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Taking It Home, Session 14: Fair Group Decisions

In "Signs of Our Faith," a Tapestry of Faith program

I believe that decision making should not be the exclusive right of the privileged. That those who are affected by policy—not those who by default often stand above it—should be heard in the debate. — Winona LaDuke, Native American activist

IN TODAY'S SESSION... we talked about ways to make fair decisions. Our fifth Unitarian Universalist Principle says we believe that everyone should have a vote on matters that affect them, but sometimes simply voting is not fair enough. In our congregation, many people are involved in decision making. Some decisions are made by the board of trustees. Others are made by the whole congregation. Trying to make group decision making as fair as it can be is a sign of our UU faith.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about ... family decisions. Which decisions are made using authority, majority, and consensus methods? Why is it necessary for parents and caregivers to sometimes make authority decisions?

Family Game. Try playing a board game with teams instead of as individuals. Every decision must be made as a team. How will you reach agreement?

Family Ritual. When a public election or referendum is held, go to the polls as a family. Talk about the people and issues on the ballot. Do not forget to get an "I voted" sticker.

Family Discovery. Go to a meeting of a neighborhood or civic association. How is decision making done there? Is it an informal discussion to reach consensus, or, more like ballot voting... or something else? If decisions are made according to the vote a majority, is there at least some opportunity for everyone to voice their opinion?

Leadership Suggestion. The next time you find yourself in a group that has to make a decision, suggest the group try reaching consensus.

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Last updated on Tuesday, July 9, 2013.

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