What is true is that for Unitarian Universalism to move into a vibrant future, we will need to mine our past for stories of resistance to oppression, stories of openness to new ways of being religious, stories of transformation that have built new understandings into our narrative of who we are. — Rev. William G. Sinkford

This activity, adapted from an exercise developed by Dr. L. Lee Knefelkamp, is described in "Integrating Jewish Issues Into the Teaching of Psychology," by Evelyn Torton Beck, Julie L. Goldberg, and L. Lee Knefelkamp. It is Chapter 17 in Teaching Gender and Multicultural Awareness, Phyllis Bronstein and Kathryn Quina, editors (Washington, DC: APA Press, 2003).

Consider the following, one by one. Take a full ten minutes or more to write or draw in your journal in response to each prompt:

  • Consider a time in your life when your presence, your skills, and your ideas really mattered. What were the circumstances? How did you know that your contributions mattered? How did you respond to the situation, both in that moment and going forward?
  • Consider a time in your life when you felt marginalized, on the margins, and believed that your presence, your ideas, your skills, and your opinions were not all that important. What were the circumstances? What gave you the impression that your contributions were not really valued? How did you respond to the situation, both in that moment and going forward?
  • As you contrast the two situations, what strikes you? What was your level of engagement, energy, creativity, and imagination in each case? Are there conclusions you draw from the two different experiences?

Be prepared to talk about your responses at the next workshop.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.