The following post was written by Deanna Vandiver, executive director of the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal in New Orleans, La.

With every encounter, discernment emerges.”

—Brian Swimme

Joy and grief are intimately bound together for those who live on the margins. The people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast know quite a bit about sorrow and celebration. You are invited here to nurture your spirit while you help heal the world. Come experience a practicum of faith through the UU College of Social Justice’s service-learning program New Orleans Community Building: Turning the Tides with the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal (CELSJR), a UUCSJ partner organization.   

CELSJR is a catalyst in the New Orleans and Gulf Coast region for nurturing a sustainable, equitable, and inclusive community by promoting social, racial, and economic justice. We are also big fans of good food, good music, and good stories!

New Orleans celebrates four seasons: holiday, Carnival, festival, and hurricane. Okay, we don’t really celebrate hurricane season anymore — but we deeply, truly, fully celebrate the other three! Join us for VooDoo Fest, Carnival (the season that culminates in Mardi Gras), Jazz Fest, and more! Come engage in the deep work of justice, embedded within a community of hope. There is so much to learn and so much to share. Come with your love, your fears, your questions, your hopes, your skills, and your tears. Come — as the ocean welcomes the river, we welcome you here.

Join us for one of the following service-learning trips to New Orleans:

  • February 7–16, 2013 ($950 per person. Register by December 2, 2012.)
  • April 27–May 5, 2013 ($950 per person. Register by February 24, 2013.)
  • July 20–27, 2013 ($725 per person. Register by May 19, 2013.)

Questions? Contact us about this and more service-learning opportunities.

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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