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Building covenantal relationships among Unitarian Universalist women that equip us all to be better co-conspirators and allies in the movement for collective liberation.

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  • Monday, August 21, 2023 6:35 PM | Anonymous

    The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation is thrilled to bring a new program to our UU community. Finding Freedom:  White Women Taking On Our Own White Supremacy is a five-part series designed specifically for white and white-socialized women or genderqueer folks.

    The purpose of Finding Freedom is to deepen our individual and collective understanding of how we as white women and gender-expansive people are complicit with white supremacy, and how we can make changes that help us live more deeply and consistently into our racial justice commitments.

    UUWF is offering this series for three reasons:

    1. We know that our history as a primarily white upper middle class women’s organization includes dismissing, ignoring, silencing, and failing women of color, and we are committed to being an authentically multi-racial organization that practices an inclusive approach to justice work.  Part of doing that is for white women to hold ourselves accountable as white people, and do the work necessary to become more effective co-conspirators in the movement for collective liberation.
    2. We’ve heard from our members that they are interested in going beyond “Anti-racism 101” and explore their role as white people in dismantling white supremacy.  People have said that they want to dig deeper, and we want to do that with you.
    3. We want to provide practical tools for UU groups and congregations who are interested in taking their racial justice work to the next level.  We encourage several people from a UU group or congregation to participate together–it will make it easier to apply what we learn to our local justice work. 

    We are excited to have Evangeline Weiss and Kari Points facilitate Finding Freedom, because they bring lived experience as queer white women who also have a keen understanding of intersectionality, including the intersections of race, gender, and class. Evangeline and Kari have spent more than 40 years combined as white queer people working with communities, individuals and organizations that center racial, gender, and economic justice. They developed Finding Freedom and launched it in 2017, and to date, more than 500 white women and genderqueer people have participated in the workshop. We are in very good hands. 

    The Finding Freedom workshop series is right for you if you are striving to understand your own relationship to being white and how that impacts your ability to make your way in a multiracial world. All white women and genderqueer people are welcome in the workshops.

    Join us. Bring a few comrades from your congregation or UU group. Let’s dig in. 

  • Tuesday, August 15, 2023 6:50 AM | Anonymous
    My name is Mandy Goheen, and I am the Board President of the UUWF.  We are excited to offer a new workshop series–Finding Freedom:  White Women Taking on Our Own White Supremacy.  

    Why do I think this is important?  
    1. To build my own capacity.  I am a white minister in Chattanooga, Tennessee serving a congregation of around 160. The church I serve is a growing community that is creating beautiful diverse ways of belonging. As their minister, I am an integral part of creating a church in which BIPOC people are welcomed with love and enthusiasm, and who feel a sense of belonging in our community. This is one reason I am signing up to be part of Finding Freedom–so that I can continue to develop my capacity for deep racial and economic justice work.

    2. To build the capacity of my church.  Further, I am assembling a team of white women from our church to join me in the Finding Freedom series, so that we can deepen our understanding together, and bring our growth back to our shared work in the church.  

    3. To personally explore the relationship between race and class.  Personally, I know that working for collective liberation calls me to keep learning.  I am white woman married to a white man for twenty-nine years, and we have six children. As a couple, we have shifted from working poor to a military family to a well-established educated white middle-class homeowners. We have worked hard and done without comfort getting here; but we are comfortable now, and I know that these changes in our lives over time have come with new perspectives and blind spots. This is another reason I am excited to be part of Finding Freedom: to understand how my social mobility has influenced my understanding of justice.

    4. To be vigilant.  One of my spiritual practices is to ask myself, how can I do the most good? When I feel my defensiveness rising, or when I resist discomfort, I must push for growth. There is a temptation from my social location to proclaim my current identity as antiracist, feminist, abolitionist…and call it a day. I am the mother of six BIPOC people who teach me hard lessons daily. I have read the books and gone to many workshops.  So why, if I have worked this hard, do I need another workshop about owning my white woman bias?  This is why: 
      To build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialization that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination. – bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope

    The bottom line is - I need this training for me, for my family, and for my UU community. Yes, it is a time commitment, I think there is homework, it’s on Zoom, and a bit of a mystery. But the opportunity to do this good work with other white women feels like the reorientation to discomfort my heart needs to stay present in my work. Sounds fun to me because a good challenge brings me joy!

