Saturday, June 26, 2010

resolved: GA'12 in Phoenix

With the assumption that we are talking
not just about June 2012, but every day before and after;
not just about Phoenix, Arizona,
but about every community and every state;
not just demonstrating *against*
those who show anger or hatred or fear,
but also by reaching out in love, to transform our world
one law and one heart at a time,
I support the following resolution,
passed today by our General Assembly,
with a glad and full heart:

Business Resolution on Phoenix General Assembly 2012

Whereas the state of Arizona has recently enacted a law –SB 1070—that runs counter to our first principle, affirming the worth and dignity of every person; and

Whereas the Association stands in solidarity with allies mobilizing in love against this divisive and oppressive legislation; and

Whereas we have been invited to enter into an historic partnership with Puente and National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) to work for human rights and against racial profiling; and

Whereas the UUA By-laws specify that the power to call and locate a General Assembly belongs solely to the UUA Board of Trustees;

Be it resolved, the Assembly hereby:

1. Calls on the UUA Board to gather Unitarian Universalists for the purpose of witnessing on immigration, racial and economic justice—a “Justice” General Assembly in which business is limited to the minimum required by our by-laws—in June 2012, to be held in Phoenix, AZ.

2. Calls on the UUA Administration to work with leaders in Arizona UU Congregations to establish an Arizona immigration ministry to partner with other groups in Arizona working for immigration reform to strengthen those partnerships in preparation for our arrival in 2012.

3. Recognizing people with historically marginalized identities will be exposed to increased risk and inaccessibility, instructs the UUA Board to work in accountable relationship with Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM), Latina/o Unitarian Universalist Networking Association (LUUNA), EQUUAL ACCESS, Transgender Religious professional Unitarian Universalists Together (TRUUST) and other stakeholders to identify measures that can be taken to increase safety and accessibility at the 2012 ‘Justice’ GA.

4. Calls on the UUA Board to direct the economic impact of our presence in Phoenix toward our partners and allies as much as is feasible.

5. Calls on the UUA Board to continue providing the resources needed to build the capacity of Unitarian Universalists to stand in opposition to systemic racism in our congregations, local communities, and in our own lives.

--With great appreciation for those who have labored and listened to collaborate on this resolution, todos somos Arizona

Thursday, June 17, 2010

no GA'12; show up in AZ to work?

Skip GA in 2012 (begin biennial assemblies) and hold a justice-focused event in Arizona in June, 2012, instead. The UU Allies for Racial Equity have not yet posted their elegant and open-hearted suggestion on their site, but I like the idea enough to post part of their letter:

"Madame Moderator and Members of the UUA Board of Trustees:

As current leaders of UU Allies for Racial Equity (ARE) we are writing to you in regard to recent developments in the public discussion surrounding the GA 2010 business resolution on our scheduled Phoenix GA...

How we decide this issue and move forward offers us great opportunity to lead from our faith. To do so, however, requires more than tying our faith to the issue of immigration reform and solidarity with partners in Arizona. It requires a grounding in the multicultural relationships within our own community...

As part of this response, we remain open to the possibility of a large event being held in AZ with the purpose of engaging all attendees in a concentrated time of witness, education and advocacy. We believe strongly that this event should not be our General Assembly...

We further ask that a multifaceted response be designed and launched offering immediate and ongoing on-the-ground opportunities for all UUs to work with Puente and NDLON. Such a response would also include the development of resources for congregations to engage in the human rights issues surrounding immigration in their communities and states. We believe that a major fundraising effort should be part of this response as well, and should raise funds for organizers in Arizona and elsewhere to create real justice in our nation...

We thank you for the time and energy you have put into this effort, and for your clear willingness both to engage in conversation and also to do the difficult work of listening. We look forward to working with you on this matter as it unfolds, and on other issues in the future.

The Rev. Wendy von Zirpolo, President, UU Allies for Racial Equity
The Rev. Dr. Michael Tino, Vice President, UU Allies for Racial Equity"

{my apologies for not printing the whole letter; it is eloquent & engages many worthwhile topics. I'll post a link when I find it online}

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

end of men?

