UUCSJ Training initiatives offer essential organizing skills, connection, and leadership development to people seeking to become more effective activists, along with access to tools, resources, campaigns and movements that will support you in sustaining your engagement in social justice work.
Grounded and Resilient Organizers’ Workshop (GROW)
GROW Fellowship Winter/ Spring 2023
Grounded and Resilient Organizer Workshop is a virtual cohort of cultural workers, organizers and clergy (ages 18-35) who are engaged in campaigns, base-building, art making and community care for justice. Together, we’ll build community and solidarity, study social movements and imagine new worlds. Our mission is to bolster our social movements with organizers and cultural workers who are accountable, spiritual grounded and rooted in radical imagination.
Cycle 1 Complete! G.R.O.W. Update and Resource Sharing, February 2023
This season’s GROW cohort meets each Tuesday for four moon cycles focusing on the themes of Governance & Care, Conflict, Land Resources & Reparations, and Time & Imagination. We have recently completed our first moon cycle together and want to share into our larger learning community what we have been practicing.
We began our time together in the Governance & Care cycle forming Collective Agreements by setting the following intention and answering a question:
As we create our learning cohort, we lean into care as the foundation of our governance.
What are we naming as the container of this space?
This cycle highlights that while we are working towards justice and liberation, we are also practicing it in our own communities. As adrienne maree brown says, “how we are at the small scale is how we are at the large scale.” What would governance be like if it was grounded in care? How would our decision making process unfold if it was relational and emergent? The way we govern our communities reflects how we would govern a liberatory world.
Each session was opened and closed with musical nourishment and we share a few sustaining creations here with you:
We anchored our FIRST CONVERSATION about governance and care in the wisdom offered by the Allied Media Conference, “Care for the Future” (eps. between minutes 2:14 – 14:10) – an expansive perspective on the care that makes it possible for our groups to run smoothly.
Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.
Our SECOND CONVERSATION about governance and care centered practices of power mapping (systems) and power surfacing (internal and interpersonal). Our THIRD CONVERSATION and our very beings were shaped by the grief of the death of a GROW cohort member. Alex Sherwood shared this chalice lighting:
We light this chalice in memory of Audrey, a beloved member of our community who has passed on from this life. May the light of this chalice represent the love, light, and life that Audrey brought into our world.
Let us take a moment to reflect on Audrey’s life, the memories we shared, and the ways in which she touched our hearts. May this remind us of Audrey’s spirit, which continues to live on in us and in the world.
We hold Audrey and all those who loved her in our hearts and in our prayers. We affirm that love is everlasting, and that Audrey’s soul continues on its journey, even as we mourn her passing.
As we light this flame, let us renew our commitment to love and support each other, to celebrate life, and to carry on Audrey’s legacy of radical love and care.
Our FINAL SESSION in the Governance and Care cycle centered fortitude and we had the honor of practicing with the Reverend Denise Graves, a seasoned organizer and public theologian who founded Peace Ministry LLC and currently serves as a board member for both Congo Square Preservation society and UU Women’s Federation. We also dug a little deeper into consent decision making under the leadership of Zoë Johnston.
We offered the following two invitations for continued learning and unlearning this spring to G.R.O.W. and share them with you, as well:
UU Young Adults for Climate Justice (UUYACJ) is hosting its second annual Movement Training Workshop series!**Note that these workshops are only open to young adults (18-35) This workshop series seeks to support, resource, and empower young adults by offering tangible organizing skills, collective knowledge, and sustainable care practices.
These workshops will be happening every Saturday in March on Zoom. They’ll start at 12pm PT/ 1pm MT/ 2pm CT/ 3pm ET, lasting for an hour and a half.
Justice work asks so much of organizers and UUYACJ is grateful that we get to offer these free workshops as a gift in return. You can attend just one, or all of them! Register for these amazing workshops at bit.ly/MovementTrainings and learn more HERE.
The Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations, UU College of Social Justice, UU Service Committee, and Side With Love are excited to announce that the 2023 Intergenerational Spring Seminar will take place April 1-3, 2023, with the theme “Demilitarization & Abolition: Resist Policing and Empire.” The event will be in-person in Minneapolis, MN, with online participation options. Learn more and register at uua.org/seminar.