Microaggressions are brief verbal and/or behavioral actions whether intentional or unintentional that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults that people of color (POC) endure every day—but usually aren’t noticed by white people (non-POC) who commit them. First UU POC report microaggressions happen often on our campuses causing pain and feelings of disrespect and attack. Microaggression of the Week: “I don’t see color.” Message: Race has no meaning. Racism doesn’t exit.
Not only is this a truth in the reality of people’s lives and experience today – it has always been a truth – we’ve been loving beyond and across barriers and borders since we knew we could love. And earlier this month, Love Knows No Borders was also a campaign, organized by the American Friends Services Committee – a campaign to draw attention to what has been happening to migrant families, to people living in dangerous circumstances and crippling poverty who walked for weeks to our border, to seek asylum, to try for a better life for themselves and their present and future children. In spite of the horrible treatment our government has imposed on families already living in this country – separating families, taking children out of the arms of their parents (15,000 children currently living in temporary tent cities and shelters), the caravan of people from Latin America came in hope. And though I was recently back from part 1 of my sabbatical, I knew I needed to participate. I had to respond to the immoral and inhumane behavior of my government and how they were treating people who were coming to our border to ask for asylum.
On December 10, the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium handed out their 2018 awards which celebrate work that uplifts their mission to support migrant families. Eight community members, organizations and partners were awarded for their outstanding work around immigrant rights, advocacy, media coverage and more. Our Social Justice Coordinator, Angela Fujii, gratefully accepted an award on behalf of First UU as “Faith Partner of the Year.”
We’re excited to have a newly established Journey Towards Wholeness (JTW) team supporting both the South Bay and Hillcrest campuses of First UU Church of San Diego! The JTW initiative is one that isn’t new to this community. Rather, it’s rooted in decades of efforts by lay leadership within our congregation. Newly re-energized, with an elected core team voted in by the board of trustees in September 2018, the group’s vision continues to be one of radical welcoming—striving for an unending practice of inclusion and intersectional justice for those marginalized. This includes those within our community or those who have yet to find their true home at First UU, and whose voice and truth both warrant and need amplification and support in line with our Unitarian Universalist principles. The team’s mission is to dismantle systems of oppression of all types in ourselves as well as the congregation. We commit to facilitating growth and progress through efforts that will undoubtedly invite vulnerability. Through efforts that ask us all to lean into tough and yet meaningful conversations, we’ll reflect on our own actions, words, and beliefs. By doing so, we can deepen connections and remove barriers to fostering a spirit of true beloved community that allows for a diverse church community aligned to our aspirations.
In order to live our faith into action in a humane and faithful response to help people in need on both sides of our border we are sharing several different ways you can plug in with our community partners to help make a difference in the lives of people. There are multiple opportunities to fit a wide range of involvement both here in San Diego and also with two organizations in Tijuana. Whether you can volunteer time or donate, your help can make a big difference. Thank you for living out our mission and helping to make San Diego a more just, fair and equitable region.
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