UUA President Launches Social Justice Journey Across India

By Nicole McConvery

Rev. Peter Morales to Meet with Human Rights Activists and Union Leaders MUMBAI – On February 14, 2011, Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), embarks on a two-week journey to India to visit with several partners of the Unitarian Universalist Holdeen India Program (UUHIP) and with leaders of the Unitarian Union of North East India (UUNEI). “The UUA’s relationships with social justice and faith-based partners in India are historic and transformational for all of us,” says Eric Cherry, Director of International Resources for the UUA. “Rev. Morales will have an opportunity to further develop his relationships with leaders in India – and I know he looks forward to sharing his experiences in India with UUs in the United States.” Beginning his visit in Mumbai, Morales will then travel to Usgaon, Ahmedabad, and Delhi for the first leg of his trip. He’ll visit with the leaders of several UUHIP partners, including Vivek Pandit of Vidhayak Sansad, Reema Nanavaty of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Manjula Pradeep of Navsarjan, and Mahesh Upadhyaya of the Solidarity Center. Since 1984, UUHIP has been in long-term partnerships with more than 100 social justice organizations and movements in India. In an effort to promote economic and social justice, UUHIP works directly with the most disadvantaged people in India to support and strengthen these marginalized groups, while also working to address the larger structural causes of poverty and oppression. For the second leg of the journey, Morales will travel to the Khasi Hills to meet with UUNEI President Rev. Derek Pariat and other leaders, as well as to visit Unitarian congregations and schools in the area. On the last day of his visit, Morales will preach at the Unitarian church, Madan Laban, in Shillong. Founded in 1887 by Hajom Kissor Singh, the UUNEI is comprised of Unitarians throughout the northeast state of Meghalaya. Currently, the UUNEI has 32 congregations, five fellowships, and a membership of more than 9,000 people. “The UUA’s historic relationship with Unitarians in India and our human rights work with partners through the Holdeen India program are important examples of effective international engagement,” says Morales. “I’m inspired by all of them, and I hope more Unitarian Universalists in the United States will be as well.” Morales will provide on-the-ground updates and reflections throughout his visit, which will be available on this blog. The UUA is a faith community of more than 1,000 self-governing congregations that bring to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance, and social justice. Unitarian Universalism is a theologically diverse, non-creedal religion in which members support one another in the search for truth and meaning. The UUA’s international human rights work is made possible through the generous contributions of people like you. Please support initiatives of the UUA’s International Office by donating online at www.uua.org/ugandafund