:22,485 and if it's not up, there's a little bubble 161 00:12:22,485 --> 00:12:24,512 with three dots at the bottom of your screen 162 00:12:24,512 --> 00:12:26,508 that says Chat, that you should 163 00:12:26,508 --> 00:12:29,508 be able to click and make it pop up. 164 00:12:46,746 --> 00:12:50,464 So welcome all, welcome Mary in Georgia. 165 00:12:50,464 --> 00:12:54,381 Welcoming Bill in Seattle, holding a carbon fee 166 00:12:56,047 --> 00:12:58,789 initiative that was lost. 167 00:12:58,789 --> 00:13:02,905 Welcome folks from Maine, from Washington. 168 00:13:02,905 --> 00:13:07,905 Thanks for really bringing the timezone span everybody. 169 00:13:08,246 --> 00:13:11,163 Lots of love to our Georgia people. 170 00:13:12,920 --> 00:13:16,051 And big love, some of you know that I grew up 171 00:13:16,051 --> 00:13:19,051 in Dayton, Ohio, and so technically, 172 00:13:20,436 --> 00:13:24,186 Beaver Creek, Ohio for folks who are familiar. 173 00:13:24,186 --> 00:13:27,853 So definitely lots and lots of love to Ohio. 174 00:13:30,753 --> 00:13:34,336 Welcome to North Carolina and Boston folks. 175 00:13:35,886 --> 00:13:39,033 Yeah I'm with you Michelle, on the loss 176 00:13:39,033 --> 00:13:42,446 of Issue One, which nurses unions 177 00:13:42,446 --> 00:13:46,446 had organized for, effort fully, lots of vision. 178 00:13:48,886 --> 00:13:53,886 And yes to folks running for office from Washington. 179 00:13:53,920 --> 00:13:54,753 - That it? 180 00:13:54,753 --> 00:13:55,586 - Yeah. 181 00:13:57,023 --> 00:13:58,147 - Who is that? 182 00:13:58,147 --> 00:13:59,743 - I don't know. 183 00:13:59,743 --> 00:14:00,910 - Hi, welcome. 184 00:14:01,781 --> 00:14:03,937 - I can't get through. 185 00:14:03,937 --> 00:14:04,770 - Let's just. 186 00:14:04,770 --> 00:14:05,770 - Let's see. 187 00:14:08,487 --> 00:14:10,761 You are joining our post-election 188 00:14:10,761 --> 00:14:14,006 spiritual sustenance, and I'm gonna try 189 00:14:14,006 --> 00:14:17,923 to mute you while you get your tech worked out. 190 00:14:21,901 --> 00:14:25,237 But we're very glad to have you with us. 191 00:14:25,237 --> 00:14:28,404 - [Woman] Must be Susan Gray speaking. 192 00:14:29,760 --> 00:14:31,760 - [Woman] Mute it, guys. 193 00:14:32,721 --> 00:14:36,754 - (laughs) We're very glad you're here. 194 00:14:36,754 --> 00:14:38,447 Welcome to other folks across the country 195 00:14:38,447 --> 00:14:41,364 from Rhode Island to Massachusetts. 196 00:14:45,769 --> 00:14:48,186 Folks in Alabama and Montana. 197 00:14:59,984 --> 00:15:04,234 And definitely lots of welcome to folks in Florida. 198 00:15:05,236 --> 00:15:08,097 - [Woman] Yeah the Colorado governor's being mentioned. 199 00:15:08,097 --> 00:15:11,764 Oh you can't see all this stuff's coming in. 200 00:15:14,306 --> 00:15:16,232 - Alright, so feel free to keep 201 00:15:16,232 --> 00:15:19,193 introducing yourselves in chat. 202 00:15:19,193 --> 00:15:21,983 Congratulations, I'm seeing a gun reform bill, 203 00:15:21,983 --> 00:15:25,269 gun reform bill that was passed. 204 00:15:25,269 --> 00:15:28,269 And yes, lots of love to Ohio folks. 205 00:15:29,759 --> 00:15:34,181 Folks holding gerrymandering, voter suppression, 206 00:15:34,181 --> 00:15:37,098 white supremacy, yes, yes, and yes. 207 00:15:39,559 --> 00:15:41,632 So super grateful to have some folks 208 00:15:41,632 --> 00:15:45,231 who have been part of efforts to live our values 209 00:15:45,231 --> 00:15:49,689 and who are willing to share a little bit this evening. 210 00:15:49,689 --> 00:15:51,764 So we've asked them to just share a little bit 211 00:15:51,764 --> 00:15:55,225 about who they are, about the work that they're doing, 212 00:15:55,225 --> 00:15:58,475 and then to reflect on three questions. 213 00:16:00,022 --> 00:16:02,846 One way that you saw the sacred show up 214 00:16:02,846 --> 00:16:05,563 in the work that you've been doing, 215 00:16:05,563 --> 00:16:08,011 one thing you've learned by living 216 00:16:08,011 --> 00:16:11,094 your values, and one hope or blessing 217 00:16:13,006 --> 00:16:16,256 or mandate you have for moving forward. 218 00:16:18,946 --> 00:16:22,737 And I'm wondering, Rev. Elizabeth Bukey here 219 00:16:22,737 --> 00:16:27,623 in Massachusetts, would you be willing to start us off? 220 00:16:27,623 --> 00:16:30,442 And I'm gonna see if I can help our friends mute 221 00:16:30,442 --> 00:16:33,859 who are still sorting out the technology. 222 00:16:34,995 --> 00:16:35,828 - Sure. 223 00:16:37,199 --> 00:16:40,449 If I miss some things about introducing 224 00:16:43,510 --> 00:16:44,995 all of those things, I-- 225 00:16:44,995 --> 00:16:45,828 - Well I wanna do it. 226 00:16:45,828 --> 00:16:47,220 - Hello! 227 00:16:47,220 --> 00:16:48,994 So I'm Reverend Elizabeth Bukey, 228 00:16:48,994 --> 00:16:52,827 I'm in Boston, and I have been doing some work 229 00:16:54,492 --> 00:16:56,961 with the Yes on Three campaign, which was 230 00:16:56,961 --> 00:17:00,378 the campaign to defend non-discrimination 231 00:17:03,059 --> 00:17:05,725 protections for transgender folks 232 00:17:05,725 --> 00:17:09,522 in Massachusetts, which had been passed into law 233 00:17:09,522 --> 00:17:13,855 two years ago and then was put up for a vote anyway. 234 00:17:15,776 --> 00:17:19,443 And I did a bunch of door-to-door canvassing 235 00:17:20,670 --> 00:17:24,245 for the Yes on Three campaign, mostly just 236 00:17:24,245 --> 00:17:28,695 personally, as well as our church did endorse 237 00:17:28,695 --> 00:17:32,302 Yes on Three, which was beautiful. 238 00:17:32,302 --> 00:17:34,635 - Turn yours all the way up. 239 00:17:35,741 --> 00:17:36,574 - Hello? 240 00:17:39,475 --> 00:17:41,735 - Sorry, Elizabeth. 241 00:17:41,735 --> 00:17:43,844 I seem to not be able to mute the folks 242 00:17:43,844 --> 00:17:47,481 who are listed as Annette and Pierce. 243 00:17:47,481 --> 00:17:50,660 If you would be willing to press the Mute button 244 00:17:50,660 --> 00:17:53,866 on the bottom left of your screen, 245 00:17:53,866 --> 00:17:56,421 that would be great, 'cause we're just getting, 246 00:17:56,421 --> 00:17:59,504 we can hear everything you're saying. 247 00:18:01,214 --> 00:18:04,714 Or maybe that's William who could do that? 248 00:18:05,796 --> 00:18:06,629 Yeah. 249 00:18:07,542 --> 00:18:11,266 If you look in the lower left of your screen, 250 00:18:11,266 --> 00:18:15,205 you should be able to mute, and that will be great. 251 00:18:15,205 --> 00:18:17,372 Thank you, you're perfect. 252 00:18:18,251 --> 00:18:20,038 Okay, go for it, Elizabeth, thanks 253 00:18:20,038 --> 00:18:23,024 for being Team Tech together. 254 00:18:23,024 --> 00:18:24,161 - Yeah. 255 00:18:24,161 --> 00:18:27,578 So that was some of the work I was doing. 256 00:18:29,762 --> 00:18:32,314 And then just door knocking forever 257 00:18:32,314 --> 00:18:34,981 yesterday, which was delightful. 258 00:18:36,284 --> 00:18:40,343 And the other thing I'll say about what we 259 00:18:40,343 --> 00:18:43,093 were doing was that the strategy, 260 00:18:44,851 --> 00:18:48,754 the theory of change that the campaign was working with, 261 00:18:48,754 --> 00:18:53,254 especially early on, was really doing public education 262 00:18:54,417 --> 00:18:57,500 and trying to really listen to people 263 00:19:00,149 --> 00:19:04,196 and to have an actually deep conversation 264 00:19:04,196 --> 00:19:08,082 as much as you can at someone's front door. 265 00:19:08,082 --> 00:19:11,166 And I think that the place that I saw, 266 00:19:11,166 --> 00:19:13,313 that was the place that I saw the sacred show up 267 00:19:13,313 --> 00:19:17,146 in this work was, it was an opportunity for me 268 00:19:19,732 --> 00:19:23,184 to be instructed to practice deep listening 269 00:19:23,184 --> 00:19:26,983 with the faith that that itself would 270 00:19:26,983 --> 00:19:31,400 change people or bring their compassion to the front. 