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Expanding Sanctuary Inspired by Immersive Learning
We Keep Coming Back

Sharing lessons from our friends at the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) in this week's post. UUCSJ inspires and sustains spiritually grounded activism through immersion learning journeys. Rev. Beth Banks joined one of those journeys and it had a profound impact on her congregation's efforts to expand sanctuary in their community. An excerpt is below; read the full post from UUCSJ here.

In November of 2014, the College of Social Justice offered a border trip for religious leaders of our denomination. I wanted to travel with colleagues who came to learn for their own sake, but who also came to find inspiration for a new level of justice engagement with their congregations.

Each morning started with worship, preparing us for the day’s experience ahead. The week was intellectually stimulating, but it was my heart more than my mind that was broken open. We witnessed tremendous injustice, and what gave me hope, was witnessing the determination of both dedicated individuals and agencies who, because of their faith, had energy that did not cease.

People gathered together to pose for a photo in the desert

Before returning home from the border trip, the staff of UUCSJ challenged us to choose something concerning immigration that we believed we could address within our sphere of influence. That’s how a new relationship focused on justice between the undocumented students of The University of California at Davis and The Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis began. In November 2014, the same month as the UU College of Social Justice trip for religious leaders, the AB 540 Undocumented Student Center was established by UC Davis. That first year, the Center served the needs of a couple hundred undocumented students. Since that first year, the number of known undocumented students is closer to 500, and there are more students every year.

Read the full post to learn how they turned this budding partnership into a years-long relationship of support and mutual learning by centering the needs of those most threatened by a history of injustice. 

 

Love Resists is a joint campaign of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, launched to protect the values of our democracy and the rights of communities most at risk. Guided by three principles, to expand sanctuary, grow solidarity, and raise our voice, Love Resists seeks to empower people to resist the criminalization of our neighbors and communities, and create a safer, more just, welcoming, and sustainable world. Get connected at loveresists.org.

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For more information contact loveresists@uua.org.

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