13 Reasons We Need Have These Conversations…

Posted by Bart Frost // May 4th 2017 // Guides and Tools, Issues and Trends // no comments

But Maybe Not Using 13 Reasons Why Netflix recently adapted Jay Asher’s young adult novel, 13 Reasons Why, into a 13-part series that has catapulted into pop culture, breaking social media and viewership records. Visually compelling with cliff-hangers that pull you from one episode to the next, 13 Reasons Why is well made (produced by Selena Gomez’s production company) but that doesn’t mean it is good. A number of justified critiques of the series note that it glorifies suicide, includes graphic scenes of rape, and goes against recommended guidelines for discussing suicide in the media. It also portrays adults as non-supportive especially the black male guidance counselor, who fails to note the warning signs that the main character…

Reflection on White Supremacy in Our UUA

Posted by T. Resnikoff // March 28th 2017 // Issues and Trends, Mosaic, UUA // 34 comments

From the staff of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries UPDATED 3/31/17. [Since the publication of this post from our office, the President of the UUA has resigned (read the reporting of this event on UU World here), and the Leadership Council of the UUA released this statement.] – ed. A very important conversation has been happening about the insidious white supremacy in our Unitarian Universalist Association, centering currently around our hiring practices. We encourage you to do some digging and read multiple perspectives in this conversation. A good place to start is the 3/27 UUWorld article, statement from Black Lives of UU and this Compilation of Responses. With gratitude to those reminding…

What Does Sanctuary Really Mean?

Posted by emcdavid // February 28th 2017 // Issues and Trends // no comments

by Elissa McDavid We are facing reality, as a faith, a nation, and individuals who may not have been as active as we should have been before the election results of November 8th. Those that lived-in fear before, now live in greater fear as families and communities are torn apart, on an even larger scale. Like many people, I am figuring out how to help those that face deportation, fear, and intimidation. I am trying to understand this as a Unitarian Universalist and as a young adult. I am also an intern with the Unitarian Universalist Association Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, working with Young Adult and Campus Ministry Associate Annie Gonzalez Milliken,…

Snapchat Me a Movement

Posted by T. Resnikoff // February 16th 2017 // Guides and Tools, Issues and Trends // no comments

How Snapchat makes social change happen We reprint with permission this very useful guide to using Snapchat as a platform for advocacy work by Aneta Molenda, originally published on the M+R lab blog. Learn more about the passionate people who support progressive advocacy groups and causes at M+R, .   Snapchat for Advocacy by Aneta Molenda Anyone can snap a selfie with the doggy ears filter. And anyone with excellent taste (me) can make heavy use of the rainbow vomit. Exhibit A: But a real Snapchat superstar uses her powers for something loftier: pressuring Congress, speaking out on urgent issues, and saving the world. It really is a snap (apologies in advance for the bad…

Spiritual Practices for Privileged Fragility

Posted by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // January 26th 2017 // Guides and Tools, Issues and Trends // 5 comments

The great safety pin debate. The epic pussy hat debacle. These are just two examples of an ongoing trend in liberal circles: people (often with relative privilege) respond poorly when their well meaning actions are critiqued by others on the left (often by folks with relatively less privilege). While some lament that divisive critique is destroying the left I know that we who believe in liberation have the spiritual resources to respond well to critical feedback and move forward together. How do I know this? Because I’m an able bodied cis white woman from a middle class liberal background who has learned to respond less defensively to critique from the left over time, using spiritual practices….

Real Love is Not Nice

Posted by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // December 21st 2016 // Issues and Trends // no comments

There is a poster you can buy in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) bookstore that says in big font “Love is Hard. Do it anyway.”  This poster, designed by Carey McDonald, UUA Outreach Director, talks about an interdependent inclusive love. This is the love we’re called to as Unitarian Universalists (UU). I believe that love is hard, and I try and try to do it anyway. I fail a lot, because I’m human. I try again. This real hard love is at the center of my faith, and because it is so sacred to me, I feel frustrated when I see people confusing what love calls us to with being nice. These days many of…

LGBTQ+ Youth Survival Guide: Trump Edition

Posted by T. Resnikoff // November 21st 2016 // Featured Youth, Guides and Tools, Issues and Trends, Social Justice // 2 comments

by Rev. Evin Carvill-Ziemer LGBTQ+ Youth Survival Guide: Trump Edition Dear beautiful, fabulous gender creative and sexually non-conforming youth and teens–all those who are queer, trans, non-binary, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and a hundred other wonderful self-proclaimed identities, My heart breaks for you. This is not the future I wanted for you. This is not the future I have been fighting for. But I also know you are strong and I want you to have the information you need to survive. Because I need you to survive! I haven’t seen a “this shit is real” missive to you yet, so here’s what I’ve got. I don’t think it’s helpful to sugar coat this. Yes, you and…

What do you need right now?

Posted by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // November 9th 2016 // Contact Us, Issues and Trends // 8 comments

What do you need right now dear ones? How are we going to get through this? Maybe you’re in shock. Maybe you’re pissed as hell. Maybe you’re weeping. Maybe you’re numb and trying to do all the normal things. Maybe you’re hiding in bed. All of these reactions are totally normal. There is nothing that makes this ok, because hate is not ok and greed is not ok and violence are not ok. Electing a president who is overtly racist, sexist, violent and endlessly greedy is not an ok thing to do. We all know these next four years won’t be ok. And yet, paradoxically, we keep going. So what do you need right now…

Standing Rock – Issue Primer

Posted by T. Resnikoff // November 4th 2016 // Guides and Tools, Issues and Trends // no comments

Learn more about protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) The Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, answered the call of protest leaders for clergy of all denominations to join peaceful interfaith witness with the indigenous peoples who are protecting the water and land at Standing Rock. Learn more about this here. ________________________________________ The call for peaceful public witness follows acts of violence and intimidation committed against protestors, and the infringement of First Amendment rights of assembly and free speech of both protestors and the Press. Protestors have been subjected to the use of private security firms with attack dogs unleashed against them, the arrest and unusually harsh treatment of protestors by…

Adulting is Hard – by Kayla Parker

Posted by T. Resnikoff // October 12th 2016 // Issues and Trends, Stories and Voices // no comments

Adulting Is Hard by Kayla Parker When I was twenty-five, I started graduate school and my Dad had a stroke. Doctors told us he should have died. He is still alive, though forever changed. When I was twenty-six, my ex came out as trans and I felt awful because I thought if I had been more supportive he might have come out earlier. That same year, the Black Lives Matter movement called on me to face my white privilege with an urgency I had never felt before, and continues to do so today. When I was twenty-seven, one of my best friends successfully fought off an attempted assault by a stranger who broke into her…