Handout 2: Social Justice Resources
Books and Study Guides
The Arc of the Universe is Long: Unitarian Universalists, Anti-Racism and the Journey from Calgary (Boston: Skinner House, 2009) by Rev. Leslie Takahashi Morris, Rev. James (Chip) Roush, and Leon Spencer tells the recent history of the UUA journey toward becoming an antiracist, anti-oppressive, multicultural movement. Beginning with the 1992 passage of the racial and cultural diversity resolution at Calgary, Canada, the book traces developments through General Assembly 2006 using interviews and written records. The authors bring to life voices and stories of many perspectives, all addressing issues of race and ethnicity in our congregations and our Association.
Blessing the World: What Can Save Us Now (Boston: Skinner House, 2006) by Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, a Unitarian Universalist Christian theologian, offers essays on how to face the "legacies of injustice that characterize our current world order."
Call to Selma: Eighteen Days of Witness is a first-hand account by Rev. Richard D. Leonard (Boston: Skinner House, 2001). In 1965, Rev. Martin Luther King appealed to clergy across the nation to come join protestors in their struggle for voting rights. More than 200 Unitarian Universalists responded. Rev. Leonard, age 37, was minister of education at the Community Church of New York at the time he answered Dr. King's call. Leonard's journal, along with the recollections of others who shared the journey, presents Selma as a pivotal point in the advancement of civil rights, and a defining moment for Unitarian Universalism.
Common Fire: Leading Lives of Commitment in a Complex World (Boston: Beacon Press, 2002) by Laurent A. Parks Daloz, et al. A landmark study reveals how we become committed to the common good and sustain our commitments in a changing world. Online study guide.
Leader's Guide to Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, a documentary film that chronicles the journey of nine descendants of the largest slave-trading family in the United States, as they probe the history of their New England ancestors and confront the legacies of slavery. This guide includes plans for a single-session program and for a four-part discussion series.
The Prophetic Imperative: Social Gospel in Theory and Practice, 2nd ed. (Boston: Skinner House, 2000) by Richard S. Gilbert explores the role of social justice work in the Unitarian Universalist denomination. In a historical review of justicemaking in Unitarian Universalism, explores the connections between spirituality and social action, with practical guidance to help congregations mobilize for justice work. Online study guide.
Soul Work: Anti-racist Theologies in Dialogue (Boston: Skinner House, 2002). Papers and discussion transcripts from the Unitarian Universalist Association Consultation on Theology and Racism held in Boston in January 2001. Addresses such questions as: What theological or philosophical beliefs bind us together in our shared struggle against racism? What are the costs of racism, both for the oppressors and the oppressed?
Study Guide to Milk by Rev. Mark Belletini, in the UUA's Tapestry of Faith family of online curricula and resources. This guide for the 2008 film biography of Harvey Milk includes background information, discussion questions, and resources for putting faith in action. Milk, a leader of the 1970s Gay and Lesbian Rights movement, as an elected member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was the first openly gay politician in the United States. Milk and San Francisco mayor George Moscone were assassinated in November 1978 by Dan White, also a member of the Board of Supervisors.
There is Power in Union: A Unitarian Universalist Guide to Supporting Worker Justice by Rev. Aaron McEmrys. Why should Unitarian Universalists support worker justice and union organizing efforts? What are some ways they can do so? This practical guide tells how congregations can connect with the union movement and the broader struggle for worker justice. The author is a Unitarian Universalist minister and a former union organizer.
What Is Marriage For? The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution (revised) (Boston: Beacon Press, 2004) by E.J. Graff. Will same-sex couples destroy "traditional" marriage, soon to be followed by the collapse of all civilization? E. J. Graff shows that marriage in the West has always been a social battleground, its rules constantly shifting to fit each era and economy. Online study guide.
Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community. The UUJEC is a dynamic, independent grassroots affiliate of the UUA. Their mission is to engage, educate, and activate Unitarian Universalists to work for economic justice, recognizing that as people of faith in the struggle for justice, we are supporting and renewing our spiritual lives.
Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministries. Currently (2010) legislative ministries exist in California, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Washington and Pennsylvania. Legislative ministries seek to organize Unitarian Universalists to lobby elected officials on issues on which they have taken a moral stand.
Interfaith Worker Justice. A network that calls on our shared religious values to educate, organize, and mobilize people of faith in the United States on issues and campaigns that will improve wages, benefits, and conditions for workers, and give voice to workers, especially workers in low wage jobs.
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. A nonsectarian organization that advances human rights and social justice in the United States and around the world. UUSC engages Unitarian Universalists and congregations with two experiential learning programs, JustWorks and JustJourneys, which introduce participants to the work of our domestic and overseas partners on the front lines of addressing social justice issues.
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth. UUME's purpose is to inspire, facilitate, and support personal, congregational, and denominational practices that honor and sustain the Earth and all beings. Visit their website to find resources about ethical eating/food justice, global warming, and the Green Sanctuary program.
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