Two workshops will be offered during each breakout session, though their order has not been determined.
Influencing Legislation in Washington State The Rev. Paul Benz of Faith Action Network will describe what you can do when the legislature is not in session and what is effective during the legislative session. Bring your faith-based perspective to the conversation, build relationships with legislators and with other organizations on issues, use the available resources to track legislation and target your efforts for maximum effect. Will be offered in the first breakout session.
Working with, Not Speaking for: Partnering with Communities of Resistance Co-facilitators: Maru Mora Villalpando of Not1More Deportation and Jolinda Stephens, Coordinator of UU Voices for Justice Washington. The answer always sounds so simple when someone asks how to partner or ally with communities of resistance. Show up. Listen. Act. But how does a congregation actually do that? What skills are needed? What knowledge? Explore that issue with us using the experience in the room and a short documentary depicting a conversation among four members of the Lummi Nation about the topic.
Reclaiming Prophetic Witness The Rev. Dennis Reynolds, minister of the UU Congregation of Whidbey Island and WA UU Voices for Justice Board member will share a bit on the theological underpinnings of our justice work and invite participants to a conversation on bringing our faith to our social justice work and exploring how we can use it more effectively. He will draw from Paul Rasor’s Reclaiming Prophetic Witness: Liberal Religion in the Public Square, which has been chosen as this year’s UUA common read.
Becoming: Justice, Not Jails at OUUC Steve Tilley, the Rev. Carol McKinley, Bernie Steckler and others will describe how a group at the Olympia UU Church coalesced around criminal justice issues and took effective action (and they are not done yet). This began with reading Michelle Alexander’s, The New Jim Crow. It has also included effective collaboration with the public defender as the group worked to get the sheriff to stop honoring ICE holds, and succeeded. This workshop will describe the evolution of the group and invite participant discussion.
Weaving Social Justice throughout Congregational Life This workshop will invite you to look beyond the social justice committee in your congregation at ways to build social justice into all aspects of congregational life.
The Initiative Process in Washington State Explore what is involved, what has been successful and what has not, recent and current efforts and more.