GA Update for Friday, April 16

Unitarian Universalist Association Virtual General Assembly in June 2021
2021 WARE LECTURE: STACEY ABRAMS AND DESMOND MEADE
Stacey Abrams
STACEY ABRAMS
DESMOND MEADE
The UUA President invites a distinguished guest each year to address the General Assembly as the Ware Lecture. Please join us Saturday, June 26 at 7:00 p.m. EDT / 6:00 p.m. CDT / 5:00 p.m. MDT / 4:00 p.m. PDT. General Assembly registration is required to view.
Stacey Abrams is the New York Times bestselling author of Our Time Is Now and Lead from the Outside, an entrepreneur and a political leader. She served as Democratic Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives for 7 years prior to running for Governor of Georgia, where she won more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. She launched Fair Fight Action after the 2018 gubernatorial election to ensure every American has a voice in our election system, Fair Count to ensure accuracy in the 2020 Census and the Southern Economic Advancement Project, a public policy initiative to broaden economic power and build equity in the South. Abrams received degrees from Spelman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and Yale Law School. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, she and her five siblings grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi and were raised in Georgia.
Desmond Meade is a formerly homeless returning citizen who overcame many obstacles to eventually become the President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), Chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy, a graduate of Florida International University College of Law, and a Ford Global Fellow. He is the author of Let My People Vote: My Battle to Restore the Rights of Returning Citizens, published by Beacon Press in October of 2020. Recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2019, Desmond presently leads efforts to empower and civically re-engage local communities across the state, and to reshape local, state, and national criminal justice policies. His work has resulted in being named Floridian and Central Floridian of the Year 2019. President and Executive Director of FRRC, which is recognized for its work on voting and criminal justice reform issues, Desmond led the FRRC to a historic victory in 2018 with the successful passage of Amendment 4, a grassroots citizen’s initiative which restored voting rights to over 1.4 million Floridians with past felony convictions. Amendment 4 represented the single largest expansion of voting rights in the United States in half a century and brought an end to 150 years of a Jim Crow-era law in Florida.
INTRODUCING THE 2021 GA SYSTEMIC JUSTICE TEAM LEADS
The GA Systemic Justice Team assists General Assembly attendees from currently and/or historically marginalized communities in creating structural change by providing access and advocacy to challenge and change oppressive structures and/or systems. We send a huge thank you for the leadership and dedication of our 2021 GA Systemic Justice Team Co-Leads.
Tessa Ellis
In addition to having taught in the public schools of Virginia for the past 17 years, Tessa Ellis has facilitated trainings on such topics as life skills, parenting, self-esteem, anti-racism, relationship building, and financial literacy. She is the Racial Justice Taskforce Co-Chair and takes lead for the Black Caucus at Coastal Virginia Unitarian Universalists in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She has served UUA General Assembly on the Safety Team and as a Right Relationship Team Co-Chair. Tessa’s passion is empowering people and motivating them to support one another and the communities they serve. She draws inspiration from and is inspired by studying the work of master teachers Michelle Alexander, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Bryan Stevenson.
Michael Sallwasser
Michael Sallwasser is currently chair of the Social Justice Council at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach. Michael co-chaired the UUA’s Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee and served on the UUA Board of Trustees. Michael’s engagement with social justice activism started as a teenager and continues in his retirement.
GA 2021 SERVICE PROJECT
We are delighted to announce that MICAH (Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope) will be the recipient of this year’s collection at the General Assembly Sunday Morning Worship.
MICAH describes themselves as a “multi-racial, interfaith organization committed to justice issues of greatest importance to residents of Milwaukee, a city afflicted with racialized and concentrated poverty. MICAH is an affiliate of Gamaliel (a national network of Congregationally-Based Community Organizing organizations) and its statewide organization WISDOM. Critical to MICAH’s success over the years is its commitment to training and empowering ordinary people to do extraordinary things.” Several of our Milwaukee-area congregations (First Unitarian Milwaukee, UU Church West in Brookfield, and UU Church North in Mequon) have long-time, deep relationships with MICAH, and have actively participated in MICAH’s organizing and campaigns. Several UUs have served in various important leadership roles on MICAH’s board of directors over the years.
As the UUA’s Organizing and Strategy Team (OST) was talking with their contacts in Milwaukee organizing circles, OST heard over and over again how important MICAH’s work is to the ecosystem of justice-making in the city. In a moment in which some organizations that have garnered national attention over the past year are more financially stable and well-resourced, MICAH continues to collaborate widely with other organizations while also driving important campaign and organizing work itself. They have a long history of visionary Black leadership, true multi-faith collaboration, and synergistic partnership with frontline communities and organizations.
MICAH does community organizing in several key areas, including civic engagement, environment, criminal justice and prison reform, education, jobs & economic development, and transportation. And just this February, MICAH launched a public campaign to raise funds to expand their organizing staff to support local campaigns, including an important effort to prevent Ascension Health from defunding and closing the only hospital located in North Milwaukee, the heart of the city’s Black community. Currently, MICAH only has one paid staff person–the Executive Director/Lead Organizer–and this expansion of staff will greatly increase MICAH’s capacity and impact.
GA PRIDE DRAG SHOW RETURNS!
GA PRIDE DRAG SHOW
Thanks to sponsorship support from UUA Ministries and Faith Development – LGBTQ and Multicultural Programs Team, the Virtual GA Pride Drag Show returns! Register for GA and plan to join Rev. Presha Mann (Rev. Marcus Fogliano), our most fabulous host, for an evening of joy and fun!
Attention Queens and Kings: upload a 3-to-5-minute video of your drag performance by Thursday, May 27. Selected videos will premiere Friday evening, June 25 at 5:30 PDT / 6:30 MDT / 7:30 CDT / 8:30 EDT. $50 compensation will be offered per original submission, plus tips via Venmo and CashApp.
DELEGATE CREDENTIALS
a stamp with the word certified
The Credential Manager is now open and your congregation can begin distributing member delegate credentials for General Assembly. Credentials allow member delegates registered for GA, to vote on business matters. Congregations are responsible for assigning credentials to member delegates only. Eligible ministers and religious educators can retrieve their delegate credentials via ga-delegate.uua.org.
BANNER PARADE
A collection of colorful banners of UU Congregations
The banner parade is a GA institution, and this year we are excited to bring this tradition into a virtual format. We invite you to submit a high-resolution photo of your congregation’s banner in portrait-style (vertical). Banners will be shown as a slideshow video, accompanied with music and some introductions from our regional leaders. Submitted photos will also be uploaded to the GA app. We can’t wait to see your banners online and celebrate our congregations far and wide!
Submit your banner photo by Friday, April 30.
FLASH POLL
Reaction to this year’s Ware Lecture?
Extremely excited!
Now, I’ll register!
Meh.
Who are Abrams & Meade?
PREVIOUS POLL RESULTS
What is the ideal length of time for a web meeting or webinar?
Decorative pie chart
▇ 60 minutes max 52%
▇ 90 minutes max 31%
▇ 30-45 minutes max 12%
▇ 120 minutes max 4%
▇ I could go forever 1%
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