Saturday: Silent March for Racial Justice and Compassion in Newark

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“People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite… [Our humanity] is a flame that can be hidden, but never extinguished.”
Nelson Mandela

Saturday, Oct. 28
March steps off at 9:00 a.m.
George Wilson Community Center
303 New London Rd, Newark, DE 19711

Parking at UD Lot 6 (Clayton Hall), across from community center.

Led by the NAACP and supported by the organizations listed below, this will be a silent march through Newark, harkening back to the NAACP Silent Protest Parade 100 years ago in NYC. The march will return to the George Wilson Community Center for a closing rally featuring faith and community leaders.

Register for the march at Eventbrite. Space at the community center rally is limited.

We will be marching together to join our minds and hearts in order to make a conscious choice to show respect for one another. Moreover, we will remember and honor Newark, Delaware‘s own history, and all of those who have suffered injustice and marched before us. We will be joining them in hope for a just and equitable future for the whole human family. Together we will be taking a stand for racial justice in our local communities and in our nation. We stand in unity with compassion in order to create this change.

Schedule:

-Speakers: 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

  • Freeman Williams, Newark NAACP – Masters of ceremony
  • Rev. Blaine Hackett, St. John’s AM – Invocation
  • Sylvester Woolford, Historian – Newark racial history
  • Florine Henderson, NAACP – March directions

-March: 10:00 – 11:00 am

There will also be presenters who will remain at the George Wilson Center during this time for those who choose not to march.

-Speakers: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

  • Sen. Stephanie Hansen – Community engagement and the political process
  • Jeffery Richardson – University of Delaware, Environmental Justice
  • Sherry Dorsey – Community engagement
  • Rev. Lawrence Livingston – Sending message and closing prayer

Adjusting to new ringtones

Changed Priorities Ahead

Being responsive to shifts and changes—in justice work and beyond—is hard and crucial for Unitarian Universalists.

BY JANE RANNEY RZEPKA | From UUWorld – 10/23/2017
I keep the ringer on, so in the grocery store I’ll hear my cell phone. At least, it sounds like my phone. As I begin to root around in my bag, I notice four or five other shoppers on high alert, locating their own phones. We’ve all taken the easy way out, opting to settle for the phone’s default ring tone.

So impulsively, standing in place, I change all the sounds my phone makes. No trumpet fanfares, mind you, or ducks quacking or chortling babies, and definitely not the sound of a toilet flushing. Just some modest twinkles, birdsong chirps, and chimes to alert me to texts, AirDrops, reminders, and all that. For the main ringtone I click on “classic,” the familiar sound of an old-fashioned landline. An actual ring. I didn’t give my new adjustments another thought.

Oddly, over the next few days I didn’t seem to receive any texts or calls. As I moved along the sidewalk, I thought I heard the faint sound of old-fashioned phones ringing in nearby offices, birdsong chirps overhead, and chimes, but nothing that announced to my brain, “Jane! It’s your phone!” I had not overhauled my own responses, so I missed all my calls.

A trivial example, to be sure, but changing our responses is, for most of us, a big project. Within Unitarian Universalism, some of us have changed our response to the term “white supremacy” from “nothing to do with me” to “I have to look at this and take action.” Along with composer Jason Shelton, those of us who were not awake to the exclusionary, ableist aspect of his hymn’s title/lyric “Standing on the Side of Love,” are modifying our response from “Count me in” to “Let’s sing ‘Answering the Call of Love.’” Once upon a time, when we Unitarian Universalists added a Source to our bylaws that began, “Words and deeds of prophetic women and men,” we applauded the novelty of naming women before men. But our reaction is different today. “Words and deeds of prophetic people” is more inclusive of all genders.

And these are only examples from our little pond!

Read the rest of this article at UUWorld

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The Rev. Dr. Jane Rzepka served as senior minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Larger Fellowship from 1999 to 2010. She is the author of A Small Heaven: Meditations and co-author of Thematic Preaching: An Introduction. Her latest book is From Zip Lines to Hosaphones: Dispatches from the Search for Truth and Meaning (Skinner House, 2011).

Making Connections with Local Communities

Research, Race, and Equality
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 1:30 to 5:30pm
Delaware Historical Society

Yasser Payne of the University of Delaware asked us to let you know about this program. He reports that “Mayor Purzycki, County Executive Matt Meyers, Kathleen Jennings, Ashley Biden, Rita Landgraf, Dr. James Foreman (Keynote), among others will join us to speak with civic and political leadership as well as local residents about the importance of conducting intervention studies on violence with and for the community in the City of Wilmington.”

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On to the March for a Culture of Peace!

 

Last night’s anti-racism workshop drew 60 people, including about 10 members of First Unitarian, community members of all races, and two carloads of students from the University of Delaware.

We sat in a large circle in the Parish Hall and spoke and thought deeply about how racism affects each and every one of us—from the black mother of three whose fourth grader was surrounded by police officers and questioned about why he wasn’t in school (he was homeschooled) to the biracial woman who said she never knew quite where she stood in American society to the white woman who observed racism in her elementary schoolyard and has been carrying her anger about it for more than 60 years. It was a powerful, emotional two hours.

Peace Week Delaware continues with more great events today and Friday. And on Saturday, you are urged to come to Rodney Square for the fourth annual March for a Culture of Peace, which steps off at 11:30 and is followed by “A Day of Peace—Community Rally and Resource Fair.” Please join this important public witness. Wear yellow and carry signs.

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Members of First Unitarian Church at the 2016 March for a Culture of Peace.   Photo by Elizabeth Siftar. (We miss you, Elizabeth!)

 

 

A Note About Tonight’s Workshop: Is Anti-Racism Work “One and Done?”

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Are these people racists?

Are they part of the white supremacy system?

Is anti-racism work “one and done?”

Since most of the subscribers to this blog are members of First Unitarian Church, I want to clarify something about tonight’s “I Am Not a Racist!” workshop. It is not a rehash of the several workshops and meetings that First Unitarian has done about racism and white supremacy. 

Rather, two experienced workshop leaders from the Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow are tonight’s presenters. Although some of the concepts that will be discussed tonight may not be new to anti-racist UUs, the content of the workshop will be different.

And besides, even if this is your 30th workshop about racism, you will find it valuable. Been there and done that? Think again: One or two experiences of confronting the white supremacy do not make it possible for us to say, in all honesty, “I am not a racist.” 

In peace,

Jeff

 

Tonight: “I Am Not a Racist”

“I Am Not a Racist!”—
Confronting Race, Racism, and White Supremacy

In this 2-hour facilitated workshop, participants will explore white privilege and structural racism in society through their personal experiences of race. Questions include: How does white supremacy affect all of us—and not just black and brown people? What can we do to combat racism in our personal lives, workplaces, and government structures?

Where: First Unitarian Church, 730 Halstead St, Wilmington, DE, 19803
When: 6:00-8:00 pm, Wednesday, Sept. 20
Sponsored by: Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow & First Unitarian Church of Wilmington
Questions?: Darlene Scott, darlenescott99@gmail.com

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