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From the UUA President: Hope is in the Struggle

By Susan Frederick-Gray

Dear colleagues and friends,

How is your spirit? These past few days and weeks have been a roller coaster—inviting waves of excitement, uncertainty and activity. We knew that the 2020 election was not about Election Day, but election season. People began voting weeks ago and the work to count every single vote is still happening.

As Unitarian Universalists, democracy is a core value and practice of our tradition. Our faith calls us to defend the integrity of the election results. Every voice matters. Every vote matters. We must continue to encourage everyone to be patient as all the votes are counted. Fair counting is worth the wait. Defending the election is worth the wait.

In the midst of the waiting, here is what is giving me hope—the incredible leadership, action and organizing of UUs at the local, state and national level. More than 4,500 Unitarian Universalists from over 800 congregations participated in the UU the Vote campaign. Through postcards, letters, phone calls and texts, we contacted over 2.79 million voters! Across this country, we continue to witness systematic misinformation and voter intimidation tactics to suppress the vote. It shouldn’t be this way. However, despite the suppression there was an unprecedented turn out. This is a win for democracy and we as UUs were a part of making it happen!

We need to remember that we already have all that we need. We are the people who show up, time and time again. We are resilient, and we are ready.—Nicole Pressley, UU the Vote National Organizer

No matter the outcome of election 2020, the truth I know is that hope is found in the struggle. Actions rooted in one's values, rooted in what we love and know to be true, kindles the fire of hope and inspiration in our hearts and in our communities. Hope is not found in being bystanders. Hope grows when we show up for justice, for love and for human dignity.

UU the Vote was not just a “get out the vote effort.” It was envisioned as a strategic campaign to help us build more muscle for partnership, courage, relationships with our neighbors, and articulating and embodying our values. It was intended to strengthen partnerships between our congregations and organizing efforts led by Black and Indigenous people, people of color and directly impacted communities. It was rooted in a vision of building power and capacity for a more just, sustainable and equitable society.

As we await the results of the election, let’s remember that there will be many opportunities for us to continue our work together and live our values. Unitarian Universalism calls us to repair the moral basis of our common life—facing and addressing the injustices that COVID has laid bare—to create the inclusive, anti-oppressive world we imagine.

As I write this message, you are all in my heart, dear ones. I encourage you to find time for rest and self-care. Let’s also take a moment to remember that we are deeply connected to each other in love and in community. We are ready, we are powerful, and we are enough.

Yours in love and faith,

Susan

P.S. I invite you to join us tonight, November 5th, for our Post-election Vigil & Community Gathering at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST.

If you haven't already, I also invite you to get connected with UU the Vote to join with UUs across the country in organizing for a more just future.

About the Author

Susan Frederick-Gray

The Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray began her six-year term as president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in June 2017. As president of the Association, she is responsible for administering staff and programs that serve its more than 1,000 member congregations. She also acts as...

For more information contact pr@uua.org.