UU Advocacy Network To Air Delaware Issues in Grassroots Policy Forum

Building a Movement of Movements

Saturday, January 6
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
UU Fellowship of Newark

The Unitarian Universalist Delaware Advocacy Network (UUDAN) will kick off a new legislative/advocacy year with an all-day Grassroots Policy Forum on January 6.  Speakers will address Justice Reform in the morning and  Environmental Justice in the afternoon.

Building a Movement of Movements is the theme of the forum.  The phrase “Movement of Movements” is from the book Daring Democracy which is one of two Unitarian Universalist Common Reads for 2017–2018.  This powerful phrase perfectly captures the outpouring of organizational energy that is fueling progress in Delaware.

The Forum will include the following presentations:

Kathleen MacRae, Executive Director of the ACLU-Delaware, will speak on “Decarceration”
Alan Davis, Chief Magistrate of the Delaware Justice of the Peace Court, will address Bail Reform
Jeffrey Richardson, Professor of Black American Studies at the University of Delaware will talk on Economic Justice

In addition, Forum will include local grassroots organizers and action-oriented breakout sessions around these key issues. The full program can be found here: Building a Movement of Movements (pdf).

There is no cost to attend, and a free vegetarian lunch will be catered by Newark’s Olive Tree Café.

If you plan to attend this forum, register at Eventbrite .


What Is UUDAN?

This event has been planned by Donna Shand of the Newark UU Fellowship, Jack Guerin of the UU Mill Creek, and Jeff Lott of First Unitarian. Jack and Donna are co-chairs of UUDAN.

cropped-UUDAN-new-logo_3UUDAN is a membership organization with roots in all five of Delaware’s UU congregations. It is part of a coalition of 22 State Advocacy Networks (SANs) formed across the country to give voice to Unitarian Universalist values in the public arena through a statewide advocacy and public policy network anchored in our faith and animated by its principles.

Membership in UUDAN is individual, not congregational. To receive information about UUDAN’s legislative and advocacy activities—and to be a part of determining its platform—you are asked to become part of the Network.

Joining UUDAN is free and you do not have to be a member of a UU congregation to be part of the Network.

Click here to join UUDAN.




Protect Transgender and GLBTQ Kids

Passing this along to Connector readers on behalf of Equality Delaware. There have been some letters in the News-Journal opposing the proposed DDOE  regulation—and none in favor. The public comment period ends December 4.


Eqoality Delaware logoAt Governor Carney’s request, the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) has published for public comment a proposed regulation that will protect students against harmful discrimination in school based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression. The proposed regulation would help to ensure that public and charter schools in Delaware are accepting and inclusive spaces for ALL students, including LGBTQ students.

There is a public comment period on the proposed regulation that lasts until December 4, 2017, and we need your voice in this important discussion.

A national study by GLSEN indicates that 75% of transgender youth, for example, do not feel safe at school. Equality Delaware officials have reviewed the regulation and the model non-discrimination policy proposed by the DDOE. We support this regulation and encourage its immediate adoption. This proposal is an excellent first step to ensure a safe and affirming school environment for all students, free from discrimination.

There are anti-LGBTQ groups and others in Delaware that are actively working to oppose this regulation, so it is critical that the DDOE hears from our community in support of the proposed regulation. We also encourage you to copy your state and local legislators and school board members on your comments, and to encourage others to comment favorably on the proposed regulation.


To: DOEregulations.comment@doe.k12.de.us
Subject: Proposed Regulation 225 Prohibition of Discrimination

Dear Secretary Bunting,

Thank you for your leadership in developing a regulation and model policy to prevent discrimination in Delaware schools. This is a great step forward for our State. It is important for our schools to be places where all students feel safe and accepted for who they are. I think the proposed regulation could be strengthened to further protect students from discrimination, and I support the immediate adoption of the proposed regulation.

All students should feel safe in school, and no student should face discrimination. In particular, LGBTQ students, especially transgender students, need this guidance so that all schools understand that LGBTQ students should be treated in a non-discriminatory manner, and with dignity and respect.

Thank you for your dedication to strengthen anti-discrimination protections in our schools.



Comments can also be submitted by mail to:
Delaware Department of Education
RE: 225 Prohibition of Discrimination
401 Federal Street, Suite 2
Dover, Delaware 19901

Thanks for making your voice heard,

Mark Purpura and Lisa Goodman

Equality Delaware


Saturday: Silent March for Racial Justice and Compassion in Newark


“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.


-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


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.”


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.


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