271 00:19:35,950 --> 00:19:39,033 You know, I was saying it was a great 272 00:19:42,236 --> 00:19:44,056 social justice opportunity for me 273 00:19:44,056 --> 00:19:45,737 'cause they were like, "What we need you to do 274 00:19:45,737 --> 00:19:48,746 "is just go to the doors and ask people questions, 275 00:19:48,746 --> 00:19:50,714 "and just keep saying, 'And what do you think 276 00:19:50,714 --> 00:19:53,881 "about that?' and 'How will that be?'" 277 00:19:55,003 --> 00:19:58,670 And so the spiritual practice of being there 278 00:19:59,739 --> 00:20:03,472 with people who really weren't there 279 00:20:03,472 --> 00:20:07,389 on transgender people, and we're really hearing 280 00:20:08,405 --> 00:20:12,882 some hateful messaging, and keeping my heart open 281 00:20:12,882 --> 00:20:15,715 to them while also holding my love 282 00:20:17,736 --> 00:20:21,067 for transgender folks that I know 283 00:20:21,067 --> 00:20:24,400 and in my community, was one place I saw 284 00:20:26,519 --> 00:20:29,186 the sacred show up in this work. 285 00:20:31,576 --> 00:20:34,076 And one thing, there was a lot 286 00:20:35,232 --> 00:20:38,232 that I learned through this process. 287 00:20:40,816 --> 00:20:44,234 Part of it was by putting, was reminded again 288 00:20:44,234 --> 00:20:46,493 that when I put myself in a place 289 00:20:46,493 --> 00:20:50,326 where I am living out my values, that actually 290 00:20:51,809 --> 00:20:56,309 reinforces my own commitment to it, so I learned that. 291 00:21:00,287 --> 00:21:03,554 And I would also say, just I learned 292 00:21:03,554 --> 00:21:05,021 I was surprised at how much I learned 293 00:21:05,021 --> 00:21:06,920 about my own assumptions about gender 294 00:21:06,920 --> 00:21:09,700 that I still have in the back of my head, 295 00:21:09,700 --> 00:21:13,033 and so this was a prompt to work through 296 00:21:13,904 --> 00:21:16,737 some of that and grow in that way. 297 00:21:21,927 --> 00:21:22,760 What else will I say? 298 00:21:22,760 --> 00:21:27,510 One thing about going forward or a blessing or a mandate? 299 00:21:32,648 --> 00:21:35,731 I think it's to not be afraid to have 300 00:21:36,588 --> 00:21:37,985 what seems like a hard conversation. 301 00:21:37,985 --> 00:21:42,029 It seems like a hard conversation to knock 302 00:21:42,029 --> 00:21:44,249 on someone's random door in Boston 303 00:21:44,249 --> 00:21:47,666 and talk to them about the pretty hateful 304 00:21:49,694 --> 00:21:52,944 opposition messaging that was going on. 305 00:21:54,135 --> 00:21:57,968 And it was, it felt, so I guess it's a mandate 306 00:22:03,477 --> 00:22:06,894 to, what do we say, take a faithful risk? 307 00:22:10,166 --> 00:22:13,486 Knowing that in the faith that there 308 00:22:13,486 --> 00:22:16,569 is some possibility for change there. 309 00:22:18,587 --> 00:22:21,633 Yeah, and also just that I learned about myself. 310 00:22:21,633 --> 00:22:23,811 I'm a very strong introvert who loves 311 00:22:23,811 --> 00:22:27,666 door-to-door canvassing, so that we can grow 312 00:22:27,666 --> 00:22:31,333 and stretch in ways that we might not expect 313 00:22:32,444 --> 00:22:35,995 when it's something really important. 314 00:22:35,995 --> 00:22:40,468 That was a blessing for me to remember and to know that. 315 00:22:40,468 --> 00:22:42,311 And also, just one more thing, I don't know 316 00:22:42,311 --> 00:22:45,351 if this is exactly on point, but I really 317 00:22:45,351 --> 00:22:48,351 was so grateful for all of the youth 318 00:22:54,208 --> 00:22:57,282 especially who showed up in the work. 319 00:22:57,282 --> 00:23:00,714 The campaign that I was, the action I was at 320 00:23:00,714 --> 00:23:02,301 over the weekend was being run 321 00:23:02,301 --> 00:23:05,384 by a 14-year-old person who was there 322 00:23:08,999 --> 00:23:11,363 and just doing a more amazing job 323 00:23:11,363 --> 00:23:13,705 than probably I would have done 324 00:23:13,705 --> 00:23:16,015 at any point in my life organizing, 325 00:23:16,015 --> 00:23:19,996 so especially our trans and non-binary youth 326 00:23:19,996 --> 00:23:24,079 who are just so brave and fierce and open-hearted 327 00:23:28,141 --> 00:23:32,058 and just great, so that's another blessing, 328 00:23:32,058 --> 00:23:34,891 being able to be with those folks. 329 00:23:37,472 --> 00:23:40,055 - Thank you so much, Elizabeth. 330 00:23:41,326 --> 00:23:43,407 Reverend Patrice Curtis, I wonder 331 00:23:43,407 --> 00:23:46,346 if we might hear from you now. 332 00:23:46,346 --> 00:23:49,929 I know that you have been at various events 333 00:23:51,025 --> 00:23:53,179 at our Unitarian Universalist Association, 334 00:23:53,179 --> 00:23:54,813 so I don't know if you need a moment 335 00:23:54,813 --> 00:23:57,313 to settle, or if you're ready. 336 00:24:00,841 --> 00:24:03,229 - Yes, so I've traveled from Florida, 337 00:24:03,229 --> 00:24:06,479 and I'm in Massachusetts at the moment. 338 00:24:07,492 --> 00:24:09,993 And I guess I could say that it's a great 339 00:24:09,993 --> 00:24:12,029 metaphor for the work that we do, 340 00:24:12,029 --> 00:24:15,028 which is while we would love to have time 341 00:24:15,028 --> 00:24:20,028 to settle, (laughs) the world will not always 342 00:24:21,072 --> 00:24:24,739 let us do that, and we just have to jump in. 343 00:24:26,738 --> 00:24:30,655 So one of the things that you asked was one way 344 00:24:31,489 --> 00:24:35,988 the sacred showed up in the work that I did. 345 00:24:35,988 --> 00:24:39,491 And I'd have to say what came to mind 346 00:24:39,491 --> 00:24:41,824 immediately was forgiveness. 347 00:24:43,394 --> 00:24:45,977 In Florida, we had an amendment 348 00:24:48,507 --> 00:24:52,090 that would provide about 1.4 million people 349 00:24:53,736 --> 00:24:57,069 who had done their time and had not been 350 00:24:58,525 --> 00:25:02,734 re-enfranchised, so they weren't able to vote. 351 00:25:02,734 --> 00:25:06,268 And, to be honest, we know how the numbers 352 00:25:06,268 --> 00:25:09,235 are skewed as far as who is incarcerated, 353 00:25:09,235 --> 00:25:11,763 that it tends to be brown people. 354 00:25:11,763 --> 00:25:16,015 And I really didn't know whether Floridians, 355 00:25:16,015 --> 00:25:19,265 we live in a state that is very purple. 356 00:25:21,321 --> 00:25:25,964 On any given day, you can see a huge pickup truck 357 00:25:25,964 --> 00:25:28,615 with a massive Confederate flag 358 00:25:28,615 --> 00:25:31,257 driving down the road, and then you can see 359 00:25:31,257 --> 00:25:34,241 a bumper sticker that says the world is love. 360 00:25:34,241 --> 00:25:37,491 I mean it's really a interesting place. 361 00:25:38,914 --> 00:25:41,487 And I really didn't know how it would go. 362 00:25:41,487 --> 00:25:44,757 And what I loved that was sacred for me 363 00:25:44,757 --> 00:25:48,507 then that I found in the passage of this bill 364 00:25:49,581 --> 00:25:52,998 is a feeling that, despite who might then 365 00:25:55,729 --> 00:25:57,492 end up on the rolls and how that might 366 00:25:57,492 --> 00:26:00,409 change the elections going forward, 367 00:26:01,706 --> 00:26:04,520 there was this feeling that, when people 368 00:26:04,520 --> 00:26:07,687 have done their time, you may say some 369 00:26:09,018 --> 00:26:11,455 have repented, some have asked for forgiveness, 370 00:26:11,455 --> 00:26:13,483 they've done what they, they've done 371 00:26:13,483 --> 00:26:15,002 their time and they're moving forward 372 00:26:15,002 --> 00:26:18,752 with their lives, that there was this feeling 373 00:26:20,140 --> 00:26:23,424 that we all need a second chance. 374 00:26:23,424 --> 00:26:26,257 And for people who I know probably 375 00:26:27,823 --> 00:26:29,322 have nothing at all to do with the 376 00:26:29,322 --> 00:26:31,820 mass incarceration system, for them to be able 377 00:26:31,820 --> 00:26:36,245 to put themselves in their shoes, the sacred 378 00:26:36,245 --> 00:26:38,143 that showed up for me was that, 379 00:26:38,143 --> 00:26:41,726 even though we fear that which is different 380 00:26:44,428 --> 00:26:47,064 from us, we can extend compassion 381 00:26:47,064 --> 00:26:49,764 and understanding and put ourselves into 382 00:26:49,764 --> 00:26:51,471 the shoes of someone else, and I just thought 383 00:26:51,471 --> 00:26:54,757 that was really beautiful for me. 384 00:26:54,757 --> 00:26:56,674 So that was the sacred. 385 00:27:00,764 --> 00:27:04,014 One thing I learned by living my values 386 00:27:06,470 --> 00:27:11,470 is that it matters what we say as Unitarian Universalists. 387 00:27:11,472 --> 00:27:14,414 It matters that we speak, it matters 388 00:27:14,414 --> 00:27:17,004 that we show up, it matters the signs 389 00:27:17,004 --> 00:27:20,004 we have on our buildings, it matters 390 00:27:20,969 --> 00:27:23,996 what we say on our wayside pulpit. 