JUUST Change Consultancy Program
The JUUST Change consultancy is a program offered to congregations, districts, and other organizations that want to address issues of anti-oppression on a leadership and/or institutional level and increase their effectiveness in anti-oppression and social justice work and their ministry in a multicultural world.
JUUST Change consultants are able to help congregations with a developmental process of congregation-based anti-racist, anti-oppressive multicultural transformation and social action. By this ministry to congregations and their professional and lay leadership, JUUST Change consultants can help identify internal leaders; facilitate group processes in developing vision and mission, dialoguing, problem-solving, and team development; and help congregations develop capacities for building partnership in the larger community, as well as goal-setting and action planning.
One or more consultants are paired with a congregation and work with the leadership of that congregation to support the justice work already being done, work to identify next steps, and help build on existing strengths while encouraging the expansion of capacity for working on justice—including racism—that is rooted in Unitarian Universalist identity, theology, and values. This involves the consultant(s) working closely over the phone and/or via email and also coming out and visiting the congregation and meeting with congregational leaders. It's a program that is tailor-made to the participating congregation, district, or other organization.
JUUST Change is a resource that is able to meet participating groups where they are, and that encompasses a broad range of voices and experiences. The consultancy is grounded in a framework that draws from insights and understandings of institutional/power analysis of racism, heterosexism/homophobia, ableism, gender oppression, and classism; the intersection of oppressions; and wisdom about congregational change and transformation.
Congregations accepted into the consultancy are asked to commit to 5 days of consulting (1-2 days on site) and to support the consultancy financially. If you are interested in a congregational JUUST Change consultancy, you can download and fill out an application (Word, 5 pages) (PDF, 5 pages).
For more information, including costs, please email araomc [at] uua [dot] org. JUUST Change strives for flexibility and will work with you to address any concerns regarding expectations, goals, or the process and timeline that will work best for you. You can also find out more about other resources from Multicultural Growth & Witness.
Praise for the JUUST Change consultancy
"The JUUST Change Anti-Oppression Consultancy provided invaluable assistance as Meadville Lombard Theological School took a giant leap forward toward our goal of becoming a seminary that is fully engaged in the work of anti-racism and anti-oppression. Our consultant approached his task with skill and finesse. He assumed good will on the part of the institution, provided wisdom that took into account where the institution was at the moment, provided nuanced and sophisticated reflection about our challenges, and coached me so I could use my office as a source of vision and action. Indeed, the JUUST Change consultancy was a game-changer for Meadville Lombard."
—Lee Barker, President and Professor of Ministry, Meadville Lombard Theological School
"The Ohio Meadville District Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Association invited the JUUST Change Consultancy to come lead us in retreat in February 2009. The consultant's experienced leadership and thoughtful council was very well received by the ministers in our chapter. As a result of that first retreat we made the decision to add an Anti-Racist, Anti-Oppressive, Multicultural Portfolio Holder position to our Executive Committee. Over the course of the last year we have continued working with the JUUST Change Consultancy program on instituting a strategic plan to guide this work in our chapter. We have been supported and challenged by the JUUST Change consultants and look forward to our ongoing collaboration."
—Rev. Melissa Carvill-Ziemer, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent
"At no point in my experience working with JUUST Change consultants have I ever felt less than respected, engaged, challenged, supported, and encouraged to be exactly who and where I am on my path toward becoming anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and multicultural."
—Rev. Eric Kaminetzky, Unitarian Universalist Minister
"Mountain Desert District's Justice Ministries sponsors our Beloved Community program under the able guidance of the Rev. Deborah Holder, MDD Program Consultant and JUUST Change Consultant. Since 2004 we have focused on the mutually aggravating challenges of class and race. In 2007, district and Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) chapter, invited Paula Cole Jones, Lead JUUST Change Consultant, to present at the annual meeting before facilitating the UUMA chapter retreat. Paula's expertise, patience and grace prompted significant healing from old wounds and disappointments. Since that time our annual conferences have been well received, the dialogue is far more open and we are sustaining justice work as a religious community. We regularly practice and teach compassionate communication skills and community organizing techniques in expectation of integrating justice making into all areas of congregational life. In recent years youth have attended conferences as part of their congregational teams."
—Rev. Nancy Bowen, District Executive, Mountain Desert District
"The JUUST Change Consultancy was very valuable for several reasons. The application process itself made us reflect on things we had never addressed, such as 'Does your congregation differentiate between anti-racism, diversity, and multiculturalism?' The answer was 'No.' We had never had that discussion in a public way with leaders of our church. Having an outside consultant come in and have one-on-one interviews was very helpful to me personally. It allowed me to express contradictory feelings that I feel but don't express. Finally, the report that was provided for us continues to serve as a guide as our congregation moves forward. Just last month, we had a Fifth Tuesday gathering with our Board of Trustees to present recommendations of the consultancy to new leaders who didn't know about the consultancy and have a rich conversation about where do we go from here."
—Tony Brumfield, Co-Chair of the Journey Toward Wholeness Committee at First Unitarirsalist Church of San Diego
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