Side with Love is an interfaith public advocacy campaign promoting respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Side with Love confronts issues of exclusion, oppression, and violence based on identity. With the goal of creating beloved community, the campaign pursues social change through advocacy, public witness, and speaking out in solidarity with those whose lives are publicly demeaned.
Our core issues of focus include, but are not limited to: LGBTQ equity, immigrant justice, racial justice and intersectional movement building.
The broad message, “standing on the side of love,” emerged as a rallying point for people of faith in 2004 in Massachusetts during their early efforts for fully inclusive marriage, and later during the effort to keep the marriage equality law and block Proposition 8, in California in 2008. Originally entitled Standing on the Side of Love, born out of that slogan and song by Rev. Jason Shelton of the same name, was launched after the 2008 shooting at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, which was targeted because they are welcoming to LGBTQ people and have a liberal stance on many issues. The Knoxville community responded with an outpouring of love that inspired the leadership at the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to launch our campaign in 2009, with the goal of harnessing love’s power to challenge exclusion, oppression, and violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, race, religion, or any other identity. Since its inception, Standing on the Side of Love received feedback from disability rights activists within Unitarian Universalism about the exclusionary and ableist language of “standing”. Pushed forward by a Responsive Resolution at GA 2017, we committed to changing the name because of its history of injury and exclusion and to honor and respond to feedback by making the shift. We are excited to now be called Side with Love.
WHO IS the SIDE WITH LOVE (SWL) love team?
YOU! Side with Love began as an open-source campaign, and has spread throughout the Unitarian Universalist world as an important way that we show up in the world. Originally imagined as an interfaith campaign, we are most closely associated with Unitarian Universalism, but remain steadfastly open to people of all faiths, and people whose only faith is LOVE!
For many of us, this campaign is so much more than a slogan or logo; it is a values statement we take to heart and live by. Every time you wear your shirt, or a pin, or talk to someone about the values of the campaign, you are an important ambassador.
Additionally, the SWL Team has some dedicated staff members and advisors.
REV. ELIZABETH NGUYEN, Senior strategist
Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen roots for the Wisconsin Badgers, lives in Boston, and is a Unitarian Universalist (UU) minister. She is Senior Strategist of Side with Love, joining in November 2017. She is a queer Vietnamese-American and proud Midwesterner. She resources religious leaders, supports racial justice work, and develops programs that serve UU youth and young adults of color. She is affiliated as a community minister with First Parish in Cambridge, UU and graduated from Harvard Divinity School. She was a founding member of the Lucy Stone Cooperative where she continues to serve on the board of Unitarian Universalist Community Cooperatives. She serves on the Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultrual Ministries Steering Committee and the UU Ministers Association Mass Bay District executive team. Worshiping at the Sanctuary Boston, singing at the Lucy Stone Co-op, and remembering to pray are some of her spiritual practices.
NOra rasman, campaign MANAGER
Nora is the current Campaign Manager at Side with Love. She joined the campaign in February 2014. Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Nora was involved with UU youth leadership development work both in her district as well as nationally through Groundwork Anti-Racism Trainers Collective and YRUU (Young Religious UU) Steering Committee. Prior to joining the campaign, Nora worked domestic and international advocacy and policy while also doing anti-racist organizational development work with DC-based non-profit organizations. She gets joy living in the nexus between social justice + art, scheming about organizational development, cultural equity and organizing, doing graphic facilitation/recording, event and party planning. She is currently involved in organizing with Showing up for Racial Justice - DC and finds community and sanctuary through art and cultural work of Makers Lab DC.
We also work very closely with the Multicultural Growth and Witness team of the UUA. Michael Crumpler, Audra Friend, Janice Marie Johnson, Lesley Murdock, Susan Leslie and Taquiena Boston all contribute to our work of supporting UUs and partners to build a more just, creative, justice-centered multicultural world. In addition to working with the UUA, we also partner with the UU State Advocacy Networks, Interfaith Coalitions, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and many more.
Finally, SWL consults often with a number of advisors and supporters. Are you interested in becoming more involved with SWL? Let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org! We also are able to host interns and fellows through SWL on a case-by-case basis. Please email email@example.com to learn more.