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Protesters gather around a sign reading, "No Coal in our Salish Sea"

Supporters witness during the Lummi Nation Totem Pole Journey to raise opposition to the proposed coal terminal on sacred lands, Seattle, August 2014

Public Witness at General Assembly

2015

A Sacred Public Witness: Commit2Respond to Climate Change

Saturday 4:45—6:15PM | Oregon Convention Center

Our climate is changing, yet we have hope. Our world is in crisis, yet we have faith. Together, we are building a new way.

In the face of the overwhelming reality and impacts of climate change and environmental destruction, we need each other. Together, we can celebrate life. Together, we can deepen our commitments to justice. Together, we can change the world.

Come be renewed in and by our interconnectedness. 

Hear from American Indian and First Nations leaders at the frontlines, including Lummi Nation Councilman and treaty rights activist Jay Julius and Lummi Elder, international climate justice activist, and totem pole carver Jewell Praying Wolf James.

Climate change threatens the ecosystems and way of life of Original Peoples of the Western Hemisphere, and the Pacific Northwest has become a corridor for fossil fuels. The largest coal port in North America has been proposed for Puget Sound’s Cherry Point, or Xwe'chi'eXen, which would desecrate Lummi Nation sacred lands and waters. 

Climate justice offers a new way: a way to dismantle the paradigm that treats marginalized people as expendable, non-human species as irrelevant, and our Earth as supply source and sewer rather than a single, beloved community of interdependent life. It offers a way to acknowledge the disproportionate impacts of injustice on frontline low-income and people of color communities and follow the leadership of those most impacted. 

Come honor our connections to each other and to all of creation. Together we will move through an experiential, worshipful event that allows us to access the deep emotional core touched by climate change: grief, anger, despair, and, finally, hope. From that hope we will take action.

Together we will build a new way.

This event will begin in the General Session Hall and will progress to the plaza directly outside the convention center. It is fully accessible to people of all abilities and open to the public. 

2014

WaterFire Providence—Love Reaches Out

“Justice is what love looks like in public.”
Cornel West

On Saturday June 28, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) cosponsored WaterFire Providence under the theme “Love Reaches Out,” honoring our belief that love is justice and witnessing for the power of love to change the world in radical, faithful ways.

WaterFire is a non-profit riverfront community arts festival whose mission is to foster community engagement and creatively transform the city. The festival includes music, art, ritual, and the signature feature of lighting braziers of wood on the river. It is a celebration of community, the arts, and the natural world.

As the UU World reported, "tens of thousands of people joined in with Unitarians Universalists at the dramatic WaterFire event on Saturday night in downtown Providence, RI. As night fell, Unitarian Universalists in their bright yellow Standing on the Side of Love t-shirts were easy to spot in the enormous crowds lining the riverbanks, as torch bearers on boats lit a series of 80 giant braziers in the middle of the city’s three rivers. As the flames reached high, music that expressed the GA theme, Love Reaches Out, filled the night air." Read the whole story and check out photos and social media posts from the event.

2013

Where is Our Energy? Witness for Earth, Our Communities, and Our Future

UUs marched from the Louisville Convention Center to the Belvedere, a promenade overlooking the Ohio River, where musicians, activists, and ministers led them in song and prayer. “We can choose another way,” UUA President Peter Morales said. “We need not live in a way that degrades the planet.” He urged UUs to work for environmental justice together and with their faith partners “for all of humanity and all of the earth.” More from UUWorld

Joining the UUs were people from many faith communities, including representatives from Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Native Americans, Presbyterians, Hindus, and members of the United Church of Christ. Many environmental groups were represented as well, including Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light, 350 Louisville, and the Sierra Club. Author, spiritual environmental justice activist, economic critic, and farmer Wendell Berry and activist Tim DeChristopher also spoke.

2012

Interfaith Witness for Human Rights: Candlelight Vigil at Tent City Jail

Over 2,000 people are being held at Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s infamous Tent City Jail. Another 6,000 people are being held in other Maricopa County jails in the same areas, south of W. Durango St. To date over 427,000 inmates have gone through Tent City Jail where people are crowded together on wooden planks in broiling heat in the summer and freezing cold in the winter.

UUA President Rev. Peter Morales, United Church of Christ General Minister & President Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, other interfaith clergy, and local UU and human rights leaders participated. Multimedia coverage.

2011

Standing on the Side of Love with LGBT People Everywhere!

Rev. Peter Morales, Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) President, Rev. Mark Kiyimba, Minister of the UU Church of Kampala, Uganda, Ian Palmquist, Executive Director of Equality North Carolina Interfaith, and community partners joined together for a witness to help spread our values of equality and justice, inclusion and acceptance. Event Flyer (PDF)

2010

Standing on the Side of Love for Marriage Equality

General Assembly attendees were invited to join in an Interfaith Community Public Witness Event at the Twin Cities’ Pride Weekend—the fourth largest bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender (BGLT) PRIDE in the nation. Full story.

2009

Members of the General Assembly joined Unitarian Universalist Association President William Sinkford, Bishop John C. Wester, The Rt. Rev. Carolyn Tanner Irish, Rev. Canon Dr. Pablo Ramos, and interfaith and community leaders to Stand on the Side of Love with Immigrant Families.

2008

Public Witness at General Assembly 2008 (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) was Valuing ALL Families: Interfaith Community Witness Event—Immigrant & BGLT Families (PDF).

Related Content

For more information contact socialjustice@uua.org.

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