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

Activity 4: Web of Influence

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint or large sheets of drawing paper for all participants
  • A variety of color markers

Preparation for Activity

  • Begin thinking about your own "relationship map" so you can help participants create theirs.

Description of Activity

Invite participants to create their own relationship map. Explain that they will create a diagram that includes all the people and events they think have influenced their own understanding of peacemaking and justicemaking.

Distribute large sheets of paper, and markers to share. Invite participants to write their name in the middle of a page and to list the connections in their own lives, with a few words about each person or event they add to their page. For example, a participant might draw a line to the name of their father, who worked for a union and passed on his strong values about social justice. They might write down the name of their Unitarian Universalist congregation, and then draw a line to all the people in the congregation who have influenced their perspectives on justice. Perhaps they attended a conference that influenced them, or heard a speaker that they admired. Things like books read, classes taken, the work of great-great grandparents, or the work of children and grandchildren may all be considered influences in the relationship web. Move around and help participants brainstorm if they get stuck. Ask questions about the relationships that are already on the paper, to see if they lead to other relationships.

After ten minutes, invite people to finish their work on the map. Invite them to move into groups of three and share their maps with one another.

Allow ten minutes for sharing. Then, re-gather the group and lead a conversation about the activity: What did participants learn about themselves through this activity? What surprising connections surfaced in these maps? Were there elements in common among the maps?