Drug War Forum March 12

The Failing Drug War in “Murdertown”

“Ending the drug war will not be a cure-all
for racial disparities, but it is a necessary first step.”
—Major Neill Franklin

war_on_us2_croppedThe Failing Drug War in “Murdertown” — A radical rethinking of police and community relations, will be the subject of a public forum held at the First Unitarian Church on March 12 at 4 p.m.

With a determination to understand and address the racial catastrophe known as the “war on drugs,” the church is bringing back the Forum, a popular educational and outreach event.

The keynote speaker will be Major Neill Franklin of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP). A former Baltimore City and Maryland State police officer, Major Franklin will speak about the drug war he fought on the streets for over 25 years — the impact on the communities he served and the toll it took on police themselves.

Following the talk by Major Franklin, a panel will speak briefly and answer questions. Panelists include Delaware State Senator Margaret Rose Henry, Chief Administrative Officer for New Castle County and former prosecutor Kathleen Jennings and Patrice Gibbs, racial justice activist and former street racketeer, of Cease Violence Wilmington.

In addition to the First Unitarian Church, several area social justice organizations are co-sponsors, including YWCA Delaware, ACLU of Delaware, Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence, Delaware Center for Justice, and Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow.

Click here to download a printable poster (pdf):


Revolutionary Love


Tools, Tactics, & Truth-Telling to Engage in Faithful Resistance & Reconciliation

This came from our former assistant minister Michelle Collins, who is now serving at Cedar Lane. Sorry for the short notice, but this looks like a great workshop—very appropriate for these times.

I wanted to extend a special invitation to you and members of your congregations to attend Seminary For A Day at Cedar Lane on Saturday, Feb. 18, 9 AM to 4 PM (registration begins at 8:30 AM).  Our theme this year is Revolutionary Love: Tools, Tactics, & Truth-Telling to Engage in Faithful Resistance & Reconciliation.

Our keynote speaker is the Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis who currently serves as senior minister at Middle Collegiate Church, a 1000-member multiracial, multicultural, pluralistic, and inclusive congregation in New York city.  Middle Church’s diversity looks like the subway, but its legendary love feels like home. Middle Church is a fierce voice for racial, LGBT, and economic equality.

Dr. Lewis’ keynote entitled “Change My Name” will draw from Isaiah 58:1-12 and the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Walter Brueggemann and Gloria Anzualdua, and will be about call in a time of chaos.

She writes, “We are called, in our pain, to be in solidarity with each other, a place of sanctuary for each other, a place of refuge and healing. Our broken hearts drive us out into the world to heal it, and in healing it we heal ourselves. We must also listen to our beating hearts. Where do we have energy? Excitement? Empathy? Where is joy found, even in tough times? At the place of brokenheartedness, at the place of gladness, in the space where our gifts meet the world’s needs, here we must say yes to the call on our lives.” Her talk is an invitation to help us think about our own calls AND how to ignite the callings of the people in our communities.

Dr. Lewis has taught countless congregations throughout the United States and in South Africa on how to build multiracial and multicultural congregations. Believing faith communities can lead the way to racial reconciliation, she co-founded a national conference, “Revolutionary Love,” to teach activists and faith leaders on how to advocate for racial justice in their communities and build multicultural constituencies.

Jacqui will be joined by thought leaders and activists from the DMV region and around the country who will lead workshops on being a sanctuary for immigrants, the theology of solidarity, combating Islamophobia, intersectionality, spiritual practices to ground us in the work, music & healing, environmental justice, women/lgbtq rights.  They include Rev. Graylan Haglar, Terry O’Neil from NOW, Rev. Rob Keithan, Taquiena Boston, Pam Sparr from the UUSC, Imam Tarek Elgawhary from Potomac Islamic Center, Joelle Novey from Interfaith Power & Light, & others.

The day will conclude with a multicultural, interfaith Spirit Experience led by Sanctuaries DC and international jazz musician, Farid “Fred” Johnson.

You may register now at https://www.uua.org/central-east/events/congregations-clusters/seminary-day?month=2017-02

A flyer to share may be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_WgiLfRymWzVDVseUM2QzJjbFk/view?usp=sharing