Certain names and events related to our social justice legacy have become familiar to many Unitarian Universalists, even if we cannot recite the details: The March to Selma during the Civil Rights movement, the abolitionist stance of ministers like Theodore Parker and Ralph Waldo Emerson, the work of women like Susan B. Anthony toward gender equality. However, these "high-profile" cases provide just a glimpse of the rich and complicated history of Unitarian Universalist engagement with social change. This program moves beyond familiar stories into a deep exploration of our history. It provides an opportunity for those who are interested in transformative justice work to delve into primary source material, to hear stories less commonly told but just as important, and to make connections between this history and modern Unitarian Universalist practice.
Playwright Tony Kushner once said, "We must participate in the historical mistakes of our time." Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists have always been subject to the events, cultures, and understandings of the times in which we live and the struggles that define our era. We can find patterns of engagement and theological growth and examples of personal courage and institutional strength in the stories from our social justice history. We also find failures, disappointments, and ignorance. We can learn from it all. This program leads Unitarian Universalists to ask the justice questions that pertain to our lives, congregations, and society today, and provides models of action that inspire us to take on the social justice challenges of our era.