Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Resistance and Transformation: An Adult Program on Unitarian Universalist Social Justice History

Activity 2: The Very Real Danger

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story. Decide with your co-facilitator which of you will present it.
  • Post blank newsprint.
  • Optional: Copy the story for all participants.

Description of Activity

If you have made copies of the story, distribute them and invite the group to read it. Or, present the story aloud.

Invite the group to take a minute to consider how the activities of Rev. D'Orlando and the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans put the congregation, its members, and its minister at risk. After a minute, lead participants to name these risks. List them on newsprint.

Engage the group to discuss the potential danger of social justice work, using these questions as a guide:

  • Was the very real danger that Rev. D'Orlando and his congregation faced worth it? Or was the price they, and other activists, paid during the Civil Rights era too high?
  • Have you engaged in social justice work that put you, your family, or members of your congregation at risk? (Examples might include congregations vandalized for displaying rainbow banners.)
  • Would you engage in social justice work that put you physically at risk? Put your family at risk? Your congregation?
  • Do you feel there is danger involved with certain kinds of social justice work? How does your ethnic, racial, gender, or socio-economic identity inform your perception of the danger attached to social justice work?