    I am excited to invite you to this work with me on behalf of the UUWF, an organization focused on building covenantal relations with women of all backgrounds  Will you join us in this collective learning opportunity?

    Space is limited!  Sign up today for “Finding Freedom: White Women Taking on Our Own White Supremacy.”  

    Register Now.  

  • Friday, May 19, 2023 3:55 PM | Anonymous

    The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation (UUWF) stands firmly with those who are tirelessly working to defend gender-affirming care and the rights of trans and gender expansive people to live fully as their authentic selves both publicly and privately. Our faith calls us, through our principles and sources, to love and care for one another. We are bound by our covenantal relationships to uphold these ideas to guide us on the path of beloved community and collective liberation.

    The UUWF firmly believes that each of us has the right to bodily autonomy, the sacred right to define our own identities, and the right to health care–including gender-affirming health care. We loudly oppose the work of those who would deprive parents and patients of the right to make the medical decisions that best fit their needs. All healthcare providers have a right and duty to provide life-saving care, including gender-affirming care, without interference from the state.

    We, the UUWF Board and Staff, are outraged and loudly oppose the hate-based violence against LGBTQIA+ people, including state and state-sanctioned violence. We demand a stop to the wave of attacks on the lives and liberty of trans and gender-expansive peoples. We recognize that due to the intersectionality of systemic oppression, People of Color are affected in different and more harmful ways than others. Our work to center women and femmes calls us to speak up and take action, and uplift marginalized voices, so that we move closer to justice.

    Our priorities, Women’s Health, Women & Work, Women’s Poverty, and Stopping Violence Against Women, all support our work to protect the rights and bodies of women, femmes, non-binary, and gender-expansive people. We side with you because this is our fight too.

    We are in this fight with communities affected by hate, violence, misinformation, and harm. We send love and care to all those directly affected in these states, and we see you. We side with you, your families, and your communities.

    Although we know it may be difficult, we encourage those in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana and other states where anti-trans activities are escalating, to take time to move mindfully through these tough moments. Schedule time for personal care, and to care for those around you. Reach out for help from those of us with more to offer.

    We ask that our UU community outside of the battleground areas spend time reaching out to those affected, connecting with your local justice ministries, and Side With Love. You can also learn more through The ACLU, The Human Rights Campaign, and The Trevor Project.

  • Tuesday, March 28, 2023 3:37 PM | Anonymous

    The UU Women's Federation has signed on to the following letter to John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change, in support of Resolution A/77/L.58 -- International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on Climate Change and Human Rights. A PDF copy, include all signers, can be found here.

    As religious organizations and people of faith, we are writing to ask you to support Resolution A/77/L.58 in the United Nations General Assembly initiated by Vanuatu and other states, requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on climate change and human rights. Supporting this resolution would demonstrate US commitment and global leadership in addressing the profound implications of climate change. It will also offer a powerful testimony to the connections we share with the earth and our global human family; connections we are called to honor by every sacred tradition.

    We celebrate the concrete steps the US has taken toward achieving ambitious climate mitigation and adaptation goals, including:

    • net-zero by 2050
    • actively encouraging other governments to pursue ambitious climate action in their climate policies
    • U.S. leadership on the establishment of the Loss & Damage Fund
    • leading numerous multilateral climate initiatives, such as the Global Methane Pledge.

    The Biden Administration has already shown a strong commitment to centering justice in US domestic environmental policy, including through its Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. Supporting the UNGA resolution would demonstrate a similar commitment on the global stage.

    By supporting efforts to secure an ICJ advisory opinion, you can build on this necessary record of US climate leadership and strengthen critical international partnerships with countries advancing this initiative. The initiative already has 117 co-sponsors, the formal endorsements of the Caribbean community (CARICOM), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the co-sponsorship of 26 of 27 members of the European Union. We are called, as ancestors in the making and faithful stewards of this precious planet, to act with humility, courage, and determination. The US has the opportunity to be a bold, imaginative, and powerful voice needed in this moment.

