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Group of people crossing Pettus Bridge in Selma.
Marching in the Arc of Justice Toolkit
Marching in the Arc of Justice Toolkit
Racial Justice & Multicultural Ministries

Background

In March 2015, the Living Legacy Project and the Unitarian Universalist Association, presented the Marching in the Arc of Justice Conference, to honor the 50th anniversary of the Selma Voting Rights Campaign. This was a time for us to remember our past, honor our martyrs and their families, and recommit to the struggle for racial justice in the United States.

Due to the generosity of supporters, the keynote presentations and several workshops from the conference were videotaped. Whether you attended the conference and wish to hear the phenomenal speakers again, want to share your experience with others, or if you could not attend and want to share in the experience, you can enhance the experience by not only watching the videos but participating in the discussion guides and/or small group ministry sessions that are included in this toolkit.

What is included in the toolkit?

Here you will find six discussion guides, 90 to 120 minutes each, suitable for workshops with adults and/or older youth. Each discussion guide involves one or more video from the conference, discussion questions, and suggestions of researches and actions your group may want to take to deepen your engagement with the topic.

The toolkit also includes focus material for four small group ministry sessions.

What special equipment or materials are needed?

To show the videos, you will need a computer with an internet connection, monitor, projector and speakers or a HDMI connection between a computer and a high definition television.

You will also need newsprint, markers, tape, and copies of Singing the Living Tradition, Singing the Journey, and Lifting Our Voices. Consider providing each participant with a notebook since journaling and note taking are included as activities.

How should we use the material in the toolkit?

The material in this toolkit can be used in a variety of ways. Presented here are three options: a six-session workshop, four small group ministries sessions, or a weekend conference. You are free to use the materials in other ways.

Discussion Guides

The discussion guides are sufficient for leading as workshops, either individually or together as a series. If using as a series, this order should work well, as it starts with our history and moves into the present day and future of the movement for black civil rights:

  1. Voices of the Veterans (PDF); Video (YouTube)
  2. Mark Morrison Reed’s Keynote (PDF); Video (YouTube)
  3. How to Build a Movement, with William Barber (PDF); Video (YouTube)
  4. Opal Tometi's Keynote (PDF); Video (YouTube)
  5. The Sankofa Moment (PDF); Video (YouTube)

Small Group Ministry

The small group ministry sessions contain focus material only (video clips and reflection questions). You may work these sessions into your regular small group ministry schedule. Add the ritual elements of your unique small group ministry templates (such as Opening and Closing Readings, Chalice Lightings, Check-Ins, Check-Outs, etc.) to create complete sessions. See the Resource section of the toolkit for suggested readings, music, and material for additional exploration.

  1. Call and Commitment: Honoring the Families of the Martyrs (PDF)
  2. Building a Movement (PDF)
  3. Black Lives Matter (PDF)

Weekend Conference

Another possible use of this material is to create your own conference. With the addition of potlucks and worship services, you have enough material to fill a weekend. Invite partners from the community to join you and use the opportunity to build new relationships and launch new initiatives. 

Useful Links

The Selma Awakening:
How the Civil Rights Movement Tested and Changed Unitarian Universalism

Mark Morrison-Reed
From Skinner House Books
Also available as an eBook in the Amazon Kindle Store and on Google Play . An analysis of Unitarian Universalist civil rights activism in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. Reviews the history of racial justice in the denomination in the prior decades and explains how Selma became a...

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For more information contact multicultural@uua.org.