A blog has been created to be a beacon for education about mental health in order to remove stereotypes and prejudice and to promote understanding and justice within Unitarian Universalism and beyond. It is a joint project of the EqUUal Access Mental Health Caucus and the mental health community ministry of Rev. Barbara F. Meyers. Access it and sign up to follow the blog at: UUMentalHealth.org/
The Unitarian Universalist Association has rolled out the name Side with Love for its flag-ship social justice campaign. In replacing the name Standing on the Side of Love, the campaign acknowledged that our community has been calling attention to the exclusionary language of the name from the beginning. At General Assembly 2017, Rev. Theresa Soto brought forward a Responsive Resolution asking for a re-imagining of the name (see post). Staff from the UUA worked on the name change in consultation with Rev. Soto, leaders from EqUUal Access, and other stakeholders, which has led to today’s announcement.
The UUA’s announcement lists 3 opportunities from this re-imagining:
- to firmly name what we are for and against. To recognize that as we seek to embody universalism we commit to resisting oppression.
- [to contemplate] provocative spiritual questions including “When have I sided with love? When have I shirked siding with love?
- to expand and deepen our understandings of the ways ableism shows up within the justice and spiritual communities we participate in, create and cultivate.
EqUUal Access encourages all Unitarian Universalists, UU communities, and UU organizations, to embrace these opportunities.
In addition to the resources provided by Side With Love in the announcement, you can find more about ableism under the Resources page on this website.
Let us know how you are encountering — and countering — ableism. Join the conversation on Facebook! Enter your sermon in our annual sermon contest! Submit your photo for our anti-ableism multi-media project!
A new AIM Newsletter is available: http://www.equualaccess.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AIM-January-2018-Newsletter.pdf
To be eligible, the sermon must be preached on or before April 29, 2018. The winner will be announced at General Assembly in Kansas City, and will receive a $500 award. Both clergy and lay-preachers are encouraged to participate.
To enter, email your sermon and a separate cover page to info@EqUUalAccess.org with the subject line “EqUUal Access Sermon Contest.” Your cover page should contain: your name, address, phone number, email address, sermon title, congregation to whom the sermon was delivered, and date the sermon was delivered. Your sermon should contain a title, and all identifying references (your name, name of the congregation, etc.) should be absent. Submissions must be in MS Word or Plain Text (PDF not acceptable.)
Entries must be submitted by May 6, 2018.
We’re pleased to announce that Rev. Helen McFadyen has been hired to be the new AIM Administrator, who will be taking over from our beloved administrator Michelle Avery Ferguson. Michelle will be training Helen over the next month.
Growing up in a blended blue-collar family in Montreal, Helen McFadyen reflects a mix of cultures including Metis (Indigenous) and French Canadian. She has worked and volunteered for years around disability rights and accessibility concerns in various municipalities, and for organizations such as Guide Dog Users of Canada and the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians.
Helen trained and worked bi-vocationally, credentialing both as a UU minister and as a spiritual health practitioner (hospital chaplain). A self-avowed lifetime learner, Helen is currently doing research that examines the impact of mutual supportive relationships on residents of intentional communities as part of a Doctor of Ministry degree program.
A dedicated member of EqUUal Access for about a decade and EA’s Consultant for International Liaison for two years, Helen now brings her enthusiasm, energy, experience, and skills to AIM.
Thanks to the Internet and telephone communication technology, Rev. Helen will be able to work closely with AIM congregations. “This is a commitment without borders”, she reflected upon accepting the Administrator position.
Rev. Helen McFadyen lives in the province of British Columbia where she serves as Developmental Minister to the UU Fellowship of Kamloops. She enjoys swimming, playing ukulele, and hiking with her faithful companion and guide dog, Camilla.
CONTACT AIM ADMINISTRATOR:
Telephone: (857) 990-6388
Here is a link to an engaging video created by Rev. Helen McFadyen for the EqUUal access both at GA in 2017 in New Orleans:
At the 2017 General Assembly there was a Responsive Resolution written by Rev. Theresa Ines Soto to change the name of the UUA’s flag-ship social justice campaign “Standing on the Side of Love” to something less ableist. After some debate, it passed overwhelmingly. It was an historic moment when ableism was at last recognized as something important within Unitarian Universalism. The picture on the left shows the vote of the delegates, with Theresa in the center. The picture on the right shows EqUUal Access leaders Rev. Barbara Meyers and Rev. Suzanne Fast during the debate.
From gatherings to celebrations and workshops, EqUUal Access is hosting an event every day of General Assembly. See below for a complete list. Plan to join us at one of our events, or simply swing by the EqUUal Access booth #408. We’d love to get to know you!
Gathering of Disabled Religious Professionals / Religious Professionals with a Disability
Who: Disabled Religious Professionals / Religious Professionals with a Disability
What: Come for community, for food, and to begin a conversation on how we might support one another’s vocations in Unitarian Universalism. Members of all UU religious professions are welcome.
When: Wednesday, June 21 from 6:15 PM to 7:15 PM
Where: Hampton Inn & Suites, Cottonmill Room
Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry (AIM) Gathering
Who: Local AIM Teams
What: AIM Congregations gather to discuss their experiences and ways forward.
When: Thursday, June 22 from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Where: Convention Center, room 213
EqUUal Access Celebration
What: Join us as we honor our sermon contest winner, two new AIM certified congregations, and those individuals who have worked for justice for our community during their lifetime.
When: Friday, June 23 from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Where: Convention Center, room 213
The Right to Be Rescued: Climate & Disability Workshop
What: Disasters disproportionately affect people with disabilities. As the frequency and severity of disasters rises with climate change, the courts have recognized that we have a right to be rescued. Hear the stories, learn about emerging best practices, and explore how you and your congregation can be part of creating solutions.
When: Saturday, June 24 from 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Where: Convention Center, room 433
Dr. Kimberley Jackson’s sermon, Disability, Identity, and the Circle of Life, has been selected as the winner of the 2017 EqUUal Access Sermon Contest! The sermon will be honored as part of the EqUUal Access Celebration at General Assembly in New Orleans. You can read the sermon and find out more about Dr. Jackson on our Sermons page under the Resources tab.
Information for submitting a sermon for consideration for the 2108 Sermon Contest will be posted here when available!
We have added two versions of a service dog policy to our resources section, one for Canada, and one for the USA. Take a look.