Standing Rock prayer camp Elders and friends will share stories, videos and music in a General Assembly workshop called, “Oceti Sakowin & Beyond: Creating Transformative Collaboration.” Your support is needed for their travel and related expenses to attend General Assembly.
Photo witnessed by Wil Sterner
The Oceti Sakowin Camp and water protectors convergence at Standing Rock was a historic, transformative space that drew thousands of people from across the world together for protecting water, indigenous sovereignty, and the sacredness of Mother Earth from the Dakota Access Pipeline and the ongoing devastation caused by continued fossil fuel extraction and repression of Indigenous peoples.
Unitarian Universalists were among those who mobilized and were transformed by the experiences and relationships formed --- especially the UU Fellowship and Church of Bismarck-Mandan, the only church in Bismarck that joined the water protectors. One continued blessing to our faith community that came into being through these experiences at Oceti Sakowin was an invitation to be in ongoing relationship and collaboration with the Indigenous-led InterNātional Initiative for Transformative Collaboration (INITC), and Stories and Songs of the People. For more info check out https://www.initc.net/about-us
MidAmerica Region is proud to announce a series of social justice webinars done in collaboration with the Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance.
Executive Director Rev. Ashley Horan and Statewide Organizer Pastor Danny Givens help our congregations prepare themselves better for social justice work.
Watch videos: Social Justice Webinar Series
White Supremacy Teach-In Resources
MidAmerica Region of the UUA
Regional Assembly, April 2017
Included in this list are resources that will be used during the White Supremacy Teach In at Regional Assembly, as well as resources for further learning and consideration.
Resources for Teach-In
- Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) website with Teach-In links and resources (http://www.blacklivesuu.com/teachin/)
- Definition of “White Supremacy” from BLUU (http://www.blacklivesuu.com/teachin)
- Graph of Overt vs. Covert White Supremacy (at right)
- New York Times video, "White People on Race" (https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/01/opinion/a-conversation-with-white-people-on-race.html?_r=2)
- 2015 Ware Lecture by Cornel West – minute 20-23 (conversation about failing better and white supremacy) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iAHrgirE7I)
- What's in a Word: White Supremacy by Alex Kaptan (https://radicalcopyeditor.com/2017/04/21/white-supremacy/)
Questions for Consideration
- How do I feel about the phrase “Institutional White Supremacy?”
- What does Institutional White Supremacy cost me?
- Cornel West (see Ware Lecture link above) says that white people have “have got some work to do.” What is my work? What is our work as UUs?
- Where is/are your opportunity(ies) to resist?
- UUA Senior Leadership statement from April 13, 2017
- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (April 16, 1963)
- I am Not Your Negro (2017), documentary by Raoul Peck with narrative text from James Baldwin
- Get Out (2017), comedy horror film and social commentary by Jordan Peele
- Darkening the Doorways: Black Trailblazers and Missed Opportunities in Unitarian Universalism by Mark D. Morrison-Reed (2011)
- Slide Presentation from Regional Assembly pdf White Supremacy Teach In RA2017 (2.55 MB>)>
Standing on the Side of Love posted these resources:
We are in a different political time that will require different political skills and organizing in coming months and years. Many folks have been asking for skills to deescalate for interventions and attacks that continue to target Muslims, People of Color, Immigrants, LGBTQ people. We have created a short video primer not meant to be a comprehensive training but an informational entry point for engagement and deescalation using both instincts and discipline to intervene.
What to Do If You Are Witnessing Islamophobic Harassment: A Bystander's Guide to Helping the Person Who's Being Targeted by Marine-Shirine Veren
Action Strategy: A How-To Guide from the Ruckus Society http://ruckus.org/downloads/RuckusActionStrategyGuide.pdf
I woke up this morning feeling no wisdom about what had happened in the election, only a kind of emptiness. I am thankful to hear all the UUs coming together with each other today and with others in their community. That feels right. I was thankful to see all those who are taking this as a moment to recommit themselves to what is highest and most precious. I was thankful to get this email this morning from our UUA President, Peter Morales, reminding us how much our voice for compassion and justice is going to matter in the years ahead. -- Ian Evison, MidAmerica Region UUA
Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), offered the following pastoral message as he reflects on the election:
"The election is finally over. Most of us are shocked, even horrified, by the results. We live in a nation whose deep divisions have been exposed. The wounds of this election will not heal soon. Many of us are emotionally exhausted and deeply offended by what we have experienced.