391 00:27:23,996 --> 00:27:27,246 One of the really fun things that I did 392 00:27:29,750 --> 00:27:31,976 is I stopped putting the title of my sermon 393 00:27:31,976 --> 00:27:34,548 on there, on the wayside pulpit, 394 00:27:34,548 --> 00:27:36,118 and I started having, we started 395 00:27:36,118 --> 00:27:38,626 having messages out there, you know. 396 00:27:38,626 --> 00:27:40,983 Our first principle is worth and dignity for everyone. 397 00:27:40,983 --> 00:27:45,400 Vote yes on Amendment Four (laughs). 398 00:27:47,740 --> 00:27:51,573 You know, we just, there's so many in Florida, 399 00:27:55,017 --> 00:27:57,261 even UUs that were not in Florida were calling 400 00:27:57,261 --> 00:27:59,974 in to Florida doing phone banking. 401 00:27:59,974 --> 00:28:02,807 There was so much energy around it 402 00:28:04,081 --> 00:28:06,664 that I'm sometimes disappointed 403 00:28:08,014 --> 00:28:09,414 that as Unitarian Universalists, 404 00:28:09,414 --> 00:28:12,247 we sometimes make ourselves small. 405 00:28:14,480 --> 00:28:17,975 We don't wanna talk about our faith, we don't 406 00:28:17,975 --> 00:28:22,308 wanna talk about where we spend our Sunday mornings. 407 00:28:23,478 --> 00:28:25,707 We might be fearful of the signs that we do put 408 00:28:25,707 --> 00:28:28,755 on our buildings because we had signs taken 409 00:28:28,755 --> 00:28:30,760 off our buildings when we had signs 410 00:28:30,760 --> 00:28:33,999 that said Refugees are Welcome. 411 00:28:33,999 --> 00:28:35,991 We still have that sign We Persevered 412 00:28:35,991 --> 00:28:40,492 through three taking down, but last one has stayed up. 413 00:28:40,492 --> 00:28:43,325 And so I think that it's important 414 00:28:44,519 --> 00:28:47,724 that as an introvert, that I speak 415 00:28:47,724 --> 00:28:50,250 into the space, and what I learned is that once 416 00:28:50,250 --> 00:28:53,325 I started speaking, that people wanted 417 00:28:53,325 --> 00:28:55,993 to hear, they wanna hear our perspective. 418 00:28:55,993 --> 00:29:00,766 We can straddle that secular/religious/ritualistic 419 00:29:00,766 --> 00:29:04,481 world, and we have the ability to be able to speak that. 420 00:29:04,481 --> 00:29:07,476 And I had members of my congregation 421 00:29:07,476 --> 00:29:08,942 that wrote letters to the editor, 422 00:29:08,942 --> 00:29:10,472 and they got them published. 423 00:29:10,472 --> 00:29:14,639 I mean, we have something to say that's important. 424 00:29:19,214 --> 00:29:21,458 And I also learned through living my values 425 00:29:21,458 --> 00:29:25,538 that our hearts, my heart will be broken, 426 00:29:25,538 --> 00:29:29,205 that as pleased as I am with Amendment Four, 427 00:29:33,164 --> 00:29:35,939 not only do we have a new governor, 428 00:29:35,939 --> 00:29:37,590 although I understand Gillum is going 429 00:29:37,590 --> 00:29:39,999 to challenge, but the governor that we have 430 00:29:39,999 --> 00:29:42,756 made racist comments during the campaign, 431 00:29:42,756 --> 00:29:44,993 and this is now the person who's our governor. 432 00:29:44,993 --> 00:29:47,743 So we worked hard to try to bring 433 00:29:50,465 --> 00:29:53,524 in a different way, we worked hard to try 434 00:29:53,524 --> 00:29:56,774 to bring compassion to the governorship 435 00:29:58,193 --> 00:30:01,878 in a different person, and this is what we have. 436 00:30:01,878 --> 00:30:06,518 And so yeah, I'm sitting with that, as some 49% 437 00:30:06,518 --> 00:30:09,417 of Floridians who voted for the other guy 438 00:30:09,417 --> 00:30:12,661 are sitting with that broken heart. 439 00:30:12,661 --> 00:30:15,367 Ooh, that's probably the toughest thing 440 00:30:15,367 --> 00:30:19,011 about getting involved in elections. 441 00:30:19,011 --> 00:30:20,761 You don't always win. 442 00:30:22,382 --> 00:30:26,049 So one thing I would hope for going forward. 443 00:30:32,113 --> 00:30:34,446 I hope that we stay engaged. 444 00:30:37,550 --> 00:30:40,633 I hope that we take some time to lean 445 00:30:45,266 --> 00:30:48,891 into each other, to be sad about what 446 00:30:48,891 --> 00:30:51,481 didn't happen, to celebrate what 447 00:30:51,481 --> 00:30:54,564 did happen, and then kind of pull our 448 00:30:55,414 --> 00:30:58,497 pants up and stay engaged, re-engage. 449 00:31:08,841 --> 00:31:11,841 We have been, as a movement, working 450 00:31:13,695 --> 00:31:16,978 toward understanding white supremacy, 451 00:31:16,978 --> 00:31:20,510 working to begin to dismantle it. 452 00:31:20,510 --> 00:31:23,343 Now I think we need to re-envision 453 00:31:25,552 --> 00:31:28,083 or remind ourselves why we are 454 00:31:28,083 --> 00:31:31,144 dismantling that, so that we can have 455 00:31:31,144 --> 00:31:35,292 this beloved community bloom where that was. 456 00:31:35,292 --> 00:31:38,125 And so for us to hold the darkness 457 00:31:39,258 --> 00:31:42,994 that exists in the world, but also remind 458 00:31:42,994 --> 00:31:45,465 ourselves that there is this light 459 00:31:45,465 --> 00:31:48,286 that we are going toward, and the way 460 00:31:48,286 --> 00:31:50,659 we get there, one of the ways we get there, 461 00:31:50,659 --> 00:31:53,742 is to be politically engaged to hold, 462 00:31:56,715 --> 00:31:58,993 one of the things I wanna do is, and I don't know 463 00:31:58,993 --> 00:32:02,076 how to do this yet, but I am so upset 464 00:32:03,892 --> 00:32:06,758 with the way in which people who control 465 00:32:06,758 --> 00:32:10,255 elections are then running for office. 466 00:32:10,255 --> 00:32:14,005 And I think of the covenant, which is so core 467 00:32:15,711 --> 00:32:17,679 to who we are as Unitarian Universalists, 468 00:32:17,679 --> 00:32:22,461 and I want them to have a covenant that says (laughs) 469 00:32:22,461 --> 00:32:24,244 if I'm gonna run for election, maybe I'll 470 00:32:24,244 --> 00:32:26,511 have to recuse myself from actually having 471 00:32:26,511 --> 00:32:30,805 anything to do with how those elections are run. 472 00:32:30,805 --> 00:32:34,138 So yeah, just stay engaged, be connected 473 00:32:38,264 --> 00:32:40,520 with other Unitarian Universalists. 474 00:32:40,520 --> 00:32:42,748 It was really kind of amazing to know 475 00:32:42,748 --> 00:32:44,050 that there were Unitarian Universalists 476 00:32:44,050 --> 00:32:46,241 outside of Florida calling in, so for us 477 00:32:46,241 --> 00:32:48,749 to remember that we have our own community, 478 00:32:48,749 --> 00:32:52,199 and we have that community of Unitarian Universalists 479 00:32:52,199 --> 00:32:54,482 everywhere, and that to know that others 480 00:32:54,482 --> 00:32:57,932 are helping you move your little piece 481 00:32:57,932 --> 00:33:01,265 of the world forward is a real blessing. 482 00:33:04,256 --> 00:33:06,472 - Thank you so much, Patrice. 483 00:33:06,472 --> 00:33:08,232 Thanks for being on the go, like 484 00:33:08,232 --> 00:33:11,065 so many of us are, and showing up. 485 00:33:12,498 --> 00:33:14,490 I'm gonna invite Rev Charlotte Arsenault 486 00:33:14,490 --> 00:33:16,157 in Georgia to share. 487 00:33:17,807 --> 00:33:20,390 So good to have you, Charlotte. 488 00:33:21,269 --> 00:33:22,750 - It is great to be here. 489 00:33:22,750 --> 00:33:27,750 I am not an introvert (laughs), so here I am, guys. 490 00:33:30,418 --> 00:33:31,572 You know, this election cycle's 491 00:33:31,572 --> 00:33:34,007 been kinda a hot mess in Georgia. 492 00:33:34,007 --> 00:33:37,007 As was just mentioned, the gentleman 493 00:33:38,300 --> 00:33:41,383 who was running against Stacey Abrams 494 00:33:42,267 --> 00:33:45,464 is the current Secretary of State, 495 00:33:45,464 --> 00:33:49,299 so he's controlling the elections and responsible 496 00:33:49,299 --> 00:33:52,966 for keeping them smooth, and he is also just 497 00:33:55,955 --> 00:33:57,974 in charge of a tremendous amount of voter 498 00:33:57,974 --> 00:34:01,931 suppression that's been occurring throughout the state. 499 00:34:01,931 --> 00:34:05,013 And of course, as per usual, it's disproportionately 500 00:34:05,013 --> 00:34:09,981 occurring in areas heavily populated by people of color. 