Unitarian/Universalist Colonial Legacy Webinar Series

Graphic showing an old map of the world and the text "U/Uism's Colonial Legacy Webinar Series: Are we an imperial faith?"

For five weeks in the fall of 2020, the International Unitarian/Universalist Joint Working Group (Unitarian Universalist Association International Office, the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, and the UU Partner Church Council) hosted a five-part webinar series that posed the question: Are we an imperial faith?

The webinar invited participants to explore and understand the role that North American Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists have played abroad, with particular attention to our participation in colonial enterprises. All sessions of the webinar were recorded and are available below, with the associated materials.

Presenters included:

  • Rev. Alicia R. Forde, Director, UUA International Office
  • Rev. Sara Ascher, Executive Director, International Council of Unitarians and Universalists
  • Rev. Roger Bertschausen, Interim Minister, First Unitarian Society of Madison, WI; former Executive Director of UU Partner Church Council
  • Rev. Fred Muir, Interim Executive Director, UU Partner Church Council

Introduction & tech support by: Allison Hess and Rob Kipp, UUA International Office staff

Please reach out to the UUA's International Office staff international@uua.org to discuss how to engage your congregation more deeply in this work.

Session 0

Session 0 set the stage for what to expect from the webinar series, and introduced the presenters.

Video length: 13:05

Session 1

Session 1 was led by Rev. Fred Muir. The pre-session reading assignment included a few short quotes and YouTube links to two hymns that would be discussed. Read the Session 1 handout (pdf) before watching the video below.

Video length: 1:05:57

Referenced in this session:

Session 2

Session 2 was led by Rev. Roger Bertschausen. The pre-session reading assignment included a few short quotes to establish framing for the session.Read the Session 2 handout (pdf) before watching the video below.

Video length: 1:03:43

Referenced in this session:

  • Anna Su's definition of Imperialism: “a way of seeing the world from a position of power and acting accordingly. It’s only conceivable in a context of unequal relationships.”

Session 3

Session 3 was led by Rev. Sara Ascher. The pre-session reading assignment includes some short readings and reflection questions. Read the Session 3 handout (pdf) before watching the video below.

Video length: 41:25

Session 4

Session 4 was led by Rev. Alicia R. Forde. The pre-session reading assignment includes introductory framing and two scenarios for reflection. Read the Session 4 handout (pdf) before watching the video below.

Video length: 46:28

Referenced in this session:

Session 5

Session 5 features conversation between all presenters and attendees. There was no pre-reading for this session.

Video length: 1:27:49

Referenced in this session: