The UU College of Social Justice was founded in 2012 with the mission to create programs and resources that would inspire, equip, and sustain spiritually grounded activism for justice. As our programs developed and grew over time, one constant has been our belief in the transformative power of direct experiences that bring new insight into structural injustices and their impacts, and awaken us to our own capacity to take informed action to challenge these unjust systems.
As the Covid-19 virus began to make itself known, our first priority has been to do what we could to reduce the spread of the virus and protect our partners, our participants, and our staff and Program Leaders. Both the UUA and UUSC closed their offices and began working remotely in mid-March, and UU congregations soon followed in canceling all in-person gatherings. Likewise, CSJ has indefinitely postponed all of our spring and summer programs that involved travel and extended in-person contact, continuing only those programs that were already online or able to move forward safely, as is the case with some of our internships.
Since mid-March we have been focused on learning about and adapting to the challenges of intersecting crises: the virus itself, the sudden shut-down of the economy, and the pre-existing conditions of our unjust society, including wildly unequal access to food, health care, security, and shelter. We have been in touch with our partner organizations, exploring ways we can support them as they confront these immense challenges. And we have been rapidly learning how to adapt our programs and workshops to online platforms, and creating new offerings to support the new work that is called for in this time of challenge and change.
Our staff and our Program Leaders have collaborated in creating a variety of online workshops, action circles and centering circles, and we are learning alongside all of you about both the limitations and the creative possibilities of the online universe. We welcome you as a collaborator and co-conspirator as we build these programs, try out new ones, and explore new ways to live into spiritually grounded activism for justice.