501 00:34:09,981 --> 00:34:13,064 And unlike most of y'all in the U.S., 502 00:34:13,988 --> 00:34:16,821 we do not have a clear winner yet. 503 00:34:17,845 --> 00:34:22,012 So, last I checked, it's 50.3% to 48.7%, 504 00:34:24,951 --> 00:34:27,701 and Abrams is refusing to concede 505 00:34:29,687 --> 00:34:31,518 until every vote has been counted, 506 00:34:31,518 --> 00:34:34,953 and there've been a lot of absentee ballots 507 00:34:34,953 --> 00:34:38,536 because people were concerned about hacking 508 00:34:40,602 --> 00:34:42,362 of voting machines and all of those things, 509 00:34:42,362 --> 00:34:46,029 so while Kemp is declaring himself a winner, 510 00:34:47,199 --> 00:34:49,294 she hasn't conceded, so we just don't know 511 00:34:49,294 --> 00:34:54,294 where it's gonna end, so we're not yet able to move forward. 512 00:34:54,665 --> 00:34:56,718 I think we're still just sort of waiting, 513 00:34:56,718 --> 00:34:59,013 and it could take several days and then 514 00:34:59,013 --> 00:35:02,481 could be a runoff at that point. 515 00:35:02,481 --> 00:35:05,084 The congregation I serve in is the third most 516 00:35:05,084 --> 00:35:07,364 conservative district, voting district 517 00:35:07,364 --> 00:35:11,583 in the country, so identifying as a progressive, 518 00:35:11,583 --> 00:35:16,416 in your values can be super isolating I think is the word. 519 00:35:19,024 --> 00:35:22,471 But I have been so buoyed by the hope, 520 00:35:22,471 --> 00:35:25,298 the resiliency, the work ethic, and the bravery 521 00:35:25,298 --> 00:35:27,027 of my folks who have been deeply engaged 522 00:35:27,027 --> 00:35:32,027 in the democratic process in Georgia for over a year now. 523 00:35:32,500 --> 00:35:36,682 So some of the things they've been engaged in, 524 00:35:36,682 --> 00:35:40,065 they've applied to get a grant for the Get Out 525 00:35:40,065 --> 00:35:44,065 the Vote and won it, and they've been using that 526 00:35:44,997 --> 00:35:46,978 to work with local organizations. 527 00:35:46,978 --> 00:35:49,529 One in particular by the name of Newtown Florist Club, 528 00:35:49,529 --> 00:35:53,279 which was created in 1950, and it's organized 529 00:35:55,157 --> 00:35:57,595 by black folks in the area working for justice, 530 00:35:57,595 --> 00:35:59,293 and fighting the voter suppression 531 00:35:59,293 --> 00:36:02,494 is their current issue right now. 532 00:36:02,494 --> 00:36:06,577 Also GALEO, which is a Hispanic outreach program. 533 00:36:07,452 --> 00:36:10,125 We were able to both fund some of their efforts 534 00:36:10,125 --> 00:36:13,456 and do the work they asked us to do. 535 00:36:13,456 --> 00:36:16,045 And we had a quarter of the congregation involved 536 00:36:16,045 --> 00:36:18,641 in writing over 1,500 postcards to voters 537 00:36:18,641 --> 00:36:21,760 in the county, doing phone banks, sending cards 538 00:36:21,760 --> 00:36:24,642 out to remind people where they could vote, 539 00:36:24,642 --> 00:36:27,975 because there was so much just difficult 540 00:36:30,212 --> 00:36:33,795 finding open and appropriate voting places. 541 00:36:34,925 --> 00:36:38,010 Registering young people at local high schools, 542 00:36:38,010 --> 00:36:42,567 holding Stop the Purge events, because so many 543 00:36:42,567 --> 00:36:44,899 voters have been purged in Georgia, 544 00:36:44,899 --> 00:36:48,652 of course there's ongoing legal issues with that. 545 00:36:48,652 --> 00:36:51,718 This is only some of the work that our people 546 00:36:51,718 --> 00:36:55,283 have been doing, and the part that I love 547 00:36:55,283 --> 00:36:57,871 the most perhaps are that they're 548 00:36:57,871 --> 00:37:02,019 connecting this with their faith very strongly. 549 00:37:02,019 --> 00:37:04,602 So several of them, and some of them are on 550 00:37:04,602 --> 00:37:07,102 this call as well, have made t-shirts 551 00:37:07,102 --> 00:37:10,094 that say I vote my Unitarian Universalist 552 00:37:10,094 --> 00:37:13,011 values, and they wear them proudly. 553 00:37:14,513 --> 00:37:15,596 I loved that. 554 00:37:16,771 --> 00:37:19,407 So, one way I saw the sacred show up 555 00:37:19,407 --> 00:37:20,874 in this work was the relationships 556 00:37:20,874 --> 00:37:23,268 that have been built amongst communities 557 00:37:23,268 --> 00:37:25,524 that might look different than us or believe 558 00:37:25,524 --> 00:37:27,040 different than us or sound different 559 00:37:27,040 --> 00:37:31,521 than we may sound, and the gifts that have come 560 00:37:31,521 --> 00:37:34,975 out of that, of personal growth, and sacrifice, 561 00:37:34,975 --> 00:37:38,522 and endurance to continue when it gets difficult, 562 00:37:38,522 --> 00:37:41,291 when we run into roadblocks, when we just feel 563 00:37:41,291 --> 00:37:44,016 like we can't even get up in the morning 564 00:37:44,016 --> 00:37:47,849 because it's another disappointment, and yeah, 565 00:37:50,755 --> 00:37:53,718 I think the way that I and perhaps some 566 00:37:53,718 --> 00:37:55,493 of my congregants, have learned by 567 00:37:55,493 --> 00:37:57,645 living our values is that, in the midst 568 00:37:57,645 --> 00:38:00,467 of all of this, there has been so much talk 569 00:38:00,467 --> 00:38:02,991 amongst us about engaging in these 570 00:38:02,991 --> 00:38:05,250 beloved conversations with those who have 571 00:38:05,250 --> 00:38:07,353 different viewpoints and different values 572 00:38:07,353 --> 00:38:10,343 and how to maintain hope during setbacks, 573 00:38:10,343 --> 00:38:12,999 and how to be an effective ally 574 00:38:12,999 --> 00:38:16,201 and an effective co-conspirator 575 00:38:16,201 --> 00:38:19,470 to marginalized populations, and the meaning 576 00:38:19,470 --> 00:38:22,070 and purpose of physically going and attending 577 00:38:22,070 --> 00:38:26,417 church services in this day and age, and not just 578 00:38:26,417 --> 00:38:29,917 in theory but in true, lived-out practice. 579 00:38:31,721 --> 00:38:34,779 That's been really wonderful to really dig 580 00:38:34,779 --> 00:38:38,517 into these deep conversations that've 581 00:38:38,517 --> 00:38:41,184 been challenging and meaningful. 582 00:38:42,046 --> 00:38:44,237 (child yelling in background) My hope going forward, sorry, 583 00:38:44,237 --> 00:38:46,914 that's my little man in the background screaming. 584 00:38:46,914 --> 00:38:50,749 My hope going forward is that change can happen 585 00:38:50,749 --> 00:38:53,048 as a result of the issues surrounding 586 00:38:53,048 --> 00:38:54,757 this election cycle in Georgia, 587 00:38:54,757 --> 00:38:58,898 as was previously mentioned, that it just 588 00:38:58,898 --> 00:39:01,793 seems absurd that someone who's in charge 589 00:39:01,793 --> 00:39:05,043 of voting, and counting votes, would be 590 00:39:06,368 --> 00:39:10,118 in an election that he's counting the votes for. 591 00:39:10,118 --> 00:39:13,118 And that something will come of the, 592 00:39:14,991 --> 00:39:17,250 I guess statewide investigations and things 593 00:39:17,250 --> 00:39:20,333 like that, that there will be change. 594 00:39:23,683 --> 00:39:25,449 And on a more personal and professional level, 595 00:39:25,449 --> 00:39:28,407 that my congregation and I will use the skills 596 00:39:28,407 --> 00:39:31,526 that we have acquired during this long period, 597 00:39:31,526 --> 00:39:33,259 both practical skills, like organizing 598 00:39:33,259 --> 00:39:35,694 and justice work, and the spiritual skills 599 00:39:35,694 --> 00:39:39,136 like bravery and hope and resiliency and passion 600 00:39:39,136 --> 00:39:43,053 for the work, how to listen to others that have 601 00:39:44,316 --> 00:39:46,535 a different viewpoint, but also those who have 602 00:39:46,535 --> 00:39:50,455 a different strategy than maybe we would choose. 603 00:39:50,455 --> 00:39:53,568 And how to support them in the work that they're doing. 604 00:39:53,568 --> 00:39:56,460 And that we would put those skills 605 00:39:56,460 --> 00:39:59,510 into action into other areas of our lives 606 00:39:59,510 --> 00:40:02,026 and certainly for the elections that will come 607 00:40:02,026 --> 00:40:04,675 in the future that will require 608 00:40:04,675 --> 00:40:08,425 our newly-learned wisdom and much, much more. 609 00:40:09,452 --> 00:40:10,869 That's it for me. 610 00:40:12,327 --> 00:40:14,731 - Thank you so much, Charlotte, and lots of love 611 00:40:14,731 --> 00:40:17,300 to you and your folks. 612 00:40:17,300 --> 00:40:22,217 I'm gonna invite Sir, who is joining us from Ohio to share. 613 00:40:23,999 --> 00:40:26,892 Thank you, Sir, for being with us this evening. 614 00:40:26,892 --> 00:40:29,326 - Yeah, thanks for the invite. 