Justice for Women and Marginalized Communities in India
UU Holdeen India Program
Join the UU Holdeen India Program (UUHIP) and the UU College of Social Justice for an 11-day pilgrimage to India. This journey will take us to the western state of Gujarat, where you will witness firsthand the struggles that UUHIP grassroots partners are waging for social justice. At the forefront of challenging caste and gender discrimination in India, these partners organize Dalits — people once branded as “untouchables” — and impoverished women working under exploitative conditions, empowering them to assert their dignity as human beings.
Our pilgrimage will be a unique opportunity for community organizers and activists for women’s rights from the United States to meet their counterparts in India and learn from each other about strategies for social change. We will also explore the rich history of Gujarat, a major center of India’s movement for independence and the home of Mahatma Gandhi.
If accepted for the program, you will be supported beforehand with educational materials specific to India and to the work of our partners there and will participate in orientation conference calls. After the trip, UUCSJ will work with you to carry your experience forward at home.
UUHIP is a powerful expression of Unitarian Universalist values in action. Since 1984, UUHIP has been partnering with grassroots organizations in India to support their struggles for justice, equity, and dignity. Their groundbreaking work has brought hope and empowerment to millions. Rev. Meg Riley has said, “In my opinion, the Holdeen India Program has done the most effective work for social justice in the history of Unitarian Universalism.”
November 10–24, 2013; register by September 1, 2013
Cost: $2,100 per person, not including airfare. Price includes all ground costs — food, lodging, transportation — as well as pre- and post-trip resources, translators, and the guidance of experienced program leaders. Groups of three or more participants from the same congregation are eligible for a five percent discount.
Please note: Parts of this journey will be physically rigorous, including stairs, walking on unpaved streets and pathways, extensive time outside in 85 degree + temperatures, and sleeping for several nights in villages without plumbing. If you have doubts about your physical stamina please contact a member of the UUCSJ staff before completing your application. In addition, most meals will be comprised of simple, traditional Indian food, which is often spicy; special dietary needs cannot be accommodated.
For general orientation to and understanding of India, we ask that you read two books before the trip. They are quick reads and very informative:
In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India, by Edward Luce
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, by Katherine Boo
The UU Holdeen India Program (UUHIP) is a powerful expression of Unitarian Universalist values in action. Since 1984, UUHIP has been partnering with grassroots organizations in India to support their struggles for justice, equity, and dignity. Their groundbreaking work has brought hope and empowerment to millions. Rev. Meg Riley has said, “In my opinion, the Holdeen India Program has done the most effective work for social justice in the history of Unitarian Universalism” Said Rev. Meg Riley.
Derek Mitchell, UUHIP’s director, has lived and worked in India for much of the last 10 years. Before his current position, he was a researcher and writer in India who earned fellowships from the Institute of Current World Affairs and Fulbright Program.
Mahesh Upadhyaya is director of the Solidarity Center, a program to cultivate and develop labor-union leaders around India. Currently a seminarian at Meadville Lombard, he is a recognized mentor of social activists throughout India.