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People are Saying

“I have long believed that organized learning in our faith community is a powerful change agent. This workshop demonstrated how important it is that our learning engage both our minds and our hearts about how classism affects our congregation and community. The facilitators gave us a chance to start on an action plan which we hope will be a way of thinking and feeling about this issue in everything we do, rather than creating a new stand alone initiative. We need to stand together on this topic, that touches us all, in order to organize change. Enthusiasm is easier caught, than taught.” – Laurie Borden, treasurer, Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society


“My attitudes about class are complex and not always as transparent as I would like them to be. Along with race, it is an issue that presents moral dilemmas and stereotypes that even today I can find difficult to navigate. Giving me voice and the safety to speak, the workshop allowed me to share for the first time in a public venue my struggle as I moved out of my working class background (where most of my family still resides) to a professional middle class. It was liberating to share with others my move from one class to another has not been an easy one. For me, this workshop was as much a personal journey as it was looking at ways I could be less “class bias” in my actions and deeds here at CVUUS and in my larger communities.” – Michael Greenwood, Vice President, Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society


“This past election had a profound existential question about what it means to be American and who is included. Our Unitarian Universalist ancestors have answered that question by saying that all souls are worthy and we are to stand or (sit) on the side of love. How are we with welcoming the “other” and who is the “other”? Is it that Theist? That blue-collar worker? That Asian person? That person who uses a wheelchair? This is the time, more than ever, that we need to renew our faith as Unitarian Universalists by reaching out to fight for that America where everyone is able to bring their authentic selves to the welcome table. I thank UU Class Conversations for continuing to challenge our call to reach out and to welcome the all among us.” – Ben Gabel, Journey Towards Wholeness Transformation Committee, Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalists Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) Steering Committee


“UU Class Conversations is doing important work educating our denomination about class issues and combatting classism. Now more than ever, this matters to our communities and our nation.” – Rev. Christian Schmidt, senior co-minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, CA


“Building on the experience of a UU Class Conversations workshop we were able to engage leaders in our congregation in discussions on how class dynamics play out in areas such as worship, religious education, stewardship, and social justice programming.” – Bill Gardiner, Member First Parish in Arlington, MA


“I appreciate UU Class Conversations and their Create Justice — Not Walls Faithify Campaign. In many ways, class is the “final frontier” in our UU contexts. The UU Class Conversations group is leading us into tremendously important work. I love what they have been doing, and I welcome the way they are deepening the conversations by more fully embracing the intersectionality of race and class.” – Rev. Chip Roush, Chair of the General Assembly Planning Committee and co-editor of The Arc of the Universe is Long: Unitarian Universalists, Anti-racism, and the Journey from Calgary


“As we look to create greater economic justice and further advance our UU faith community’s anti-oppression work, it is vital to look at where our class assumptions, privilege and stereotypes impact with whom we connect – and how we do our work for wholeness. Class Conversations does this with gentle but effective exercises that lift up our diversity, the challenges and strengths we all have, and ways we can become more aware of our class biases. I strongly urge you to financially support this effort to bring class awareness and classism to the forefront of our social justice work.” – Rev. Dr. Kristen L Harper, Minister Unitarian Church of Barnstable, MA


“Any constructive conversation about class is good because class is the often-hidden factor that drives our biases and behaviors. Exposing those biases and unconscious behaviors to the light of day makes us better people, better leaders, and better citizens.” – Rev. William F. Schulz, President, UUSC


“As we live out our commitment to economic justice for all, we have much to learn from people from all class backgrounds and histories. This is a heart-expanding and mind-enriching
opportunity to learn from our complex stories of struggle, persistence, resilience and innovation.” – Dr. Sharon D. Welch, Provost and Professor of Religion and Society, Meadville Lombard Theological School


“This workshop allowed us to discover and better understand some class roots of our worldview.  Understanding where we have come from, where we are today, and where we may be going is critical to emerging Unitarian Universalism. This is the workshop we need for this work.” – Rev. Dr. Jim Sherblom, Senior Minister, First Parish in Brookline, MA


“Highly recommend. I think all churches would benefit from the insights gained in this workshop. Class consciousness is critical to strong church life and community.” – Rev. Rebecca Hinds, UU Urban Ministry


“The violence of economic inequality is epidemic, and the struggle for economic justice is central for a multiracial democracy that validates the inherent worth and dignity of all. UU Class Conversations gives our faith a home base to understand the gravity of the crisis and launch into the effective action we are called to take.” – Chris Crass, antiracist community organizer and author of Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy


“Mark Harris’ book Elite uncovers classism that has been part of Unitarian Universalist history. Our traditions and culture reflects those of the elite. UU Class Conversations calls us to challenge the dominant narrative and to create a movement that is inclusive of all souls.” – Ben Gabel, Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee member, UU ministry student

 

November 2017

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