Request for Virtual General Assembly 2021 Program Proposals
General Assembly is the largest annual manifestation of the Unitarian Universalist community. We are looking for programs that are the best of the best - adding tremendous value to this experience.
NEW THIS YEAR! There are two deadlines for submissions of program proposals. Late proposals will be handled on a case-by-case basis with advance notice to the PDG team.
- Proposals received by Friday, January 15 - Decision by February 15; If selected, final video (for On-Demand programs) or abstract (for Live Interactive Workshops) due on Friday, April 30.
- Proposals received by Friday, January 29 - Decision by February 15; If selected, final video (for On-Demand programs) or abstract (for Live Interactive Workshops) due on Thursday, April 15.
Proposed programs should provide meaningful opportunities for learning and skill development, as well as address one or more of the following focus areas - liberatory theology, grief and trauma healing, community of communities, preserving connection to Milwaukee, and social justice. The theme for General Assembly 2021 is "Circle 'Round for Justice ● Healing ● Courage."
- Liberatory theology – The Commission on Institutional Change identified clearly in their report the need to articulate a theology of liberation, experimentation, and innovation grounded in our UU Principles and Sources. “Author, scholar, and teacher Sharon Welch notes that from an ethical perspective, we are called to liberate ourselves from bias, stating that a theology of liberation frees us from not seeing bias or privileged systems and allows us to see the threats of white violence.” (Widening the Circle of Concern, p. 16).
- Grief and trauma healing – Provide models of how we might offer a safe space for honesty and transparency to those experiencing or processing feelings of grief, loss, and/or trauma. Expand your understanding of what grief is and the emotional, physical, cognitive, and spiritual impact of grief. Learn skills for coping and modify limiting beliefs about effective recovery from loss and trauma.
- Community of Communities – As coined by Paula Cole Jones, specialist in multicultural competencies and institutional change, suggests that seeing ourselves as a Community of Communities changes our future and it is key to the Beloved Community. It will enable us to offer community and sanctuary to far more people that we currently do. Offerings might invite communities to gather within particular identities or across identities.
- Preserving connection to Milwaukee – Although General Assembly will not convene in Milwaukee in 2021, Unitarian Universalists can still honor our commitment to the city by honoring the request of the Southeast Wisconsin Ministers Alliance: Wisconsin is particularly situated to focus the work of building beloved community by dismantling white supremacist culture within our congregations and association. Programs and offerings that engage or create learning from leaders in WI and the critical justice moving in the state.
- Social Justice – Coming out of the success of UU the Vote; how can we continue to build the muscle of organizing and justice making to create greater justice and equity in our communities. From combatting systems of criminalization and incarceration, to organizing for climate justice, gender and GLBTQ equity, to continuing to expand the electorate and strengthen democracy; how can we continue to build frameworks, partnerships and skills for the work ahead.
We are looking for the following types of programs:
- On-Demand Programs – Proposals for fully pre-recorded programs (workshops, lectures, panels, worship services, etc.) will be selected for GA attendees to view on-demand. If your proposal is selected, video submissions will be due by the early deadline of April 15 or the final deadline of April 30. 90 minutes length maximum.
- Live Interactive Workshops – Select proposals for live or simulive (partially pre-recorded) 90-minute workshops will be selected. Proposed workshops must demonstrate the need for live attendee engagement/participation during GA, and focus on developing skills and capacities for mission-focused work in congregations and communities. Live program blocks are Thursday, June 24, Friday, June 25, and Saturday, June 26 from 5:00-6:30pm EDT/2:00-3:30pm PDT. Presenters may apply for a multi-day, recurring slot for longer engagement. We encourage program presenters to consider pre-recording some content to avoid technical difficulties. Prerecording also affords the opportunity to re-do if production quality is lacking.
- Featured Speakers – As in 2020, General Assembly 2021 will include a Featured Speaker Series of 3 prominent guest speakers. Please be advised the speakers will be scheduled at the same time as live webinar workshops - on Thursday, June 24, Friday, June 25, and Saturday, June 26 from 5:00-6:30pm EDT/2:00-3:30pm PDT. Featured Speaker Programs can be fully live, simulive (partially pre-recorded), or fully pre-recorded.
Propose a Poster for the Virtual Poster Fair at the 2021 General Assembly
Stories, initiatives and examples for inspiring work in Unitarian Universalism will be featured in the Virtual Poster Fair, available to GA registrants through the GA Participation Portal. Selections will be made based on the quality of proposals, embrace of the theme, potential to provide attendees with concrete and usable tools, and the balance needed to explore multiple identity-based and theological perspectives on the theme.
Sessions will be selected based on how they address equity, inclusion and the GA theme. If chosen, you will need to provide the following materials by April 30:
- A PDF document describing of your story/mission/initiative. This document could be a poster, a flyer, a brochure, a collection of PowerPoint slides. It is entirely up to you! The PDF you provide must be accessible. The PDF Accessibility Guide: How to Make Your Portable Documents Accessible
- Contact information (phone and/or email) where attendees can ask questions and/or learn more.
- Record a video (optional) discussing the topic. No more than 10 minutes. Upload your video to Vimeo or YouTube and provide us with a link. If you are providing a video, you must ensure the video is captioned. 11 Free Tools to Make Your Video Captioning Process Easier
You are invited to submit a Virtual Poster Proposal by the deadline of Monday, March 1 at 3 p.m. EST.