Taking It Home
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 TODAY'S SESSION... We learned about the power of working together in a group by hearing the story of Unitarian Fannie Barrier Williams (1855-1944), who was active in establishing the African American women's club movement as an agency for justice and social change. We began to put into action the second Unitarian Universalist Principle, which states that we affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, by forming a Faithful Journeys Action Club that welcomes all to join and will take on a justice or service project. Our signpost to help guide us in faithful action was "Be Fair."
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... Ask your child about the Faithful Journeys Action Club that was formed today and what justice issue the group has chosen to address. Affirm why that justice issue is important. Tell your child about a justice issue that is important to you and explain how any groups you belong to – such as your congregation, a committee within it, or a local advocacy or social justice group – explicitly act on it.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... Pay extra attention to times when your child acts fairly or works for justice. Point out instances of your child acting faithfully in a way that reflects the second Unitarian Universalist Principle of justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. Your child will have the opportunity to share these actions with the Faithful Journeys group next time we meet.
To work more with this session's theme of exclusion/inclusion, read together Best Friends for Frances by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lillian Hoban (New York: HarperCollins, 1969). The picture-book hedgehog learns how it feels to be excluded and uses her learning to be more inclusive of her little sister, Gloria. While the text may be easy for your second- or third-grader to read, the message is timeless.
Create a Family Faithful Journeys Action Club. Give it a name and a logo. Find a justice issue that everyone in the family is concerned about and brainstorm ways that your family club can take action. For example, you could write a family letter to the school superintendent to protest an unfair policy, or donate some of your belongings to a charitable organization. Set aside a regular meeting time for your club when you can discuss and study your issue or take action together. Make it a point to invite other people to join your family club from time to time, such as neighbors, extended family or friends.
A FAMILY RITUAL
Create a family ritual for the beginning of your club meetings or to use whenever a member of your family acts for justice. To tie in with your Unitarian Universalist identity, light a chalice. Find or make up a song or dance together that you can use to express your commitment to justice, or perhaps as celebration for accomplishments. Take turns sharing a reading or story related to your justice issue or working for justice in general. Bring ritual to your club to emphasize the link between spiritual practices and justice, while reinforcing the Faithful Journeys idea that faith leads to action.
A FAMILY GAME
For a good rainy day activity, make a clubhouse together for your Family Faithful Journeys Action Club. Be creative with blankets, large cardboard boxes, sheets, tables, pillows, overturned chairs, sleeping bags, or tents. For something more permanent, build a tree house or small shed out of wood. Then paint, put up curtains, and otherwise decorate the clubhouse with artwork and materials that reflect your club's purpose.