Tapestry of Faith: What We Choose: An Adult Program on Ethics for Unitarian Universalists

Activity 4: Narrative Ethics and Equality

Part of What We Choose

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers (enough for all participants), and tape
  • Optional: Eight clipboards, plain drawing paper, and extra pencils/pens

Preparation for Activity

  • Prepare four separate pieces of newsprint titled race/ethnicity, differing physical abilities, sexual orientation, and gender. Post them so that participants can easily write on them.

Description of Activity

Invite participants to consider what they have personally encountered, or witnessed, of the struggle for greater equality in the areas of race/ethnicity, differing physical abilities, sexual orientation, and gender. Perhaps they have experienced barriers or witnessed someone else experiencing barriers to true equality. Perhaps they have experiences or stories of hope or resilience. Give each participant a marker and invite them to move around the room, and list a few key words or phrases on the appropriate newsprint to capture the experience that came to mind. Tell them that they need not have something to share in each category.

Invite participants to rejoin the large group. Read aloud the words and phrases shared on each piece of newsprint.

Ask: "How does telling these stories matter? Did the stories you represented here affect your choices and actions? How? Did the stories make moral or ethical demands on you? How do such stories make a difference, both for the teller and for the listener?" Invite comments about insights and observations from the exercise.

Including All Participants

Be sure to allow ample space for all, especially those who are mobility impaired. Post the newsprint at a height accessible for all. If you have participants who cannot move around the room, modify the activity, using eight sheets of paper on clipboards (two for each category), and passing them from person to person.