Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Heeding the Call: A Program on Justicemaking for Junior High School Youth

Activity 2: Story - It's Up to Us

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story until you are comfortable presenting it.
  • Optional: Make copies of the story for youth to share and read along.

Description of Activity

Youth hear a story that explores the importance of individuals working together to survive.

Follow the story with a discussion.

  • What were some of the actions taken in the story that you consider examples of responsible leadership? Are there examples of irresponsible leadership?
  • Are there themes we have discussed in previous workshops that you think were displayed in this story?
  • In a disaster situation like the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, would you consider it "stealing" if your actions involve searching for and retrieving basic items like water and food for you, your family and friends? Why or why not?
  • There were many people who were caught in desperate situations following Hurricane Katrina. There were also countless people all over the country and the world who arrived in the region to help. The Canadian Mounties arrived in Louisiana from Vancouver, British Colombia, two days after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast-providing relief to some parishes even before the United States' National Guard arrived. Do you think the Mounties felt responsible leadership was needed? Who did they feel responsible for or to?
  • Do you know any other stories about responsible leadership in the wake of Katrina? (If your congregation has contributed money or time, share that with the group.) Inform participants that many Unitarian Universalist congregations have sent money to relief efforts and many sent groups to help clean up and rebuild. Rebuilding efforts are still underway. The New Orleans Rebirth Center is still working with the Unitarian Universalist Association, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and volunteers from dozens of Unitarian Universalists congregations to provide responsible leadership for the long haul.
  • What would the world look like today if everyone who ever felt hopeless about a situation gave up and did nothing to help create justice?