Contest Winner: Elliott Cennamo
"Stand with Love" was created by Elliott Cennamo, a motion graphic designer from Columbus, Ohio. Elliott became passionate about Unitarian Universalism (UU) in his high school years and stayed connected during his time in college at East Tennessee State University. He is hooked on the Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI) in Radford, VA, where he routinely spends part of his summers. He now he attends the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus.
Elliott saw the Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA) call for Voting on the Side of Love video submissions and realized that this was something he could do this election season to make a difference. Narrated by Sasha Bohn, the video uses fast-paced imagery and a compelling message to call us to be mindful of the power of love when we go to the polls to vote this November.
Watch the video here or on our UUA YouTube channel. We hope you will share it widely with your own communities to help make Unitarian Universalist values go viral this election season!
Four Runners Up
Each of our four contest runners up will receive $100 of SSL merchandise. Their videos are already being viewed on YouTube:
- Voting on the Side of Love—Voices from the younger generation ask for you to vote on their behalf.
- Voting on the Side of Love UU—Lifts up questions for voters to consider as we hope for a brighter future somewhere over the rainbow.
- vote LOVE—Personal reflections that show how privileged we are to live in this country and how every vote matters and can change lives.
- Unitarian Universalism—Explores our Principles and Purposes through the lens of young people introduced to our faith through this video contest.
Transcript of "Stand with Love"
Today, the country faces a choice. A choice not just between candidates, but a choice about war, the economy, reproductive rights, and marriage equality. From now into November, those who are asking you to make those choices will do so by using an unprecedented amount of negativity. In the coming months, we can expect to hear this from every television, newspaper and website we see. In a political culture defined by fear and hate, for one side to be right, the other side has to be wrong. They become more than the opponent—they become the enemy. As this rhetoric level rises, we tend to forget what we're fighting for, and only concentrate on who we're fighting against.
You might ask "How did we get here?" That's an important question, but a more important one is "How do we get past this?" What does a better system even look like? And how do we get there? If fear and hate are poisoning our country, what is the antidote?
Love. Love, based not on some cynical partisan desire to find an edge, but coming from our hearts and our beliefs.
We are Standing on The Side of Love. An interfaith group sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association but including like-minded individuals of all faiths.
You know the religious right. Well, we're the religious left. You might not have heard as much about us, but that's about to change. We've always had strong values, and we're tired of often hateful and divisive talk having a monopoly on the term religion.
We believe that love is not a weakness. Love is not something you compromise. Love is a gift from the almighty, and no loving god would give someone such a gift just to punish them for having it.
Because it's not just about having love, it's about living love.
Love, whether they were born on the same side of town, the wrong side of the tracks or the other side of the world. Love. Even if they might not look like us, pray like us, talk like us or love like us. Love is part of being human. And no one should be dehumanized just because of who they are.
Because when the most important thing goes from "who's wrong" to "who's been wronged," the conversation changes dramatically. And once that change has been made, it spreads.
Suddenly, it's not about fighting. It's about faith. It's not about who your friends are. It's about who your family is. Your big family. Your human family. It's about remembering that what makes people different is a lot smaller than what makes them the same. It's about turning a cheek and lending a hand. It's about lowering your voice and elevating the conversation. It's about love. And the power of love to overcome our differences and make the world a better place for all of us. It's about treating people as people. And once you get to know people as people, it makes all the difference.
So this November, amid the fear and hate, remember the one thing that can truly make a change. The one thing that can bring clarity to our disagreements and justice to the oppressed. Take a stand, but never forget what side you stand on. And when someone asks for your vote, stand with love.