Tend the Spark, Carry the Flame

 

UUCT’s Work Toward Justice, Equity (and Resilience)

By Jennifer Carver

2020 was a challenging year, and our UUCT community showed up to fight for social justice in many ways. As existing justice and equity concerns in our community, nation, and world bubbled up to the surface, UUCT’s ongoing social justice, food justice, and racial justice/anti-racism ministries continued and adapted to the changing conditions – the essence of resilience! UUCTers are dedicated to living our Unitarian Universalist principles and being part of the solutions. This article introduces you to some of the ways our UUCT community members tend the spark within themselves (and others) and carry the flame out into the world for a more just, equitable, and resilient future.

Our Social Justice Committee serves as an umbrella for several activities, including UU the Vote, Food Justice, and our Share the Plate program. Through UU the Vote, we sent nearly 5,000 postcards to voters from populations that have been traditionally suppressed, encouraging them to vote. Our focus on Food Justice includes providing food contributions and funds to support the Kearney Center’s residents and staff, contributing to Manna on Meridian (see last week’s Meridian newsletter), tending the Macon Community Garden, gathering in the Food for Thought group to discuss how our diets impact the environment and our health. Our Share the Plate program includes both charitable and social justice organizations and has prioritized Food Justice-related organizations. Additional recipients of UUCT contributions include the Tallahassee Food Network.

Several groups within UUCT are engaging with the internal work of racial justice and anti-racism, including the Emergent Strategy Group, the Monthly BIPOC Group, Allies for Racial Equity, and the Centering BIPOC Voices group. Allies for Racial Equity (ARE) and the Centering BIPOC Voices group are both engaging with anti-racism in different but complementary ways.  ARE endeavors to understand whiteness and privilege, unlearn and challenge white supremacy, and confront racism in ways that are accountable to communities of color, especially UUCT’s BIPOC group. ARE has initiated small groups reflecting on the book, “Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor” by Layla Saad. The Centering BIPOC Voices group seeks to better understand how racism and other forms of oppression affect all our lives and develop as anti-racists through reading books by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color authors.

The Emergent Strategy group facilitated the anti-racist curriculum “Building the World We Dream About” for  UUCT members and friends and is currently continuing group readings for spiritual growth and community building among the participants.  The BIPOC group is an informal group of self-identifying people of color coming together to share and support each other. The BIPOC group initiated the discussion to place the Black Lives Matter banner at UUCT.

We at UUCT are fortunate that these ministries adapted quickly to many changes over the last year and continue to provide opportunities and reminders to keep working toward justice and equity.