615 00:40:29,326 --> 00:40:32,493 So, our work was Issue One, and I work 616 00:40:34,257 --> 00:40:36,998 out of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron, 617 00:40:36,998 --> 00:40:40,748 primarily with the Racial Justice Task Force. 618 00:40:42,065 --> 00:40:45,565 We really, we came out to support the bill 619 00:40:47,016 --> 00:40:50,313 I think as a kind of result of all, 620 00:40:50,313 --> 00:40:52,007 kind of our anti-racist work. 621 00:40:52,007 --> 00:40:54,478 We have been, probably for the past five, 622 00:40:54,478 --> 00:40:57,071 maybe six years, really involved in just, 623 00:40:57,071 --> 00:40:59,213 trying to figure out how, as a church, 624 00:40:59,213 --> 00:41:02,504 we can reach out to the community. 625 00:41:02,504 --> 00:41:05,337 So our main partners are the Akron 626 00:41:06,372 --> 00:41:08,594 Organizing Collaborative, the OOC. 627 00:41:08,594 --> 00:41:10,828 So a lot of what we did in the early stage 628 00:41:10,828 --> 00:41:15,457 was help to canvass to get the initiative on the ballot. 629 00:41:15,457 --> 00:41:18,404 A lot of work just went into supporting folks, 630 00:41:18,404 --> 00:41:22,986 making sure that the AOC had everything needed, 631 00:41:22,986 --> 00:41:27,472 making sure that we could send over some volunteers, 632 00:41:27,472 --> 00:41:29,195 just really helping them to canvass 633 00:41:29,195 --> 00:41:32,862 in areas where our mostly white congregation 634 00:41:35,211 --> 00:41:37,492 could really step in and support. 635 00:41:37,492 --> 00:41:40,528 Once it got on the ballot, it really turned 636 00:41:40,528 --> 00:41:44,778 into a kind of battle for the culture here in Ohio. 637 00:41:46,982 --> 00:41:50,686 A lot of it was about educating folks 638 00:41:50,686 --> 00:41:51,991 about why this was a good idea, 639 00:41:51,991 --> 00:41:54,324 and why it was a good idea for all of us. 640 00:41:54,324 --> 00:41:58,407 And I think for me, where did the sacred show up? 641 00:42:03,349 --> 00:42:06,182 So I'm from the projects in Akron, 642 00:42:09,014 --> 00:42:11,259 and one of the best things about the Akron 643 00:42:11,259 --> 00:42:13,250 Organizing Collaborative of the chapter, 644 00:42:13,250 --> 00:42:17,758 that chapter of the OOC, is that it's mostly black. 645 00:42:17,758 --> 00:42:19,481 Most of the organizers there, most 646 00:42:19,481 --> 00:42:20,717 of the community organizers are black, 647 00:42:20,717 --> 00:42:23,157 so out of all the chapters in the state, 648 00:42:23,157 --> 00:42:27,657 AOC usually has the best ins into the black community. 649 00:42:28,824 --> 00:42:31,824 So for me to see these neighborhoods 650 00:42:32,788 --> 00:42:35,613 like the Hillwood projects, if you're familiar 651 00:42:35,613 --> 00:42:37,071 with the area, you would know. 652 00:42:37,071 --> 00:42:39,239 The projects I grew up in, Channelwood Housing 653 00:42:39,239 --> 00:42:41,273 Facility, to go over to my parent's house 654 00:42:41,273 --> 00:42:44,856 on Sunday and see young, early college-aged 655 00:42:45,913 --> 00:42:48,723 black folks in the projects walking around, 656 00:42:48,723 --> 00:42:51,474 having been organized and having been more than that, 657 00:42:51,474 --> 00:42:55,405 inspired and given hope by this bill, that was 658 00:42:55,405 --> 00:42:57,550 to me where the sacred showed up. 659 00:42:57,550 --> 00:42:59,925 I think as an atheist I'm always looking 660 00:42:59,925 --> 00:43:04,174 for what the sacred means to me, and it's 661 00:43:04,174 --> 00:43:06,381 the thing that's bigger than me, it's community. 662 00:43:06,381 --> 00:43:08,794 So to see that kind of community show out 663 00:43:08,794 --> 00:43:11,942 and to see the white folks at my church able 664 00:43:11,942 --> 00:43:16,942 to expand their concept of community, that was really huge. 665 00:43:17,490 --> 00:43:20,933 I think what I learned by living my values, 666 00:43:20,933 --> 00:43:23,932 I really, to me it was that seventh principle 667 00:43:23,932 --> 00:43:28,002 of just the interconnected nature of all things. 668 00:43:28,002 --> 00:43:30,374 One of the things that we did every 669 00:43:30,374 --> 00:43:33,362 Sunday morning was our church has 670 00:43:33,362 --> 00:43:35,982 a food program where we go to Whole Foods 671 00:43:35,982 --> 00:43:37,866 and help them eliminate food waste. 672 00:43:37,866 --> 00:43:40,522 So we pick up all this food every Sunday 673 00:43:40,522 --> 00:43:42,565 and ship it off to all these different areas, 674 00:43:42,565 --> 00:43:46,348 our immigrant program, various families. 675 00:43:46,348 --> 00:43:50,245 And we supplied the canvassers and all the folks 676 00:43:50,245 --> 00:43:53,731 down at The Womb, where they were 677 00:43:53,731 --> 00:43:55,728 organizing primarily for Issue One. 678 00:43:55,728 --> 00:43:58,631 We supplied them with energy bars, 679 00:43:58,631 --> 00:44:01,131 with, I would take over waters 680 00:44:02,005 --> 00:44:04,228 every week, I would take over coffee. 681 00:44:04,228 --> 00:44:07,811 Just really, I really leaned into that idea 682 00:44:09,007 --> 00:44:11,677 that we needed to hit every conceivable area, 683 00:44:11,677 --> 00:44:13,805 we needed to offer support in every conceivable 684 00:44:13,805 --> 00:44:18,130 way, and it's not always just us showing up to door knock. 685 00:44:18,130 --> 00:44:20,797 It's not always, UUs showing up at rallies, 686 00:44:20,797 --> 00:44:23,841 a lot of times these communities, they need folks 687 00:44:23,841 --> 00:44:26,257 to give them rides, they need folks to make sure 688 00:44:26,257 --> 00:44:29,843 that if there is a big event or a big training 689 00:44:29,843 --> 00:44:32,602 that the organizers who have less 690 00:44:32,602 --> 00:44:35,270 transportation privilege can get there. 691 00:44:35,270 --> 00:44:36,951 It was little things like that I think 692 00:44:36,951 --> 00:44:39,511 really spoke to me and kind of 693 00:44:39,511 --> 00:44:42,678 reminded me of who I am in this faith. 694 00:44:46,027 --> 00:44:49,471 Going forward, wow, you know, I think 695 00:44:49,471 --> 00:44:52,638 that one thing that really spoke to me 696 00:44:55,108 --> 00:44:59,041 really strongly throughout this experience 697 00:44:59,041 --> 00:45:01,981 has been the need for relationships, 698 00:45:01,981 --> 00:45:05,314 the need for real, active relationships. 699 00:45:06,999 --> 00:45:09,841 The best thing that Akron had going for us 700 00:45:09,841 --> 00:45:12,841 was that the folks in our church are 701 00:45:13,776 --> 00:45:16,593 in a relationship with people of color and not, 702 00:45:16,593 --> 00:45:18,241 and beyond that, they're empowering them, 703 00:45:18,241 --> 00:45:21,741 and they're in real, personal friendships. 704 00:45:23,000 --> 00:45:27,185 I think it's necessary that we interrogate 705 00:45:27,185 --> 00:45:29,453 this idea that we can reach out and support 706 00:45:29,453 --> 00:45:32,395 communities without being in friendship with them. 707 00:45:32,395 --> 00:45:34,932 I think that is, it's something that I really 708 00:45:34,932 --> 00:45:38,899 hope that YUUs will challenge, is it's not only 709 00:45:38,899 --> 00:45:42,509 just about how we are doing the work. 710 00:45:42,509 --> 00:45:45,764 It's how are we living our idea of community relationship? 711 00:45:45,764 --> 00:45:47,196 Are there people in your life that you 712 00:45:47,196 --> 00:45:49,723 really care about that you know, that you call, 713 00:45:49,723 --> 00:45:53,494 that you check in on, that you allow to support you? 714 00:45:53,494 --> 00:45:57,498 And we had that, and it really made the difference. 715 00:45:57,498 --> 00:46:00,331 So I think, to me, a lot of it is, 716 00:46:01,231 --> 00:46:04,576 we're headed into another couple years 717 00:46:04,576 --> 00:46:07,759 of really hard political organizing. 718 00:46:07,759 --> 00:46:11,491 We have organized and mobilized thousands 719 00:46:11,491 --> 00:46:13,483 of people, so let's make sure we 720 00:46:13,483 --> 00:46:15,440 hold the community that we've brought. 721 00:46:15,440 --> 00:46:19,173 Let's make sure that we are thinking, okay how do 722 00:46:19,173 --> 00:46:21,422 we support everyone through this next few years? 723 00:46:21,422 --> 00:46:22,655 How do we pull together? 724 00:46:22,655 --> 00:46:24,017 How do we make sure that people 725 00:46:24,017 --> 00:46:27,018 who need to be centered are being 726 00:46:27,018 --> 00:46:30,057 supported materially and emotionally? 