Retired Unitarian Universalist minister, the Rev. Dr. Dorothy Emerson, and Denise Moorehead, a member of First Parish UU in Framingham, Mass., had the opportunity to take a train-the-trainer workshop in January 2013 with the nonprofit organization Class Action.
Having met through the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee several years ago, they began talking about how the training content resonates with our Unitarian Universalist work for social justice and how it reflects the denomination’s values. We came together to devise a series of workshops for Unitarian Universalists to explore class and to understand the impact of classism on our society and our own denomination. The intended impact is to create a more class diverse faith community while growing membership.
We contacted Betsy Leondar-Wright, former Class Action program director and a member of the Arlington, Mass., UU congregation, about the project. She immediately got on board, and we began with this small Steering Committee. We then recruited a number of Advisory Board members. We debuted the workshops in January 2014 and have facilitated them nationwide, including at General Assembly and regional gatherings. We have since enlarged our Steering Committee, which is equally geographically representative of the denomination.
We also have worked in partnership with Suzanne Zilber, who developed a curriculum that congregations may use in conjunction with Class Conversations workshops.