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I am proud to be working with another team for our Unitarian Universal faith movement. As mentioned in my bio, I am the former Director of Young Adult & Campus Ministry of the Joseph Priestly District. Doing the work the people need us to do is always something I have stayed focused on as a Unitarian Universalist, especially in challenging and divisive times. Economic inequality is my latest undertaking, thanks to the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his 1967-1968 Poor People's Campaign. To know I am working with others who are just as passionate about this issue is energizing and heartwarming.

 

As a writer of poetry, spoken word performer, and now a sermon writer, I am visiting a lot of Unitarian Universalist places of worship across the country. I am speaking about the Black Lives Matter Movement, Dr. King's Poor People's Campaign, and what I experienced in Charlottesville, VA a year ago during the White nationalist protests. Using poetry and sermons to bring people together, and to inform our faith movement, has been my mission since I was in Charlottesville at the Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Memorial Church. Writing about Black Lives has deepened my commitment to the liberation of Black people in the United States. 

 

Using poetry and sermons to help us make sense of things, and to look at our country in a deeper way has been very engaging and inspiring. Here are words from a poem I wrote years ago that still capture the situation of Black men especially in this country:

 

Leroy 'em ran down dirty, dingy streets
of ghettos never letting go of that devouring
life that could only bring fatal blows 
to any attempt at progression. They kept
messing with death and confessing to stress
until on a few of them were left.

 

I will also share with you some poetic words from a poem called Johnny Lost His Job that speaks about poverty and job loss in this country, which I hope can help empower our fight as Unitarian Universalists working for economic equality in and outside of our congregations:

 

Johnny lost his job
To downsizing
To the speed of need
To taxes and
Too many unapproved office faxes
Johnny lost his job
To a third world nation
To the cost of inflation
Johnny lost his job.

 

If there is anything I have learned as an activist, is that art and activism are powerful and go hand in hand. I've co-led poetry Slams at General Assembly where we used the art of the written and spoken word to share our gifts and talents with one another, and to learn about what UUs are saying across the country to empower the people in their community, and in our places of worship. I will use this space as a platform for my work and hope to learn about yours, too.

 

Power to the people!

Be well, Namaste. 


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