Calling on the Power of Love

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Dear Ones,

Our Unitarian Universalist tradition reminds us of the power of Love to carry us through times of adversity. It’s a message we in the disability community know well, from our own experience and history.

Many in our far flung and diverse community are feeling the weight of increased apprehension today.  We know too well where this rhetoric of hate can lead – devaluing our humanity, cutting vital services, undermining our rights, and putting lives in peril.  My heart breaks with the knowledge that many Americans, many Unitarian Universalists, will not notice, their attention riveted on the damage to other communities on the margins.  My heart reaches out to yours in these difficult times.

Whether we consider ourselves disabled or a person with a disability, or neither, I have faith that the trying times ahead will bring us together.  We are creative, resourceful, and resilient people!  We will not be deterred.

As we traverse these difficult days, if you feel anxious or invisible, or stressed in some other way, please, practice the both/and of taking care of yourself and reaching out to receive support, and to offer it when you can.

I got up this morning and I lit a chalice: “In this cup, symbol of community, I kindle this light of love, hope, and justice that it may be a beacon in a hurting world.” Now, it has never been my practice to light a chalice when I get up!  But today, that small ritual let me feel connected to our faith, our values, and this community.  May this be our gift to one another: you are not alone.

Regards,

Suzanne

 

Suzanne Fast

President, EqUUal Access

We Remember: Carolyn Cartland

" "It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death yesterday of Carolyn Cartland, who was a founder and former President of EqUUal Access.  Carolyn helped to launch and to shape this organization.  While she had not been active nationally with EqUUal Access recently, she was available to share her insights and perspective with the Board.  We will miss her.

Carolyn’s advocacy for Unitarian Universalists with disabilities long predates the founding of EqUUal Access, including service on the UUA’s Accessibility Committee and Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee.  And it continued after she left our Board, as she supported the Team currently bringing the Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry (AIM) Program to her congregation.  A social worker by profession, Carolyn’s advocacy was not limited to the world of Unitarian Universalism!

There will be a memorial service for Carolyn on Wednesday, September 7, at 11 a.m., at the Unitarian Society of Hartford, CT.

We invite you to share your remembrances of Carolyn on our Facebook page, by emailing EqUUalAccess@gmail.com, or as comments here.

Winning Sermon Posted

Congratulations, Monterey!

Presentation of Sermon Award
Presentation of Sermon Award

Monterey Buchanan’s sermon, The Disability Come to Jesus Talk, was selected as the winner of the first annual EqUUal Access Sermon Contest.  The award was presented as part of the EqUUal Access Celebration at General Assembly 2016.  You can read the sermon and find out more about Monterey on our new Sermons page under the Resources tab

Information for submitting a sermon for consideration for the 2017 Sermon Contest will be posted here when available!

EqUUal Access at General Assembly

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Come by our booth in the Exhibit Hall to find out about the advocacy and education work of EqUUal Access, to learn about the Accessibility & Inclusion Ministry (AIM) Program, and to share your story.  We’ve got ribbons & buttons & good conversation.  Learn about hearing loops and get a demonstration (did you know all of Plenary Hall is looped this year thanks to EA member Warren Brown!)  Many thanks to all the volunteers from EqUUal Access and the AIM congregations who make our booth outreach possible!

EqUUal Access Celebration

Thursday 1:30-2:30pm  Room C113 in the Convention Center

We recognize our 2016 sermon contest winner, the first ever AIM certified congregation, and other leaders in the disability rights movement. This is a private event, so you won’t find it listed in your program book or the app schedule, but all are welcome.

AIM Workshop

Bringing Accessibility & Inclusion Ministry to Your Congregation

Friday 3:00-4:15pm   Room C223-225 in the Convention Center

Want to know what all the buzz is about concerning the AIM program? Join us Friday at GA to hear from AIM congregations and learn more about this vital Social Justice ministry.

Eli Clare Workshop

At the Intersection of Queerness & Disability

Saturday 4:45-6:00pm  Room E160 in the Convention Center

What are the connections among ableism, homophobia, and transphobia? How do issues around queer disability identities fit into a broader intersectional social justice framework.  Co-sponsored by EqUUal Access, TRUUsT, & UUA Multicultural Ministries.

 

#BoycottWendy’s GA rally Wednesday: Accessible Transportation

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“UUSC & UUA endorse Wendy’s boycott led by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers”

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) has collected over 10,000 signatures urging Wendy’s to sign the Fair Food Pledge, which will be delivered to Wendy’s headquarters during General Assembly.  In support of that, there will be a rally on Wednesday, June 22 at 1pm.

The UUSC has chartered a wheelchair/scooter accessible bus for the rally!  Here’s the link to sign up.  (Please, note that form is similar to the one for the GA Public Witness event on Thursday evening).  Buses should be loading by 12:30pm.  A return trip in time for the Berry Street Lecture is anticipated.

The UUSC and the UUA have endorsed the Wendy’s Boycott led by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.  Wendy’s is the last fast food chain refusing to join the Fair Food Program, which brings human rights protections in the fields and an additional penny per pound to farm workers.  This rally is an opportunity for solidarity in this important work.

GA Public Witness Accessibility — Act Now

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“State of Emergence: Faith Filled People Rally for Racial Justice”

Unlike recent years, there will not be a procession to the Public Witness Event at General Assembly this year.  Instead, everyone is being asked to make their way to the Ohio State Capitol, about a mile from the convention center, where the event will be held.

Speakers at this rally will include Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Alicia Garza, UUA President Peter Morales and more!

Click here for the event’s FAQs including extensive information about transportation options

All regular route public transit buses are wheelchair/scooter accessible. Each bus can accommodate 2 chairs or scooters.

Some alternatives to Regular route buses need to be arranged in advance:

*Paratransit: If you have a disability related reduced fare ID card for your local public transit, you can arrange to use it for this event, but you must do so in advance.  You can reserve transportation to the Public Witness event with COTA Mobility Services but you must make these arrangements by June 17!  Call 614-275-5833 to make these arrangements.

*Charter Buses:  There are a limited number of spaces on chartered buses for people using wheelchairs or scooters (with some seating for your friends as well).  Places are limited, so sign up as soon as you canClick here for a direct link to the charter bus signup form

For fuller descriptions of all the transportation options and more, see the State of Emergence FAQs.