General Assembly (GA) is a special opportunity for Unitarian Universalists to join together in advancing human rights. UUSC and the UU College of Social Justice (UUSC) have planned exciting workshops and events in Portland, Ore., June 24–28. Many events, but not all, are being held at the Oregon Convention Center (OOC).

Schedule

Wednesday

UUSC Booths Open
Come visit The Good Buy and UUSC action center booths during exhibit hall hours throughout GA. The Good Buy, UUSC's online store for conscious consumers, will offer a wide selection of ethically sourced goods. At our action center booth, you can take action for social justice.

Exhibit Hall hours:

  • Wednesday, June 24, 12:30–7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 25, 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, June 26, 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 27, 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 28, 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Activate! A Pre-GA Event
Wednesday, June 24, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Portland

This one-day event for high school youth is an introduction to social justice education with the UU College of Social Justice. We'll talk about our call to justice work and explore UUSC's work on climate justice. To learn more and sign up, visit uucsj.org/activatega.

Immigrant Justice Activists Reception
Wednesday, June 24, 5:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Portland, Multnomah Room

Meet with UU immigrant justice activists from around the country and staff from UURISE, Standing on the Side of Love, UUA, UUSC, and the UU College of Social Justice. We will share stories from our immigrant justice ministries and strategize about ways to continue to work for and achieve justice for immigrant communities. Please RSVP here.

Thursday

Talk the Walk: Speaking Justice in the Language of Our Faith
Thursday, June 25, 10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, Rooms B117–119

Historical movements for justice have often been inspired and sustained by religious faith and practice. Ours is an activist faith, yet when we take action in the public sphere our religion is often invisible. How might we bring our own justice commitments into deeper conversation with our spiritual lives, and learn to speak our convictions in the language of our faith?

  • Lindi Ramsden, Starr King School for the Ministry Acting Dean of Students and Community Life
  • Rev. Kathleen McTigue, UUCSJ Director

Commit2Respond: Collaborate Like Never Before
UUSC and UUA
Thursday, June 26, 10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, Rooms E145–146

  • Brock Leach, UUSC Executive Consultant for Mission, Strategy, and Innovation
  • Terasa Cooley, UUA Program & Strategy Officer

Slides (PDF) from this workshop are now online.

Building an Online Movement and Brand Using Social Media
UUSC and UUA
Thursday, June 25, 1:15–2:30 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, Rooms E141–142

How do we create a grassroots movement to engage younger activists and supporters outside of our traditional UU universe? Using hot-button social justice issues, we can find and engage new supporters with social media strategies, new online tools, micro-sites, and branded campaigns or movements such as Choose Compassionate Consumption, #WageOutrage, and Commit2Respond. Standing on the Side of Love is also an example of an alternative brand or movement-building initiative.

  • Alex Kapitan, UUA Congregational Advocacy and Witness Program Coordinator
  • Eric Grignol, UUSC Marketing and Multimedia Specialist
  • Carey McDonald, UUA Outreach Director
  • Rev. Mykal Slack

Living in the Intersections: Service Learning Through a Justice Frame
Thursday, June 25, 3:00–4:15 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, Rooms B113–114

Congregations undertake service-learning trips with the best of intentions. Yet such journeys can unwittingly perpetuate systems of injustice. Join the UU College of Social Justice to find out how service learning can be a pilgrimage of witness and solidarity, based on deep education & insight that lead us to new ways to build alliances for justice when we return home.

  • Mark Hicks, Fahs Collaborative Laboratory for Leaders in Faith and Learning Director
  • Rev. Kathleen McTigue, UUCSJ Director

Commit2Respond: Building a New Community — Race, Class, and Climate
UUSC and UUA
Thursday, June 26, 3:00–4:15 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, Rooms F151–152

Come to an interactive session in which UUCSJ will share best practices for UU experiential learning: what works, what doesn’t, and why. We’ll explore some of the pitfalls of service-learning trips and invite you to share your own stories of success and struggle. Come learn, teach, and be inspired!