727 00:46:30,057 --> 00:46:32,974 How are we making sure that we are, 728 00:46:34,377 --> 00:46:35,940 that we're not becoming so focused 729 00:46:35,940 --> 00:46:40,491 on reaching out and trying to change minds among, 730 00:46:40,491 --> 00:46:42,676 I would say quote unquote the opposition, 731 00:46:42,676 --> 00:46:45,872 that we neglect the people in the room, 732 00:46:45,872 --> 00:46:47,923 and that we need to build resilience 733 00:46:47,923 --> 00:46:50,574 and consolidate what we have. 734 00:46:50,574 --> 00:46:53,910 So I would just urge UUs to really look 735 00:46:53,910 --> 00:46:56,782 at the communities that are doing this work, 736 00:46:56,782 --> 00:46:59,543 that are in your spaces, that are marginalized, 737 00:46:59,543 --> 00:47:00,983 that are pushed to the sides, make sure 738 00:47:00,983 --> 00:47:04,184 you're really holding and empowering those people. 739 00:47:04,184 --> 00:47:07,476 Because I think if there's anything 740 00:47:07,476 --> 00:47:10,506 that the polls and the poll results show, 741 00:47:10,506 --> 00:47:12,018 it's that there are certain communities 742 00:47:12,018 --> 00:47:13,526 that are already really progressive. 743 00:47:13,526 --> 00:47:15,422 And a lot of what we need is support, 744 00:47:15,422 --> 00:47:17,624 and we need real, real relationships 745 00:47:17,624 --> 00:47:20,207 and community from other views. 746 00:47:22,011 --> 00:47:23,274 - Amen. 747 00:47:23,274 --> 00:47:24,107 Thank you. 748 00:47:25,819 --> 00:47:27,701 Sir, I wonder if you would just say 749 00:47:27,701 --> 00:47:29,921 a little bit more about Issue One? 750 00:47:29,921 --> 00:47:32,392 It's very close to my heart, but I know 751 00:47:32,392 --> 00:47:35,630 not everyone may know it super close up, 752 00:47:35,630 --> 00:47:38,988 and I feel like though it lost, it's visionary, 753 00:47:38,988 --> 00:47:41,240 and it reflects our values profoundly. 754 00:47:41,240 --> 00:47:45,907 So I just want folks to know a little more about it too. 755 00:47:47,520 --> 00:47:49,014 - So, Issue One was really exciting 756 00:47:49,014 --> 00:47:53,487 because when it started, it was large groups 757 00:47:53,487 --> 00:47:57,503 of people, a large group of people I would say, in the OOC. 758 00:47:57,503 --> 00:48:00,836 We had a tentative design meeting about, 759 00:48:04,031 --> 00:48:05,515 this would've been years ago now. 760 00:48:05,515 --> 00:48:08,682 And one of the things that really came 761 00:48:10,144 --> 00:48:14,288 to the forefront was how do we pull people out of prison? 762 00:48:14,288 --> 00:48:16,691 I mean, I'll be honest with folks, especially now 763 00:48:16,691 --> 00:48:21,233 that it's done and gone, the idea was that this 764 00:48:21,233 --> 00:48:24,469 is a radical abolitionist strategy. 765 00:48:24,469 --> 00:48:28,136 And it was so amazing to me to see it evolve 766 00:48:29,994 --> 00:48:32,009 and turn into something that was also 767 00:48:32,009 --> 00:48:34,501 about health and safety of course, 768 00:48:34,501 --> 00:48:37,651 that I think what was really exciting 769 00:48:37,651 --> 00:48:41,151 was how many people in different political 770 00:48:41,985 --> 00:48:44,229 spectrums in our community supported it. 771 00:48:44,229 --> 00:48:47,787 So you had folks who were probably are more 772 00:48:47,787 --> 00:48:49,270 establishment Democrats supporting it 773 00:48:49,270 --> 00:48:52,512 because this meant better drug treatment, 774 00:48:52,512 --> 00:48:55,845 it meant a way to halt the power of some 775 00:48:57,466 --> 00:49:00,983 of our really predatory judicial systems, 776 00:49:00,983 --> 00:49:04,135 and it meant a way to gain more resources 777 00:49:04,135 --> 00:49:06,457 for the drug epidemic happening here. 778 00:49:06,457 --> 00:49:09,431 For folks who are like myself, radical, 779 00:49:09,431 --> 00:49:11,856 revolutionary-minded, don't necessarily 780 00:49:11,856 --> 00:49:13,241 believe in reform all the time, 781 00:49:13,241 --> 00:49:16,908 this was a way that we could really directly 782 00:49:17,891 --> 00:49:20,233 just pull people out of slavery. 783 00:49:20,233 --> 00:49:23,983 So I think the lesson is, as we were crafting 784 00:49:27,773 --> 00:49:29,981 these bills, we've gotta figure out ways 785 00:49:29,981 --> 00:49:33,489 that we can do something lasting, like change 786 00:49:33,489 --> 00:49:37,230 the constitution around drug possession, 787 00:49:37,230 --> 00:49:41,142 and that would also retroactively pull people out. 788 00:49:41,142 --> 00:49:42,713 We wanna make sure we're doing things like that 789 00:49:42,713 --> 00:49:46,892 as well as crafting a message that can reach kind of 790 00:49:46,892 --> 00:49:50,725 our more establishment, politics-minded folks. 791 00:49:53,976 --> 00:49:54,909 - Thank you, Sir. 792 00:49:54,909 --> 00:49:56,743 And thank you for all of your organizing 793 00:49:56,743 --> 00:49:59,410 and healing and sustaining work. 794 00:50:01,266 --> 00:50:05,683 Reverend Susan, do you wanna share a few reflections? 795 00:50:13,755 --> 00:50:16,255 Oh I think you're still muted. - off. 796 00:50:16,255 --> 00:50:17,512 - Oh there you go. - Hey. 797 00:50:17,512 --> 00:50:18,345 Can you hear me now? 798 00:50:18,345 --> 00:50:19,504 Okay. - [Elizabeth] Perfect. 799 00:50:19,504 --> 00:50:22,988 - I just wanna honor and thank all the folks 800 00:50:22,988 --> 00:50:25,461 who shared the incredible organizing 801 00:50:25,461 --> 00:50:27,598 that has been happening, that will continue 802 00:50:27,598 --> 00:50:29,826 to happen, and everyone who shared 803 00:50:29,826 --> 00:50:32,247 all your stories on the chat about the ways 804 00:50:32,247 --> 00:50:34,462 that your congregation and that you've been 805 00:50:34,462 --> 00:50:38,493 showing up for issues, I'm just grateful. 806 00:50:38,493 --> 00:50:40,965 And I really do think this is such a critical 807 00:50:40,965 --> 00:50:43,221 moment for us to get into the trenches 808 00:50:43,221 --> 00:50:46,004 and be working hard to protect one another's 809 00:50:46,004 --> 00:50:49,254 lives, dignity, to protect the climate, 810 00:50:50,734 --> 00:50:53,513 to find the ways that our core values 811 00:50:53,513 --> 00:50:57,496 and our justice priorities are intersecting 812 00:50:57,496 --> 00:51:01,054 with issues across the country and put ourselves 813 00:51:01,054 --> 00:51:04,233 out there to get things changed. 814 00:51:04,233 --> 00:51:06,694 With everyone sharing, I wanted to just pull out 815 00:51:06,694 --> 00:51:10,011 a few themes that I heard, and connections, 816 00:51:10,011 --> 00:51:12,994 as well as connections to other, you know, 817 00:51:12,994 --> 00:51:17,077 to organizing and different experiences I've had. 818 00:51:18,502 --> 00:51:21,744 I think, to what Sir was saying and also 819 00:51:21,744 --> 00:51:24,272 what Charlotte was saying, that the way we're 820 00:51:24,272 --> 00:51:27,491 really gonna build a more liberated society, 821 00:51:27,491 --> 00:51:29,975 where justice really happens for all people, 822 00:51:29,975 --> 00:51:32,727 and more people are free until we all are, 823 00:51:32,727 --> 00:51:34,518 is by investing in the margins, 824 00:51:34,518 --> 00:51:37,503 and (mumbles) let me change that. 825 00:51:37,503 --> 00:51:41,216 Investing in directly impacted communities 826 00:51:41,216 --> 00:51:44,799 who understand where the limits of freedom, 827 00:51:46,054 --> 00:51:49,707 liberty, justice, humanity, human dignity 828 00:51:49,707 --> 00:51:51,992 are happening, and work in partnership 829 00:51:51,992 --> 00:51:55,875 to fortify and to flank those organizations 830 00:51:55,875 --> 00:51:57,990 so that we can be, I mean I think 831 00:51:57,990 --> 00:51:59,973 that is really where change happens. 832 00:51:59,973 --> 00:52:02,325 And I've learned this so much in Arizona, 833 00:52:02,325 --> 00:52:04,889 where work on immigrant rights, once it was 834 00:52:04,889 --> 00:52:07,934 in the hands of politicians, they drew divisions 835 00:52:07,934 --> 00:52:10,251 between the young people that we have 836 00:52:10,251 --> 00:52:11,884 to give pathways to citizenship 837 00:52:11,884 --> 00:52:13,739 but their parents are criminals. 