    The UNGA resolution seeks to ensure that all States’ rights and obligations are considered without singling out any one State or government. The Court’s decision will help clarify how existing international laws and commitments, including human rights and environmental frameworks, should shape or drive global climate well-being efforts, bringing consistency and coherence to the way that international laws grapple with one of the world’s most complex problems.

    We implore you to be a champion for climate justice and for our collective future by voting yes and further advocating for the UNGA resolution for an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on climate change. Endorsing this resolution as it is tabled would send a clear signal to present and future generations that their governments are responding to climate change with the necessary resolve and a recognition that it is fundamentally linked, as both cause and effect, to other global challenges. Our communities of faith are watching. The issues of climate justice and human rights cannot be separated. Vote yes on March 29th.

  • Thursday, March 16, 2023 8:55 AM | Anonymous

    March honors Women’s History Month, Black Women’s History Week, Disability Awareness Month, Equal Pay Day, International Women’s Day, and many more days of observance. As we celebrate all month long, it is important to center intersectional feminism and continue the fight worldwide for equal opportunity and justice!

    March 14, 2023 marked Women's Equal Pay Day -- the perfect time for us to raise awareness about pay equity and workplace justice. Download our Pay Equity Toolkit and infographic for lots of resources you can investigate and share.

  • Monday, February 20, 2023 9:57 AM | Anonymous

    The UUWF has joined 110 religious, religiously-affiliated, values-based, and faith-centered organizations and communities -- representing millions of people of faith and conscience committed to securing universal access to affordable health coverage including coverage for abortion care -- in expressing our strong and unequivocal support for the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Act, which was just introduced in the House of Representatives.

    For over 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has pushed time-sensitive, essential abortion care out of reach for countless Americans by discriminating against those struggling to make ends meet. Now, the measure not only denies abortion coverage through Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but also extends to federal employees and dependents, military personnel and dependents, Peace Corps volunteers, indigenous peoples
    receiving care from federal or tribal programs, pregnant individuals in federal prisons and detention centers, pregnant individuals receiving care from community health centers, and survivors of human trafficking. The EACH Act would permanently end Hyde and related coverage bans while prohibiting political interference in private insurance coverage of abortion at all levels of government. Currently, abortion care is banned in at least 13 states with more restrictions on the horizon. In this anti-abortion environment, it is even more essential that everyone is able to make their own decisions about our health care and futures, and to thrive in their communities with dignity.

    Indeed, coverage bans further enshrine systemic racism in our federal laws and regulations and strip the poor of access to abortion, disproportionately impacting those struggling financially; Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities; young people; people living with disabilities; rural communities; immigrants; and LGBTQ individuals. People in the United States are facing severe economic duress compounded by a growing health crisis and firmly institutionalized racism; we cannot afford to further wrong the most vulnerable. As people of faith and conscience, we believe in the inherent dignity and equal worth of all people. We are, therefore, called to treat all individuals with respect, no matter their income, insurance, gender, race, or other factors.

    We also believe in the power of compassion to build a just and fair society. Our nation is at its best when our laws match our compassion. A compassionate nation ensures that every single person can access quality, timely medical services from trusted providers when they seek abortion care — regardless of how much they earn, how they are insured, or where they live. Because of our faith traditions, consciences, and deep respect for an individual’s moral agency, we support policies grounded in compassion that protect each person’s right to care for their own body, health, and well-being and to ensure all others can do the same.

    Finally, religious freedom is an essential shared principle undergirding our support of policies that ensure equitable access to abortion. The United States is home to people of many different faiths as well as people with no religious affiliation. We cannot limit an individual’s religious liberty by enshrining one set of beliefs into law and restricting their ability to make personal decisions about their pregnancy, health, and family according to their own religious or moral beliefs and conscience. No government committed to human rights and democracy can privilege one religion over another.

    Eschewing insurance coverage bans is a moral good. No one should be denied an abortion because of who they are, where they live, or how much they earn. It is long past time for our elected officials to eliminate the Hyde Amendment and all bans that interfere with people receiving the care they need. We welcome the introduction of the EACH Act and encourage you to support this critical legislation.

