So many of us deeply desire to live on the side of love when it comes to social justice movements. Organizer (and Unitarian Universalist) Elandria Williams talks about the role of our faith in social movements as providing ‘spiritual and political fortification’.
But what does that really mean? How can we be a nurturing, humble and steady hand on the side of justice in the face of violence and backlash? We’re excited to bring you a sneak peak into 30 Days of Love 2017. Each week we will share tools and resources to help congregations reflect, learn and act around different sub themes of fortification. Save the dates – January 16, 2017 through February 14, 2017 – for 30 Days of Love 2017. From worship resources and weekly actions to opportunities to honor courageous love within our communities, stay tuned here and on our website for more information and resources.
Week One: Relationships and Movements
Movements are made of people and organizations. Organizations are groups of people. Relationships with ourselves, between people and between organizations are the bonds that create and sustain movements. Groups, campaigns, and movements often fall apart because we don’t know how to be in relationship with each other. From our everyday relationships to that person you make eye contact with at a rally, without relationships there are no social movements. Week one includes tools to help congregations reflect on their evolving relationship to self (including self-awareness tools), relationship to individuals, relationships inside congregations, and relationships in partnership with local, regional and national social justice organizations.
Week Two: Covenants and Movements
If we want to be trusted partners in the work of liberation and social justice, we have to build trust through sustained acts towards shared goals. Covenants and other sacred agreements are not about perfection, they are about practice. Our behavior and approach set a tone for all of our work. Across the country, UUs have told us that they want more support on how to set tone and culture in relationships, in order to sustain them respectfully and well. Week two reflects on our covenant practices personally, as congregations, and in our work with external partners for social justice.
Week Three: Transformation and Movements
Movements go thru life cycles, just like people, groups and congregations do. Week three provides tools for individuals, groups and congregations to understand more deeply where we are in the cycle of social movements in the United States right now. How do we assess the moment? How do we assess what it means to play a helpful role? How do we show up on the side of love when the moment changes and our partners are asking for different kinds of support? Week three will tackle these questions and also provide tools for connecting our understanding of personal, group, and congregational cycles to movement cycles.
Week Four: Commitment and Sustenance
Our work in movement is cyclical: some days we find joy, inspiration, and justice. Other days, we find ourselves devastated, exhausted and confused. The work of social transformation requires not only a rigor of politic but also a rigor of balance – recognizing the real human needs we each have to be our best selves. Week four provides tools for individual and group mapping for the practices for sustenance that will propel us into a steadfast commitment to movement for the long haul.
Stay tuned for more information. We can't wait for you to join us.
With love & solidarity,
Caitlin Breedlove, Campaign Director, Standing on the Side of Love