838 00:52:13,739 --> 00:52:16,198 Right, and kind of drawing good immigrant 839 00:52:16,198 --> 00:52:18,965 versus bad immigrant as opposed to actually 840 00:52:18,965 --> 00:52:21,699 trying to address the conditions of economic 841 00:52:21,699 --> 00:52:25,081 exploitation under which immigrants suffer, 842 00:52:25,081 --> 00:52:29,990 as well as international politics that drive refugees. 843 00:52:29,990 --> 00:52:33,520 So the importance of partnership with directly 844 00:52:33,520 --> 00:52:36,261 impacted communities I think is critical 845 00:52:36,261 --> 00:52:39,254 for the change we really believe in and wanna see, 846 00:52:39,254 --> 00:52:41,321 and I also think it is something 847 00:52:41,321 --> 00:52:45,019 that shifts and changes us as Unitarian Universalists. 848 00:52:45,019 --> 00:52:47,989 I certainly experienced that in Arizona, 849 00:52:47,989 --> 00:52:50,561 through my friendships and deep organizing 850 00:52:50,561 --> 00:52:53,489 relationships with undocumented immigrants. 851 00:52:53,489 --> 00:52:56,733 And I saw that happening in Ohio as well. 852 00:52:56,733 --> 00:52:59,253 One of the things, you know we chose some issues 853 00:52:59,253 --> 00:53:01,993 that were core to our fighting criminalization 854 00:53:01,993 --> 00:53:04,794 priorities at the UUA, and that were expanding 855 00:53:04,794 --> 00:53:08,877 democracy in Florida and Ohio as well as identity 856 00:53:09,731 --> 00:53:13,086 issues around trans rights here in Massachusetts. 857 00:53:13,086 --> 00:53:17,619 But in Ohio in particular, I saw new partnerships 858 00:53:17,619 --> 00:53:21,546 forming, and how some of the ways that the UUA 859 00:53:21,546 --> 00:53:23,490 came in might have helped in Cleveland. 860 00:53:23,490 --> 00:53:26,200 Some of our UU congregations really connect 861 00:53:26,200 --> 00:53:29,552 to the OOC that Sir was talking about 862 00:53:29,552 --> 00:53:31,494 and to the Lighthouse Community Center, 863 00:53:31,494 --> 00:53:34,915 and actually people starting to build relationships 864 00:53:34,915 --> 00:53:36,527 that I hope will continue to grow, 865 00:53:36,527 --> 00:53:39,027 'cause this is long-haul work. 866 00:53:40,527 --> 00:53:44,388 Defeat is a part of it, losses are a part of it, 867 00:53:44,388 --> 00:53:47,461 and I do feel like there's ways in which 868 00:53:47,461 --> 00:53:49,997 you lose and you still gain ground. 869 00:53:49,997 --> 00:53:52,219 You gain ground in terms of relationship, 870 00:53:52,219 --> 00:53:54,704 in terms of the strength of a community, 871 00:53:54,704 --> 00:53:56,991 in terms of moving the issue forward, 872 00:53:56,991 --> 00:54:00,991 and things often are, they take years and years. 873 00:54:02,954 --> 00:54:07,051 And what we're fighting against, it's not just 874 00:54:07,051 --> 00:54:11,224 about the last two years, it's about dismantling 875 00:54:11,224 --> 00:54:13,316 of education, it's about the investments 876 00:54:13,316 --> 00:54:15,484 in the mass incarceration system and the way that 877 00:54:15,484 --> 00:54:19,484 that has threatened communities for generations. 878 00:54:20,749 --> 00:54:22,332 So, long-haul work. 879 00:54:23,737 --> 00:54:27,487 And our religious communities, our worshiping 880 00:54:29,078 --> 00:54:31,464 communities, our congregations, our places 881 00:54:31,464 --> 00:54:35,270 where we can really nurture resiliency. 882 00:54:35,270 --> 00:54:37,500 Resiliency for the work. 883 00:54:37,500 --> 00:54:40,481 So and that means makin' space for the heartbreak 884 00:54:40,481 --> 00:54:44,901 and the truth-telling about our communities. 885 00:54:44,901 --> 00:54:47,370 So I was excited by Patrice's sharing 886 00:54:47,370 --> 00:54:50,936 about the wayside pulpit and the messages 887 00:54:50,936 --> 00:54:54,936 out there, and from my vantage point at the UUA, 888 00:54:56,898 --> 00:55:00,815 we do see congregations who are really speaking 889 00:55:01,684 --> 00:55:04,240 to the challenges of this time and talking 890 00:55:04,240 --> 00:55:08,240 about mass incarceration, talking about cultures 891 00:55:10,164 --> 00:55:13,449 of white supremacy, really investing in this work 892 00:55:13,449 --> 00:55:16,085 and being bold, and they are finding 893 00:55:16,085 --> 00:55:19,835 a deeper practice of community and are really 894 00:55:20,751 --> 00:55:22,228 thriving in their communities. 895 00:55:22,228 --> 00:55:25,413 'Cause people are longing to have a community 896 00:55:25,413 --> 00:55:28,746 that names the truth and still practices 897 00:55:29,870 --> 00:55:32,786 cultures of joy and community and nurtures 898 00:55:32,786 --> 00:55:35,985 what is best in us in humanity, even while we 899 00:55:35,985 --> 00:55:40,296 are naming and resisting the larger culture 900 00:55:40,296 --> 00:55:43,718 of dehumanization that's happening on so many levels. 901 00:55:43,718 --> 00:55:48,258 So I just wanna lift up how important this work is 902 00:55:48,258 --> 00:55:51,868 and how I think it's really shifting the center 903 00:55:51,868 --> 00:55:56,005 of our congregation and the spirit of our congregation. 904 00:55:56,005 --> 00:56:00,233 So grateful to all of you for being on this call tonight, 905 00:56:00,233 --> 00:56:04,400 and we are, or we have a song and I have a prayer. 906 00:56:05,715 --> 00:56:07,491 Elizabeth, do you have anything you wanna 907 00:56:07,491 --> 00:56:11,044 share before I go into our closing? 908 00:56:11,044 --> 00:56:13,716 - I'll just share very briefly. 909 00:56:13,716 --> 00:56:15,333 I just feel so grateful for the work 910 00:56:15,333 --> 00:56:17,240 that you all have done, just wanna echo 911 00:56:17,240 --> 00:56:20,907 that gratitude, and what I see in your eyes, 912 00:56:22,189 --> 00:56:25,189 what I hear in your voices, is love. 913 00:56:26,769 --> 00:56:30,852 And I live with a toddler, and we were practicing 914 00:56:32,852 --> 00:56:35,449 why we should vote Yes on Three 915 00:56:35,449 --> 00:56:37,926 to protect our transgender community members 916 00:56:37,926 --> 00:56:40,988 and loved ones, and toddlers can't remember 917 00:56:40,988 --> 00:56:43,057 a lot of words, and so we were like, 918 00:56:43,057 --> 00:56:46,390 how do we pare this down really concisely? 919 00:56:46,390 --> 00:56:49,492 And what it came down to is, Yes on Three 920 00:56:49,492 --> 00:56:52,305 because of people we love. 921 00:56:52,305 --> 00:56:55,138 And so I just wanna say I see you. 922 00:56:56,249 --> 00:56:59,948 I see you out there loving and fighting 923 00:56:59,948 --> 00:57:02,766 for that love when there are so many who want 924 00:57:02,766 --> 00:57:05,452 to hurt us, who want to hurt our beloveds. 925 00:57:05,452 --> 00:57:09,233 And I truly do believe that that love 926 00:57:09,233 --> 00:57:11,732 makes us fight for one another stronger 927 00:57:11,732 --> 00:57:15,364 than any hate can ever tear us down 928 00:57:15,364 --> 00:57:18,447 or diminish us or hurt our community. 929 00:57:19,522 --> 00:57:21,652 And I'm definitely holding a fair bit 930 00:57:21,652 --> 00:57:24,235 of the heartbreak with you all. 931 00:57:25,496 --> 00:57:27,240 I resonated with what you said, Patrice, 932 00:57:27,240 --> 00:57:29,498 about you know, you look at the percentages 933 00:57:29,498 --> 00:57:33,415 and you think, that's the percentages of people 934 00:57:34,341 --> 00:57:38,091 who don't want people like me, who don't want 935 00:57:39,490 --> 00:57:43,758 people of color or queer people or immigrants 936 00:57:43,758 --> 00:57:47,688 or trans folks, who don't want people like me. 937 00:57:47,688 --> 00:57:51,154 And so we hold that, and then we, you know, 938 00:57:51,154 --> 00:57:54,843 take a drink of water and eat a good snack 939 00:57:54,843 --> 00:57:57,414 and snuggle our loved ones and know that people 940 00:57:57,414 --> 00:58:00,836 are fighting for us, and we're loving each other, 941 00:58:00,836 --> 00:58:04,527 and we're holding each other tight. 942 00:58:04,527 --> 00:58:08,822 And just before you offer a prayer, Susan, I wanna 943 00:58:08,822 --> 00:58:12,979 lift some words that have been inspirational to me. 944 00:58:12,979 --> 00:58:16,482 They're words from Charlene Carruthers, 945 00:58:16,482 --> 00:58:20,968 formerly director of Black Youth Project 100. 