On Sunday, March 8, 2015, hundreds of Unitarian Universalists, dressed in Standing on the Side of Love gear, marched with tens of thousands of people across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL, to honor the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
Prior to the march, Unitarian Universalists and interfaith partners participated in a 4-day conference called Marching in the Arc of Justice: A Conference Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Selma Voting Rights Campaign in Birmingham, AL, sponsored by the Living Legacy Project and the Unitarian Universalist Association. The conference was designed to create an experience that would allow participants to learn about civil rights history and move forward for racial justice.
There was a ceremony honoring the families of civil rights martyrs Jimmie Lee Jackson, Rev. James Reeb and Viola Liuzzo. Family members accepted Courageous Love Awards recognizing the great sacrifices made by their relatives. Watch this moving service.
Speeches from Rev. William Barber, president of NC NAACP and architect of the Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina, Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed, author of The Selma Awakening: How the Civil Rights Movement Tested and Changed Unitarian Universalism, Opal Tometi, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, and the Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian, civil rights veteran, are available for you to watch on YouTube as well.
Unitarian Universalists across the country are connecting with local #BlackLivesMatter chapters and building relationships in their communities with interfaith organizations working to alleviate attacks on civil rights including voter suppression efforts. Because we know, as Opal Tometi shared in her speech, “Justice is not inevitable. It is something that will not be achieved passively. The Unitarian Universalist tradition is one that knows, that we, as stewards as faith, are actively called to bend the arc toward justice.”
- ‘A Call from Selma’, The New York Times
- A D.C. Reverend’s Life and Legacy, Left in Selma, Washington Post
- Beaten, Bloodied and Murdered—Selma 50 Years Later, CNN
- Was Selma Worth It?, Medium
- Selma: Commemoration and Commitment by Rev. Peter Morales, Huffington Post
- In Selma, ‘We Are Your Partners Forever’, UU World
- The Road from Selma Was Paved With the Blood of Four Unsung Martyrs, Religion News Service
- Like Selma 1965, Unitarians Vow to Keep Fighting for Civil Rights, AL.com