  • Rev. Peggy Clarke, First Unitarian Society of Westchester
  • Pamela Sparr, UUSC Justice Building Director

How the Work of Change Can Change You
UUCSJ and UUA
Thursday, June 25, 4:45–6:00 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, Rooms A105–106

Join Youth Caucus and the UU College of Social Justice in an exciting workshop where we’ll learn from participants in Activate (formerly NYJT) social justice trainings for youth. We’ll hear about what interests them about justice work, what they learned in programs in New Orleans and Boston, and how they are acting for social justice work back home. Come get inspired!

  • Laura Lubin, UUCSJ Associate for Youth and Young Adult Programs
  • Bart Frost, UUA Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries

Friday

General Assembly General Session III
Friday, June 26, 8:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

UUSC President Bill Schulz will present on UUSC and its 75th anniversary during this session. Immediately following, Rev. Kathleen McTigue will give a brief overview and update on the UU College of Social Justice.

Slides (PDF) from Kathleen McTigue's presentation on UUCSJ are now online.

If I Had a Hammer: Best Practices in Youth Service Learning
Friday, June 26, 1:15–2:30 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, Rooms B113–114

Service trips are a tradition for many youth groups: it’s powerful to travel, learn, & volunteer together. But what makes a trip succeed? What shifts it from a fleeting experience into lasting insight? Join UUCSJ to explore our shared capacity for transformative youth trips. Come hear from participants, leaders & hosts — and share your wisdom, too.

  • Laura Lubin, UUCSJ Associate for Youth and Young Adult Programs
  • Sam Wilson
  • Deanna VanDiver

Detroit Is the New Selma: Inequality, Our Water, and Our Human Rights
Friday, June 26, 3:00–4:15 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, Rooms E141–142

In 2014 Detroit stood up to unprecedented mass water shutoffs by the third largest utility in the Unites States. These shutoffs affected thousands of residents, who took the case to the United Nations. Participants will learn what it takes to take on the vested interests of the most essential services: the water department.

  • Maureen Taylor, State Chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization
  • Stephen Gasteyer, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Michigan State University
  • Randy Block, Director of the Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network
  • Patricia Jones, UUSC Senior Program Leader for the Human Right to Water

Solidarity Across the Food Chain
Friday, June 26, 4:45–6:00 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, Rooms F151–152

Join the Food Chain Workers Alliance and the UU College of Social Justice for this interactive workshop, as we launch a new training program to unite UUs and food chain workers (in farms, restaurants, warehouses, and markets). Help build alliances across class, culture, and four key sectors to “HEAL” our broken food system: Health, Environment, Access, and Labor.

  • Hannah Hafter, UUCSJ Senior Associate for Service-Learning Programs
  • Rev. Kathleen McTigue, UUCSJ Director
  • Jose Oliva, Food Chain Workers Alliance Director

Saturday

A Better Way to Volunteer for Justice
Saturday, June 27, 1:15–2:30 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, Portland Ballroom 255

Want to connect your UU passion for justice to the most urgent projects in your community and around the world? Learn about opportunities to match your skills with opportunities to participate in UUSC’s skilled volunteer program, organize Commit2Respond activities, or serve as a social justice leader in your congregation.

  • Brock Leach, UUSC Executive Consultant for Mission, Strategy, and Innovation

Slides (PDF) from this workshop are now online.

Commit2Respond: Advance Rights of Climate Change–Impacted Communities
Saturday, June 27, 3:00–4:15 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, Rooms E141–142

  • Pamela Sparr, UUSC Justice Building Director

UUSC Gala
Saturday, June 27, 6:15–7:45 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, Portland Ballroom

Come hear UUSC President and CEO Bill Schulz interview Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), the greatest living hero of the U.S. civil rights movement. In this 50th anniversary year of the Selma voting rights march, UUSC’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights Leadership goes to a man who embodies both personal and moral courage. Congressman Lewis will be introduced by Rev. Clark Olsen, one of two UU ministers who was with James Reeb when he was fatally attacked on the streets of Selma.

  • UUSC President and CEO Bill Schulz
  • Congressman John Lewis
  • Rev. Clark Olsen

Watch UUSC President and CEO Bill Schulz, Congressman John Lewis, Rev. Clark Olsen, and Dr. Cornel West discuss forgiveness, equality, racial justice, and activism.

Sunday

UUSC Booths Close
Last chance to visit The Good Buy's and UUSC's action center booths in the OCC Exhibit Hall! The booths close at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.