GROW Racial Justice


Grounded & Resilient Organizers Workshop



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The UU College of Social Justice offers summer internships for emerging young adults (ages 18-25) who wish to deepen their engagement with social justice and discover new ways to put their faith into action. Our goal is to offer young adults a first-hand experience of...

Grow Racial Justice 2017

GROW 2016 DiscussionWith escalating threats to communities of color, and an intensifying backlash against powerful movements of resistance, the struggle for racial justice lives on in our streets and classrooms, in courtrooms and in corner stores.

This summer, join us at Grow Racial Justice 2017 to help our movements respond. Grow Racial Justice 2017 will be held in New Orleans, LA, June 17-20, 2017, prior to the UUA General Assembly. Building upon our pilot offering of Grow Racial Justice in July 2016, it will equip UU young adults of color and white UU young adults with the skills, spiritual grounding, and community to engage in racial justice work within and beyond our Unitarian Universalist faith. It has been scheduled for the days leading up to this year’s General Assembly to maximize participation and build our skills, relationships, and power in ways that can be of use to continuing this work while at GA and once we return home.

GROW Young Adult TrainingsIn two companion programs, Thrive for young adults of color and Shift for white young adults, we’ll explore our racial and ethnic identities, worship, and build transformative relationships. The cohorts will come together to learn community organizing skills from bold, grounded leaders, and to craft a strategic vision for our anti-racism work in the coming year.

Grow Racial Justice is a partnership between the UU College of Social Justice and UUA’s Thrive program for young adults of color in collaboration with Standing on the Side of Love and the Center for Ethical Living & Social Justice Renewal.


We are no longer accepting application for this program. Please check in later this year for information about next year’s workshop.


June 17 – 20, 2017

Grow Racial Justice will begin the afternoon of Saturday, June 17th and will conclude Tuesday night, June 20th, with the option to stay through to Wednesday morning. Participants should plan to arrive in New Orleans no later than 1:00 pm on Saturday, June 17 and depart, or transition to GA, on Wednesday morning June 21st.



Cost: $350

The UUA’s Thrive Program and the UU College of Social Justice are subsidizing this program in order to maximize participation (actual direct costs are $450 per person).

Financial aid and travel subsidies are available based on need. Cost includes lodging, food and all programming but does not include transportation to and from New Orleans. If you would like to be considered for financial assistance and/or a travel subsidy, please fill out the relevant questions on the application. Financial aid and subsidies are contingent on the availability of funding and are awarded on a first come, first served basis.

If you plan on attending UU General Assembly, please note that the UUA has funds available for travel scholarships for young adults. Please visit this website for more info.


Young adults of color (“Thrive”) and white young adults (“Shift”) will be housed in two locations in order to allow a deep exploration of racial and ethnic identity in advance of our joint learning of organizing skills. Housing will be dorm style at the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal (CELSJR) and another retreat location nearby.


Our Partners

The UUA’s Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry has long supported young people of color within our faith through annual leadership schools. Building on this strong foundation, in 2016 three new programs have been developed: Thrive Youth was offered in both the Pacific West and Central East Regions of the UUA, and Thrive Young Adult was offered as part of Grow Racial Justice partnership with UUCSJ in New Orleans.

We are also pleased to partner with:

  • Standing on the Side of Love (SSL), an open-source campaign and source of spiritual and political fortification that has spread throughout the Unitarian Universalist world as an important resource that helps us show up in the world for love and justice. Originally imagined as an interfaith campaign, SSL is now most closely associated with Unitarian Universalism, but remains steadfastly open to people of all faiths, and people whose only faith is love. The staff of SSL brings deep organizing and training expertise and alliance with powerful and timely movements for justice.
  • Center for Ethical Living & Social Justice Renewal (CELSJR), a catalyst in New Orleans and beyond for promoting social, economic, environmental and racial justice through activism, community engagement, organizing and transformational learning. CELSJR is located within the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans and offers gracious hospitality through lodging, meals, meeting and worship space, and partnership. They hosted our pilot Grow Racial Justice gathering and will also play a critical role in welcoming participants to the 2017 General Assembly.
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Heather Vickery is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with UU congregations, State Action Networks, past UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) program participants, and regional staff in order to expand engagement in UUSC and UUCSJ’s work. As the Coordinator for Congregational Activism, she manages the workshop offerings and group visits to the UUSC/UUCSJ office and assists with communications for the Activism and Justice Education Team. Heather is an active member of the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network and a dedicated dog-mom to her rescue puppy Nova.

Heather may be contacted at and 617-301-4303