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Activity 2: The Black Humanist Fellowship (30 minutes), Workshop 12: Responding to Calls for Black Empowerment

In "Resistance and Transformation," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story "The Black Humanist Fellowship." Copy for all participants.
  • Write these questions on newsprint, starring the final one, and post the newsprint:
    • How did events in the Unitarian Universalist Association affect the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland?
    • Why do you think the Black Humanist Fellowship of Liberation ultimately collapsed?
    • What might the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland and/or the Black Humanist Fellowship of Liberation have done differently to ensure the success of the Fellowship?
    • What parallels do you see between the events that took place in the Association and the events in Cleveland?
    • (Star this question.) What lessons do you draw from the history of the Black Humanist Fellowship of Liberation?
  • Optional: Provide the story in advance and invite participants to read it before coming to the workshop. You might offer participants the link to the story "The Black Humanist Fellowship" on the Tapestry of Faith website.
  • Optional: Pre-arrange for volunteers to read the story aloud; make sure they have the story in advance.

Description of Activity

Explain that the group will explore how events at the Association level can influence events in a congregation, as participants examine the story of the Black Humanist Fellowship and the Unitarian Society of Cleveland. Distribute the story, the Black Humanist Fellowship. Read it aloud, or have the volunteers present it.

After the story, invite participants to form groups of three or four to respond to the story. Indicate the questions you have posted on newsprint, and invite small groups to use them as a frame for their discussion. Tell them that they will have 15 minutes; suggest that they allow enough time at the end of their small groups to focus on the last (starred) question.

After about 10 minutes, tell participants they have five minutes remaining for this part of the activity and suggest small groups move to the starred question, if they have not already done so.

After 15 minutes, re-gather the large group. Invite a representative of each small group to share something of their conversation and to name a lessos the group drew from the Black Humanist Fellowship story.

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Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.

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