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I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other. — Harriet Tubman, escaped slave, conductor on the Underground Railroad

This session lifts up Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave who returned again and again to the South to lead more than 300 slaves to freedom. We focus on the second Unitarian Universalist Source, "Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love," expressed in children's language as "The women and men of long ago and today whose lives remind us to be kind and fair."

The children learn that love calls us to be courageous and to take action in the face of evil. They will apply this learning to their own lives in a role play activity which focuses on the bystander—a person who witnesses injustice or unkindness. Participants will learn that slaves used code songs to communicate escape plans and, in the metaphor of following the stars as our guide, they learn the song, "Follow the Drinking Gourd," which refers to using the Big Dipper to find the North Star and travel north toward freedom.

This session will benefit from a leader comfortable with singing and song-leading.

Goals

This session will:

  • Deepen understanding of the second Unitarian Universalist Source, in child-friendly language "The women and men of long ago and today whose lives remind us to be kind and fair"
  • Encourage empathy and affirm courage, through a story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad
  • Introduce the concept of a "bystander" and demonstrate that a bystander can choose to get involved when something is wrong
  • Empower children to act as agents of justice and kindness
  • Reinforce the metaphor of following the stars so love can guide us
  • Help children evaluate what makes a good leader.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Explore the second Unitarian Universalist source, in child-friendly language "The women and men of long ago and today whose lives remind us to be kind and fair," through a story about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad
  • Discuss what makes a good leader and practice ways to respond to injustice or unkindness, when a leader promotes a poor choice
  • Discuss the "bystander" role and experience, in role play, ways a bystander can choose to get involved when something is wrong
  • Develop empathy through identifying with slaves seeking freedom and engaging the song "Follow the Drinking Gourd."

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For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.