Western New York Cluster Activates Social Justice
On Saturday, April 23, close to fifty Unitarian Universalists from congregations in Western New York gathered for a social justice summit at the UU Church of Buffalo. The summit focused on three topics: Climate Justice, LGBTQ Justice and Racial Justice. After a worship service by the host minister, the Reverend Joan Montagnes, the facilitators for each of the justice topics gave a short TED-style talk about their topic. The participants then participated in separate topic-specific breakout sessions and created cluster-based action plans. The LGBTQ Justice group, facilitated by East Aurora UU church member Lisa Peterangelo, plans to create a cluster-wide Interweave chapter and use that group for programming and advocacy. Immediately, they are planning to coordinate participation in Buffalo’s Pride event and to encourage people to travel to Albany on May 17 for the LGBTQ Advocacy Day. http://tinyurl.com/May17LGBTQ
The Racial Justice group, facilitated by the Rev. Renee Ruchotzke, plans to have the UU Church of Amherst host an in-person “Intercultural Skills for a Diverse World” cluster-wide training in the Fall of 2016 and then the UU Church of Buffalo plans to host a Beloved Conversations training in the Spring of 2017. A few of the participants plan to take the online Organizing on the Side of Love UU Leadership Institute course http://www.uuinstitute.org/ being offered this summer.
The Climate Justice group, facilitated by the Rev. George Buchanan, focused on the personal part of Climate Justice work:
- Getting Unstuck
- Learn from and about one another
- Commitment to ferocity & determination – both personal and shared