Fortification Season 2 | adrienne maree brown

"how do we continue to be an invitation to that which we're longing for?" - adrienne maree brown

We are so excited to bring you the next set of interviews of Fortification: Spiritual Sustenance for Movement Leadership. We see Fortification as a continued opportunity to hear from people within and across faith and spiritual traditions to talk about some of the questions facing organizers, communities and institutions in these times.

In December, we had an opportunity to have conversations with a number of members Auburn's Resilient Leaders Across a Fractured Country, amplifying the lessons of spiritually-resilient leaders in the South, Midwest, and Southwest.

In today's conversation Caitlin spoke with adrienne maree brown, writer, social justice facilitator, pleasure activist, healer and doula living in Detroit. Her book, emergent strategy, has been an extraordinary text and resource supporting folks doing justice work we highly recommend.

Thirty Days of Love: Growing Our Ecosystem

This week our theme is Growing Our Ecosystem. We are thinking about the vision we hold for our world. What is the ecosystem, forest, garden, wild space that we are trying to grow? Who is the crew with you on this journey?

We honor our ancestor Lewis McGee, share Tiny Shiny Hope by Katie Blanchard, offer an invitation to try a practice and recommend you check out the Healing Justice podcast. Check out the Thirty Days of Love 2018 All-Ages Activities by Rev. Marisol Caballero. Next week we’ll be back with our second message on good soil, good seeds. Stay tuned!

Announcing Side with Love

Since its inception, Standing on the Side of Love (SSL) received feedback from disability rights activists within Unitarian Universalism about the exclusionary and ableist language of “standing”. 

Over the last nine years, the vision of our work has shifted and transformed from working on issues of dismantling white supremacy, LGBTQ equity, addressing anti-Muslim bigotry, immigration justice and more. We find ourselves now meeting the shifting political moment, providing behind the scenes support in moments of uprising, leveraging resources and offering spiritual sustenance. During this time, some UUs have already adapted our name to remove the word “standing.” We have seen people change t-shirts, banners, and the song that inspired the campaign’s name. Pushed forward by a Responsive Resolution at GA 2017, we committed to changing the name because of its history of injury and exclusion and to honor and respond to feedback by making the shift. Staff from the UUA, in collaboration with the authors of the Responsive Resolution, EqUUal Access and other stakeholders, worked on the name change proposal. 

We are so excited to share with you that our new name, our new imagining, as the Responsive Resolution so beautifully called for, is Side with Love! You can also watch a video about our announcement here. Check out EqUUal Access' take on the shift here.

Coming Soon - 30 Days of Love 2018

Next week, we will celebrate Thirty Days of Love. We’ve been planning and preparing for our name change announcement - stay tuned here and online for a message from us tomorrow. The name change is an opportunity for us to practice the themes for 30 Days of Love 2018.

Right now we are turning to that which kept us going in 2017. We found deep meaning and inspiration in the work of Black Lives of UUEqUUal Access and disability rights activists within Unitarian Universalism, UU religious professionals of Color leading the White Supremacy Teach-Ins and beyond as their visionary leadership called us into building a new way forward. The wisdom, grace and faith that made any possibility of accountability continue. We continue to take in the the challenge and possibility of this political and denominational moment. 

A Year End Review & Visioning for times ahead

As we enter 2018, we are looking back and casting visions forward. We are charting the work of Standing on the Side of Love in 2017 and scanning ahead for what is coming. We invite you to join in celebrating, reflecting, and making ready. We’ve gotten into graphs as a way to visualize our work and are inviting you into the fun! Check out those and some moments from our work from 2017 in our year-end-review here.

adrienne maree brown, in the book Emergent Strategy, which we have taken much wisdom and guidance from this year writes, “the role of organizers in an ecosystem is to be earthworms, processing and aerating soil, making fertile ground out of the nutrients of sunlight, water, and everything that dies, to nurture the next cycle of life. all that has come before is in the soil which now yields the movement to counter wall street and the systems of capitalism and create a new economy of relationships, a new society of care and respect. in that paradigm there is no failure. everything we attempt, everything we DO, is either growing up as its roots go deeper, or it’s decomposing, leaving its lessons in the soil for the next attempt.”