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You must answer this question:

What will you do with your gifts?

Choose to bless the world.

— Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, from the poem "Benediction"

The workshop provides an introduction to social justice work in a Unitarian Universalist context. Because the focus of Unitarian Universalists is on this life, and because we embrace such principles as justice and compassion, we feel compelled to live out our values by working for social justice. Participants will have a chance to hear about some of the experiences of a panel of social justice activists from your congregation, who will reflect on how that work relates to their religious path. The workshop explores the value of both action and reflection on that action as integral parts of social justice work as a religious and spiritual practice.

If your congregation has a commitment to a particular type of social justice ministry, consider devoting workshop time to that approach, rather than presenting a panel of social justice activists. Recognizing that each of our congregations proceeds on social justice issues a bit differently, alternate activities are provided to highlight ways your particular congregation does justice work in the world. If your congregation works actively with anti-racism, consider Alternate Activity 1. If your congregation has been involved with the Standing on the Side of Love initiative, consider using Alternate Activity 2. You may wish to invite guests with special expertise for these Alternate Activities.

Before leading this workshop, review Accessibility Guidelines for Workshop Presenters found in the program Introduction and make any preparations needed to accommodate your group.

If you only have an hour for the workshop, omit Activity 3 and shorten Activity 4 by 15 minutes.


This workshop will:

  • Invite reflection on our individual and collective roles in making the world a better place
  • Introduce the action-reflection model
  • Share the work of social justice as carried out by your congregation
  • Suggest wider perspectives of Unitarian Universalist social justice work.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Reflect on the type of work they have done to improve the world
  • Consider the complexities of social justice work through a historical example
  • Hear the stories of Unitarian Universalist social activists
  • Discern how they might be involved in social justice through the congregation.

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