The following post was written by Rev. Kathleen McTigue, Director at the UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ).

Our General Assembly starts in just a few days, and it’s built around the theme, “Love Reaches Out.” For the UU College of Social Justice, this raises the natural question: What does love have to do with justice?

Our culture is saturated with images of superficial romantic love, which can leave us feeling jaded toward the word itself. But love worth the name is a force that has moved our human world toward goodness for thousands of years.

Some of our most treasured philosophers from ancient times understood this. They devoted their considerable brainpower to the study of human love in its deepest sense. Plato’s best sound bite on the topic was, “Love is the pursuit of the whole.” Socrates considered love the binding agent in human existence.  He said, “Love… spans the chasm that divides human beings and gods, and therefore in love is all bound together.”

This is another way of saying that the most important kind of love is an active choice. It isn’t something that happens to us, “falling in love” as though stumbling into a hole in the ground. It isn’t a feeling, romantic or otherwise, but a stance we choose toward the world, a way of turning ourselves toward union.

When we think of it this way, it’s clear that love and justice are so connected that it would be hard to tease them apart. Love is a yearning for wholeness; and this yearning in turn moves us to act for justice.

So at General Assembly this year, watch for the bright orange CSJ buttons that lift up our favorite words on the topic: “Justice is what love looks like in public.” See you in Providence!

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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