    A PDF of this letter, with the full list of signatures, is available here.

  • Thursday, December 01, 2022 12:52 PM | Anonymous

    We are commemorating our HERstories, our achievements, and the ambitions of the UUWF.

    The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation has always upheld and extended the tenets of Unitarian Universalism as we’ve safeguarded the sensitivity, vision, and pioneering spirit of women in our faith community.

    Our archival footprints document our desire to serve the social and spiritual needs of people through fellowship, group expression, and programs of education, service, and action. We strive to create an appreciation for the joy of life and an understanding of its deeper meaning. It has always been our wish to join wholeheartedly with people everywhere in striving for universal human dignity, freedom, and peace. With that, we have historically been the voice for women as an affiliate of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

    With our 60th anniversary nearing, the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation will be taking this time to commemorate the HERstories of our past, the achievements of the present, and our ambitions for the future. In efforts to diversify and expand the reach of the UUWF, this anniversary offers us an opportunity to build a more dynamic and inclusive membership base. We are excited to elevate our history while also centering and sharing the diverse stories and experiences of UU women and femmes, trans and cis, young and the not-as-young. We understand that we can learn from each other no matter where we are on our activist journeys.

    One of the ways that we are choosing to embody more inclusive practices is by no longer requiring payment. We continue to deeply appreciate those who are able to share their financial resources, and we also recognize that people contribute in many ways beyond money.

    We welcome you to pay as you can. Just as importantly, we hope you join us in building covenantal relationships among Unitarian Universalist women that equip us all to be better co-conspirators and allies in the movement for collective liberation.

  • Friday, June 24, 2022 12:27 PM | Anonymous

    Today, The Supreme Court robbed us of our bodily autonomy, our right to privacy, and our right to comprehensive reproductive care in the United States of America. The overturning of Roe V Wade via Dobbs v Jackson was expected, but that makes it no less awful.   
    The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation intends to help our community connect to ongoing activism to restore our rights. We encourage you to consider focusing your action at state-level work, as this fight is going to play out state by state. We will continue to provide resources for you to connect with groups in your local area as we can. We anticipate powerful opportunities to partner with groups on the ground both within and beyond our UU community in the coming months.  

    This is a dark day.  We will kindle light.

    To stay connected as this new phase of reproductive justice unfolds, sign up on our website.

  • Tuesday, June 21, 2022 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation (UUWF) wholeheartedly and unequivocally supports anti-racism as central to our spiritual practice and our faith. We believe that Unitarian Universalism calls us to actively confront racism and white supremacy in our communities, institutions, and congregations. As such, we support the adoption of the Eighth Principle: “We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse and multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”

    Furthermore, the UUWF rejects the resistance to anti-racism that is alive within our faith community. This counter-movement threatens our ability to fully realize all of the principles of Unitarian Universalism. For without anti-racism, we cannot claim to affirm and uphold the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Without anti-racism, we cannot promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. Without anti-racism, we cannot accept one another and encourage spiritual growth in our congregations. Without anti-racism, we cannot create a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. Without anti-racism, we cannot pursue a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Without anti-racism, we cannot uphold the right of conscience and the use of democratic process in our congregations and society at large. Without anti-racism, we cannot respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

    Without anti-racism, we cannot be true to the tenets of our faith tradition.

    At the 2022 General Assembly, delegates will vote on candidates for seats on the UUA Board of Directors. Two of these seats are contested by candidates who chose to forgo the UUA Nominating Committee Process and instead run by petition. Both of these candidates have publicly stated their direct opposition to the UUA administration and Board’s commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression work—work that has the overwhelming support of groups and individuals across our faith, as reflected by 2021 GA Delegates in their vote on the Statement of Conscience “Undoing Systemic White Supremacy: A Call to Prophetic Action.”

    The UUWF enthusiastically endorses the slate of candidates put forth by the UUA Nominating Committee and, in particular, we endorse the contested candidates Reverend Justine Sullivan and Reverend Suzanne Fast, both proven UU leaders who have demonstrated deep commitment to our faith and the necessary work of anti-racism. We call on all GA delegates to join us in supporting these candidates and embracing our call to the critical work of racial healing and justice.

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