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What becomes of the colored girl? The muses of song, poetry and art do not woo and exalt her. She has inspired no novels. Those who write ... seldom think of this dark-skinned girl who is persistently breaking through the petty tyrannies of cast into the light of recognition. – Fannie Barrier Williams
He drew a circle that shut me out
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout
But love and I had the wit to win;
We drew a circle that took him in. – Edwin Markham
In this session, participants explore the second Unitarian Universalist Principle: justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. They hear about Fannie Barrier Williams (1855-1944), a Unitarian who was active in the club movement and in creating clubs for African American women. Participants will discuss what it means to belong and how it feels to be excluded, and explore how organizing a group to fight injustice can be effective. They create their own inclusive Faithful Journeys Action Club. The signpost "Be Fair" is added to the Faithful Journeys Path.
NOTE: The Faithful Journeys Action Club will need a purpose and projects for the children to work on. Children should participate in planning the club, but this will be easier if you are ready with realistic choices. Confer with your social action committee, minister, and/or director of religious education to determine ideas for local action or ways the club could dovetail with congregational projects. Good projects for children this age are concrete, have a personal connection and can be broken down into smaller goals with measurable progress. Leader Resource 3 offers some ideas.
This session will:
- Strengthen Unitarian Universalist identity as children learn about Unitarian Fannie Barrier Williams and her work for justice
- Teach and reinforce our second Unitarian Universalist Principle, justice, equity, and compassion in human relations
- Demonstrate how working together for justice is one way of acting faithfully based on our second Principle
- Demonstrate how children can be agents who promote inclusion and say no to exclusion
- Explore how a club can be an effective tool for change
- Teach children how they can and do express their faith — their ideas of right and wrong, their values, and their beliefs — with real actions.
- Learn about justice work in our Unitarian Universalist history, through a story about Fannie Barrier Williams
- Experience and process inclusion and exclusion
- Explore combining their individual personal agencies to accomplish change by creating a Faithful Journeys Action Club and choosing its purpose
- Identify ways they do or could act that reflect the signpost "Be Fair"
- Name ways they did or could translate their Unitarian Universalist faith and/or Principles into action.