Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: A Place of Wholeness: A Program for Youth Exploring Their Own Unitarian Universalist Faith Journeys

Faith In Action: The Rainbow Banner Project

Materials for Activity

  • Leaders Resource 2, Rainbow Banner Instructions
  • A copy of the story "The Pride Rainbow Project"
  • Newsprint and markers
  • Cloth in six colors (see Leader Resource 2)
  • Ironing boards and steam irons (more than one of each to speed along the process.)
  • Extension cords
  • Large work tables
  • Cutting board with one inch grid (at least 20 x 30 inches)
  • Rotary cutters with sharp blades
  • Strong straight edge (carpenter square, quilting ruler or standard ruler at least 24 inches long)
  • Serger(s) (A serger is a type of sewing machine that makes finished edges and strong seams. If the banner is only going to be displayed inside, a regular sewing machine will work. However, if the banner will be used outside and/or in any parade the serger will make much stronger seems.)
  • Tweezers
  • Sewing machine oil
  • Extra needles
  • Small brush
  • Serger thread cones
  • Tape
  • Waste basket
  • Bag to keep serger ribbons in
  • Tape measure

Preparation for Activity

  • Read Leader Resource 2, The Rainbow Banner Instructions carefully. This is a multi-step project that is complex. Make enough copies of this leader resource so that each group working on each stage has a copy.
  • Make a copy of the story "The Rainbow Pride Project."
  • If you are not an experienced sewer, it is strongly recommended that you recruit someone to help with this project. Their expertise will be very helpful and they will likely have much of the equipment you need (including a serger.)
  • This project could be a great community building event for the whole congregation. Consider inviting the wider church community to take part in this project, especially if your congregation is a Welcoming Congregation. There are many jobs to carry out in producing the banner. Create a truly multigenerational project by finding opportunities for younger children to help.
  • This could also be a great community project: consider contacting local BGLT community groups to take part as well.
  • Post a couple of pieces of newsprint throughout the room you are working in. Write on the top of those pieces of newsprint: "What do we want to do with this banner when we are done?" Leave a couple of markers with each piece of newsprint.

Description of Activity

Participants build a giant pride rainbow banner and envision how to use that banner to help fight for justice for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people.

Tell or read the story, "The Pride Rainbow Project." Invite everyone to do what this group of youth from Canada did and make a giant pride rainbow banner. Review the different steps of the project and have volunteers commit to specific tasks.

After everyone has their tasks, but before they get started, point out the newsprint you have posted. Tell participants that as they work they should talk with each other about what kinds of action they can take with the banner to bring greater justice and equity to GLBT people. When they come up with a good idea they should write it down on one of the pieces of newsprint.

Once you have given these instructions set them to their tasks.

As the project nears its end, some people may not have anything to do. Ask these people to go through the list of action ideas and start to group similar ideas together. Once the similar ideas have been grouped, tell everyone they each get three votes. They can vote by using a marker to draw a dot next to the top three ideas that they would like to see happen. Collect the top two or three ideas and discuss how to make these happen.