We are thrilled to welcome you to 30 Days of Love: Towards Racial Justice. Over the next thirty days, we’ll be sharing content- here, on Facebook and Twitter - about urgent organizing for racial justice happening around the country. We are thrilled to have Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen, Leadership Development Associate for Youth and Young Adults of Color at the UUA, and Carey McDonald, Outreach Director at the UUA, acting as our inaugural 30 Days of Love hosts.
In their role, Elizabeth and Carey will provide a short video reflection for each of our weekly messages. Centered around the themes of gratitude and wonder, it is our hope that the content of 30 Days of Love feeds and inspires you. Beginning next Tuesday, you’ll receive weekly messages from partners at the frontlines of organizing for racial justice in the country.
E: A year ago, the confederate flag flew at the South Carolina state capitol and 17-year old Laquan McDonald had been dead shot him 16 times by police in Chicago. The video of the shooting was not released and no officers had been charged with a crime.
C: Now the flag is down, the police officer is being held accountable. In other places throughout the country- we wait and continue to work for justice. But we know in this Movement moment, transformation is happening.
E: A lot can be transformed in a year. As Unitarian Universalists we know that revelation is continuous, that new possibilities are always being revealed. In that spirit, we welcome you to 30 Days of Love 2016!
C; I’m Carey McDonald
E: I’m Elizabeth Nguyen. After a brief hiatus last year to allow room for the newly launched Climate Justice Month, we’re back again to celebrate the 30ish days between Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Valentine’s Day - this time dedicated to intersectional racial justice.
C: As we leap into this New Year, two words come up for me - gratitude and wonder. Gratitude at the phenomenal movement building that has brought us to this movement, at the power of the Black Lives Matter movement and its message of radical love and collective liberation. And wonder about all that might be possible in the coming year and how we will be called to bring our hearts and spirits and hands to the work of racial justice!
E: The prophetic black queer writer Audre Lorde wrote, “There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” Over the next 30 days, you’re invited on a spiritual journey to honor the what an intersectional struggle for racial justice looks like and explore how you can be part of it.
C: Whether you don’t quite know where to start with this movement for racial justice or you’ve been organizing in your congregation for decades, we hope you’ll find food for the journey. You’ll meet people and organizations doing amazing racial justice at the intersections of identities- #Not1More, Black and Pink, NC NAACP, Ohio Students Association.
E: As a queer person, as the daughter of an immigrant, I feel called to be part of this journey.
C: For me, growing up biracial meant I often had to choose. Was I this, or that? Whose side was I on? But being a UU taught me that each of us deserves to be a whole person, that the world is not black and white, and that we can all strive to be on the side of love. That’s why I’m loving this year’s theme of racial justice as the heart of our woven fabric of identity and community.
E: This is our work to do because as UUs we value people in their wholeness. We know that real climate justice, gender justice, economic justice, LGBTQ justice requires real racial justice. None of us are free until we are all free. My liberation is bound up in your liberation.
C: Our interdependence means we gratitude for all the work that has brought us here, cultivate wonder and curiosity as we courageously face the racism that lives in our communities and congregations. Come on this spiritual journey, explore how your identities call you to issues, and recommit facing the with courage the heart of this work: racial justice.
We look forward to being on the journey with you.
With love & gratitude,
Campaign Coordinator, Standing on the Side of Love