It is a joy and a gift to join the College of Social Justice (CSJ) team as Director of Justice Education for the UUSC! I want to honor the commitment of the CSJ beloveds who have tended to the web of relationships – inspiring, equipping, and sustaining spiritually grounded activism – through a long pandemic season, most of it without a Director on the team. Thank you, dear ones!
Because the interdepent web of all existence is so much more than a metaphor, I celebrate that all of us are already connected – and we may already have shared life experiences together (especially if you are a part of the Unitarian Universalist world). I am affiliated with the Church of the Larger Fellowship Unitarian Universalist as a community Minister of Love and Liberation and the founder of Ever Unfolding LLC, a ministry of spiritual accompaniment and creativity for people, congregations, and organizations on the journey toward collective liberation. Perhaps we have met during a season of relief or conflict in the life of congregations. Perhaps we have connected virtually. In Fall of 2020, I was invited to join the design team at the Fahs Collaborative to reimagine Beloved Conversations as a virtual experience. I have served as a facilitator for the Un/Learning for Liberation Within cohort and as a congregational coach for the Among Beloved Conversations Virtual program.
I may have met you in New Orleans, Louisiana where I served as Co-Director of the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal (CELSJR) for many years and as a community minister for the Greater New Orleans Unitarian Universalist Cluster (GNOUU). New Orleans has deeply shaped my formation as a human and a UU minister, including an Undoing Racism™ analysis rooted in the work of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, an Experiential Education and Leadership practicum with Tulane University’s Center for Public Service, and Spiritual Leadership Coaching certification with Peace Ministry and the Rev. Dr. Denise Graves.
From the land of the Coast Salish people, an island home of the Suquamish, the “people of the clear salt water,” I send my love and care to y’all on our global journey towards collective liberation.
Rev. Deanna Vandiver (she/they)