946 00:58:20,968 --> 00:58:24,190 And she says, Know that transforming society 947 00:58:24,190 --> 00:58:27,159 will take organized people and organized resources 948 00:58:27,159 --> 00:58:29,541 to sustain any given policy victory 949 00:58:29,541 --> 00:58:32,991 that is won before or after election day. 950 00:58:32,991 --> 00:58:34,990 She says, Know that if the candidate we support 951 00:58:34,990 --> 00:58:36,481 wins, they will only be as strong 952 00:58:36,481 --> 00:58:40,011 as the organizational forces who are resourced, 953 00:58:40,011 --> 00:58:42,484 ready, and committed to consistently 954 00:58:42,484 --> 00:58:45,182 showing up after election day. 955 00:58:45,182 --> 00:58:49,412 And finally, know that if we are not ready to win, 956 00:58:49,412 --> 00:58:53,942 then we must do all that we can to get ready. 957 00:58:53,942 --> 00:58:56,793 So thank you all for winning, thank you all for getting 958 00:58:56,793 --> 00:59:00,876 ready to win, thank you all for loving out there. 959 00:59:02,017 --> 00:59:04,975 Susan, I would invite you to offer a prayer, 960 00:59:04,975 --> 00:59:08,432 and then I'm gonna play a song, and if you can 961 00:59:08,432 --> 00:59:09,989 stay with us through the song, great, 962 00:59:09,989 --> 00:59:14,156 and if you need to go on your way, go on your way. 963 00:59:18,261 --> 00:59:20,205 - Would you all just take a deep breath with me, 964 00:59:20,205 --> 00:59:24,122 and remember the good gift that our bodies are. 965 00:59:30,918 --> 00:59:33,680 The gift of the earth, of creation 966 00:59:33,680 --> 00:59:36,263 present in each breath we take. 967 00:59:38,750 --> 00:59:42,333 And remembering again Alice Walker's words. 968 00:59:43,473 --> 00:59:47,473 We are mindful that we did not create ourselves. 969 00:59:48,419 --> 00:59:52,669 We remember our ancestors, those who have struggled 970 00:59:53,522 --> 00:59:56,855 and fought and loved and died before us. 971 01:00:02,987 --> 01:00:07,154 We remember that their strength gives us strength. 972 01:00:09,502 --> 01:00:11,766 Their spirit and the grace with which 973 01:00:11,766 --> 01:00:14,849 they embrace the sorrows and the pain 974 01:00:18,746 --> 01:00:21,329 gives us courage and resiliency 975 01:00:22,570 --> 01:00:27,070 for the challenges and the opportunities that we face. 976 01:00:29,484 --> 01:00:33,744 And their love, handed down through generations, 977 01:00:33,744 --> 01:00:37,744 is our love, our love to share with one another, 978 01:00:41,803 --> 01:00:46,336 our love to call us forth as we seek to build 979 01:00:46,336 --> 01:00:49,669 local communities and larger coalitions. 980 01:00:52,467 --> 01:00:54,019 It will create a world of love 981 01:00:54,019 --> 01:00:57,769 for our children and the generations to come. 982 01:01:02,477 --> 01:01:06,810 May we remember our responsibilities to one another, 983 01:01:07,769 --> 01:01:11,686 that none of us are free until we are all free. 984 01:01:12,665 --> 01:01:14,842 And our responsibilities to our children 985 01:01:14,842 --> 01:01:18,009 and their children and their children. 986 01:01:20,015 --> 01:01:24,127 And may we embrace and face the challenges 987 01:01:24,127 --> 01:01:27,748 and struggles with grace, with practices 988 01:01:27,748 --> 01:01:31,033 of joy and nurturing and strength. 989 01:01:31,033 --> 01:01:34,450 Keep us in the work, keep us in the work. 990 01:01:35,524 --> 01:01:37,214 Give our bodies strength and health 991 01:01:37,214 --> 01:01:39,297 and our spirits strength. 992 01:01:41,539 --> 01:01:44,217 We are grateful for this community 993 01:01:44,217 --> 01:01:46,934 and these relationships that sustain us. 994 01:01:46,934 --> 01:01:48,684 May we keep building. 995 01:01:51,273 --> 01:01:53,523 Stay connected in the work. 996 01:01:54,754 --> 01:01:58,504 Keep on loving ourselves and the way forward. 997 01:02:01,008 --> 01:02:01,841 Amen. 998 01:02:05,834 --> 01:02:06,667 - Amen. 999 01:02:08,184 --> 01:02:10,985 I'm gonna share a closing song 1000 01:02:10,985 --> 01:02:14,818 that comes out of the story of Ruth and Naomi. 1001 01:02:28,782 --> 01:02:32,493 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll be here in the morning ♪ 1002 01:02:32,493 --> 01:02:36,476 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll keep watch while we're walking ♪ 1003 01:02:36,476 --> 01:02:40,042 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll be here in the morning ♪ 1004 01:02:40,042 --> 01:02:45,042 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll keep watch while we're walking ♪ 1005 01:02:51,536 --> 01:02:55,263 ♪ I know the way you panic in the morning ♪ 1006 01:02:55,263 --> 01:02:58,362 ♪ I know the way your fingers tangle tight ♪ 1007 01:02:58,362 --> 01:03:03,362 ♪ I know just where you go when your mind goes far away ♪ 1008 01:03:06,610 --> 01:03:10,035 ♪ Don't ask me to go backwards, ♪ 1009 01:03:10,035 --> 01:03:13,737 ♪ 'Cause I'm not goin' anywhere ♪ 1010 01:03:13,737 --> 01:03:18,737 ♪ Where you go I will go, where you stay I'll stay ♪ 1011 01:03:21,502 --> 01:03:26,502 ♪ Where you go I will go, where you stay I'll stay ♪ 1012 01:03:41,225 --> 01:03:46,225 ♪ If we're stuck here bein' honest, I'm not goin' anywhere ♪ 1013 01:03:48,412 --> 01:03:53,412 ♪ You can't shake this like the dirt upon your shoes ♪ 1014 01:03:56,095 --> 01:03:59,929 ♪ Oh I'll carry all the weight ♪ 1015 01:03:59,929 --> 01:04:03,728 ♪ If your strength it disappears ♪ 1016 01:04:03,728 --> 01:04:08,728 ♪ I'll be close as skin upon your back my dear ♪ 1017 01:04:19,741 --> 01:04:24,741 ♪ You say you're heading westward, then I'll be westward too ♪ 1018 01:04:26,344 --> 01:04:31,344 ♪ It's important to me, is what's important to you ♪ 1019 01:04:34,270 --> 01:04:38,310 ♪ Oh 'cause I've been reachin' past my shoulders ♪ 1020 01:04:38,310 --> 01:04:41,928 ♪ I've been curled up in my skin ♪ 1021 01:04:41,928 --> 01:04:46,928 ♪ Wondering just how much it takes to start again ♪ 1022 01:04:49,623 --> 01:04:54,623 ♪ Wondering just how much it takes to start again ♪ 1023 01:05:09,349 --> 01:05:14,349 ♪ If we're stuck here bein' honest, I'm not goin' anywhere ♪ 1024 01:05:16,625 --> 01:05:21,625 ♪ You can't shake this like the dirt upon your shoes ♪ 1025 01:05:24,477 --> 01:05:27,915 ♪ Oh I'll carry all the weight ♪ 1026 01:05:27,915 --> 01:05:31,827 ♪ If your strength it disappears ♪ 1027 01:05:31,827 --> 01:05:36,827 ♪ I'll be close as skin upon your back my dear ♪ 1028 01:05:44,729 --> 01:05:48,048 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll be here in the morning ♪ 1029 01:05:48,048 --> 01:05:52,049 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll keep watch while we're walking ♪ 1030 01:05:52,049 --> 01:05:55,764 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll be here in the morning ♪ 1031 01:05:55,764 --> 01:05:59,497 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll keep watch while we're walking ♪ 1032 01:05:59,497 --> 01:06:03,385 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll be here in the morning ♪ 1033 01:06:03,385 --> 01:06:08,385 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll keep watch while we're walking, hey ♪ 1034 01:06:22,842 --> 01:06:27,842 ♪ If we're stuck here bein' honest, I'm not goin' anywhere ♪ 1035 01:06:29,360 --> 01:06:34,360 ♪ You can't shake this like the dirt upon your shoes ♪ 1036 01:06:37,386 --> 01:06:40,957 ♪ Oh I'll carry all the weight ♪ 1037 01:06:40,957 --> 01:06:44,776 ♪ If your strength it disappears ♪ 1038 01:06:44,776 --> 01:06:49,776 ♪ I'll be close as skin upon your back my dear ♪ 1039 01:06:53,360 --> 01:06:57,176 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll be here in the morning ♪ 1040 01:06:57,176 --> 01:07:01,044 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll keep watch while we're walking ♪ 1041 01:07:01,044 --> 01:07:04,890 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll be here in the morning ♪ 1042 01:07:04,890 --> 01:07:08,724 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll keep watch while we're walking ♪ 1043 01:07:08,724 --> 01:07:12,568 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll be here in the morning ♪ 1044 01:07:12,568 --> 01:07:17,568 ♪ I'm not tired, I'll keep watch while we're walking ♪ 1045 01:07:22,775 --> 01:07:24,668 - Thank you all. 1046 01:07:24,668 --> 01:07:27,457 Rest, be here for each other. 1047 01:07:27,457 --> 01:07:29,374 See you in the morning. 1048 01:07:30,824 --> 01:07:33,991 Thank you for all who knocked every door, made every 1049 01:07:33,991 --> 01:07:37,964 phone call, put everything on the wayside pulpit side. 1050 01:07:37,964 --> 01:07:39,214 Blessings, all. 1051 01:07:41,192 --> 01:07:42,025 - Thank you.