Where Will You Be When Democracy Awakens?

As Standing on the Side of Love continues to build our work around #FortificationFridays, we are responding to the asks of many in the SSL constituency who want more emails with inspiration, tools, and specific invites and calls to action. We are continuing to discern deeper into the questions of how do we fortify movements at this time? How do we align with them and answer their calls when watershed moments are happening? This week we are featuring a special call out message from Aquene Freechild, Campaign Co-Director of Democracy is for People at Public Citizen.  Aquene is an active young adult leader at All Souls Unitarian Church, Washington, DC, and a member of the congregation’s James Reeb Voting Rights Project. She is a lead organizer for Democracy Awakening.

The momentum is unstoppable. Two broad coalitions representing hundreds of faith, labor, democracy and social justice organizations - Democracy Spring and Democracy Awakening - have come together to launch the biggest effort ever for voting rights and for getting big money out of politics.

All of us working for climate, racial, economic and LGBTQ justice know that we must work together to stop voter suppression and to challenge a public policy process that is dominated by big money. With the U.S. Supreme Court eviscerating voting rights and corporate spending limits in elections, we’re calling on Congress to act.

Ours is no passive call. We are marching on the Capitol, we are sitting in at Congress, we are taking to the streets and we will be heard. We are demanding that Congress pass voting rights and campaign finance reform legislation so that we can move forward together for building justice and Beloved Community.

On April 2nd Democracy Spring marchers headed out from Philadelphia and will arrive in Washington, DC on April 11th to begin daily sit-ins at the Capitol. On the weekend of April 16th-18th thousands will join them for Democracy Awakening for a march, rally, faith vigil, and direct action.

Unitarian Universalists have been a key part of this campaign and are headed to DC from around the country.

  • UUs are on the march now and signed up to take direct action! UU congregations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland are hosting the marchers (see coverage here).
  • All Souls Unitarian Church, Washington, DC, is hosting the Democracy Awakening Teach-In on Saturday, April 16th from 1-9 p.m. It will include workshops and direct action training.
  • UUs for Social Justice, Washington, DC, are offering home hospitality for out-of-towners: Email or call 202-600-9132.
  • Local UU congregations are organizing a Meet-Up for the Sunday, April 17th march and rally at Noon at the Navy Memorial Plaza at the top of the escalators from Archives/Navy Memorial Metro Station located on Pennsylvania Avenue between 7th & 9th Streets NW. Look for our Standing on the Side of Love banners and wear your Love shirts!
  • Rev. Linda Olson Peebles, UUMA President and minister at the UU Church of Arlington VA, will be speaking at the Faith Vigil on Sunday, April 17th at 4:30 at Union Station, Columbus Circle.
  • On Monday, April 18th, Rev. Robert Hardies, Senior Minister at All Souls Unitarian Church, Washington, DC, will sit in at Congress and risk arrest. He will be joined by Susan Leslie, UUA Congregational Advocacy & Witness Director.

Sign up now at this special link for UUs to be part of Democracy Awakening. (If you can’t come to DC, you can sign up to volunteer in other ways and help spread the word.)

Last spring, we commemorated the 50th Anniversary of Selma, and the sacrifices made by Rev. James Reeb, Viola Liuzzo, Jimmy Jackson and hundreds of others for voting rights and social justice.

This spring we rise to demand those rights be enacted and to build a movement strong enough to win them. We will be standing with Rev. William Barber, II, and many others—workers, migrant justice activists, climate justice organizers, and Movement for Black Lives leaders.

Where will you be when Democracy Awakens? Join us!

In faith,

Aquene Freechild
One person, One vote