UUA Organizing Strategy Team: Hope for the Holidays, for Georgia, & 2021

Just Acts: Hope for the Holidays & the New Year

Beloved First Unitarian Church of Honolulu,

I am so grateful for this holy season that celebrates birth and renewal, the human spirit and all spirit, persistence and miracles. The work we have done together for justice in 2020 has included all of that and it has been phenomenal. It’s been a year… a year that has included many wins, and losses, for our communities. I hope that you will be gathering in for the holidays in active hope, and grieving as you need to, nurtured by our UU faith community for the days ahead and the dawning of a new year.

Here at the UUA Organizing Strategy Team we are going to rest, renew, and get ready for 2021:

  • We’re coordinating Get Out the Vote in Georgia phone banks with Georgia UUs, frontline partners, and UU organizations and congregations from around the country throughout this month and early January. Please join our phone bank tonight – or find another date that works for you in December or January here at www.uuthevote.org/georgia/. Like the little jar of oil in the story of Hanukkah that burned for 8 days even though there was only enough oil for 1 night to light the menorah, we need to keep on and get to the finish line for the Senate run-off election on January 5th.
  • We will come together in the new year by celebrating our annual UU season of love and justice — 30 Days of Love with our Side with Love Campaign. Mark your calendars and save the dates–Jan. 17–Feb. 15. We will enter in on January 17th, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday and close out with shared commitments on February 14th, at a Valentine’s Day National Sunday of Love worship service, followed by a day of contemplation, evaluation, planning, and celebration. We will be offering spiritual sustenance, political orientation, education and action, music, art, and fun throughout the month! Some very inspiring guests will be joining us. We will be back to you in the new year with more details!
  • We will celebrate Inauguration Day 2021 and democracy, and lift up a vision and plan for what we can do in the first 100 days of a new administration and beyond. The grassroots organizing movements we have been taking leadership from are growing, building power, and have created the Thrive Agenda to guide and coordinate our efforts. The Poor People’s Campaign has developed the 14 Moral Priorities for the First 100 Days and a longer term Poor People’s Jubilee Platform. Please read and share to get ready to move forward together! (NOTE: The UUA Poor People’s Campaign Leadership Council and UUSJ are co-hosting the January 3rd UU the Vote phonebank to Georgia – this is a great way to start the new year together and build power – sign up here NOW and you’ll get all the info and reminders that you need!)
I have so much hope right now because in all my decades of organizing I have never seen so much alignment in movement and multifaith coalitions, and commitment of our UU community. Through a year of pandemic, intensified inequality, uprising against systemic racism, electoral justice organizing, rolling coup attempts, and rising fascism, we have come together so solidly and faithfully and we’ve been there for each other. That’s love. And that’s organizing.

I am grateful to all my colleagues at UU the Vote, especially our National Organizer Nicole Pressley, and our Organizing Strategy Team led by Rev. Ashley Horan, to UUA President Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, Executive Vice President Carey McDonald, and all our UUA staff, to our UU state action network leaders, to our UU justice organizations, to our clergy, our congregational leaders, and the thousands of UU volunteers who have held and supported this work with skill and grace. And, of course, all the organizers we have been working with at The Rising Majority and others in the movement for justice and liberation, nationally, state-wide, and locally.

If you would like to express some gratitude and send a gift to an organizer you’ve been following, check out this self-care BLUU Box Holiday 2020 filled with products created with love, rooted in caring for ourselves, and curated from Black-owned businesses. Proceeds will support the tremendous organizing work of Black Lives of UU.

May your holidays be filled with hope, renewal, activism, and love. May you rest and get ready!

This issue of Just Acts is dedicated in memory and love to the Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson, a beloved UU minister, a member of the UUA Congregational Life Staff Team, an anti-racist justice leader, my colleague, my friend, who embodied hope and persistence and was herself a miracle.

Susan
On behalf of the UUA Organizing Strategy Team

Susan Leslie
Congregational Advocacy & Witness Director
UUA Organizing Strategy Team
sleslie@uua.org, 617-948-4607
www.uua.org/justice * www.uuthevote.org

Our work is made possible by congregations’ generous gifts to the Annual Program Fund and individual friends like you. Please consider making a gift today!

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