“The End of Men” is the provocative cover story of the new Atlantic magazine. The subtitle of Hanna Rosin’s article is “How Women Are Taking Control—of Everything.” There is data to suggest that 75% of those who choose a sex for their child, choose “female.” In the U.S. workforce, there are now more women than men, for the first time in history (and more female managers). In colleges and graduate schools, there is such a disparity that many schools are relaxing entrance requirements, to make it possible for men to attend. There are still more men in the upper echelons of business; but even there, women out-earned their male counterparts by 43% last year, on average, and earned larger bonuses. Rosin writes that marriage is disappearing because “women are setting the terms—and setting them too high for the men around them to reach.” Many women would prefer to work harder and reach their dreams alone, than compromise and share power with under-accomplished men. In another Atlantic article, Pamela Paul asks "Are Fathers Necessary?"

Yes, they are. Certainly not in every child-rearing scenario, but fathers are important in general. Approximately half of all humans are male (including intersex and transgender persons), so it is important to see good fathers around, as good male role models. We also need mature “yang” role models—of whatever sex. Women can serve as positive yang models (see above) as well as negative (the rates of violence committed by middle-aged women has skyrocketed since the 1980s). Men can provide negative yin models ("Omega males" are directionless and dependent) and positive (today’s fathers spend 75% more time in childcare and related tasks than they did 30 years ago, according to this Parenting article). Biological sex and social gender are becoming de-coupled; I consider that a good thing.

In another article in the same magazine, Sandra Tsing Loh was surprised to find an author of a “heady brand of feminism [and] self-reliance” thanking her husband for the many ways he helps, including working with their children and assisting with her business. Tsing Loh gasps, “that’s what the new radical feminism depends on—a guy.” Behind every great woman is a great man? Well, perhaps behind every great human is another great human, of whatever sex or gender.

Rosin’s story begins with tale of concern about the "future of all women" from 1984, and how that has been turned on its head. These concerns about the "end of men" will also subside. Men will recover from their postmodern role confusion, and all people will be more comfortable with whatever their yang/yin ratio is. This is *not* the "end of men," but may it be the end of judging men with one single restrictive definition.

Friday, June 11, 2010

boycott flip flop; safe enough?

Once against moving GA'12, then for it, now I support Peter Morales' vision of a *modified* GA in Phoenix in 2012...

I first blogged against moving GA out of Arizona, because I thought it let us off the hook--it appeared that we were making a principled stand, while we largely kept our status quo, and simply moved to other nice hotels and restaurants in some other medium-sized city. I wanted us to go to Phoenix and do something, like street theater or organized protests with local groups.

Then I pondered Ellen Carvill-Ziemer's question, "to whom are we most accountable?" When I read DRUUMM's statement, "Because some of our members have indicated their concern that they would not be safe travelling to and within Arizona as long as such racial profiling laws exist, we also support the proposed boycott of Arizona and support relocating or cancelling the General Assembly scheduled to be held there" I found myself in sympathy with their concerns, and became pro-moving-GA.

Now, UUA President Peter Morales is holding out a new vision: "I believe we are called to go to Phoenix and create a GA like no previous GA. I want us to experience much more than the convention center. I want us to experience the reality of life for immigrants. I want us to learn and to bear witness. I dream of a GA where we reflect theologically upon what it means to be a faith that can cross the borders of race, class, and culture. I would have us explore together how we make connections with marginalized people in each and every community, in each and every congregation. I imagine a GA that begins a long overdue transformation of our movement."

Peter's call includes working with local groups, like the Puente Movement and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON). His vision quotes this invitation: "We ask that your 2012 General Assembly here in Phoenix be a convergence in cooperation with us and that together we design the best ways that UUs can witness, learn from, take action, and serve the movement here. [signed] Salvador Reza, Puente Movement, Phoenix, Arizona; and Pablo Alvarado, Director, NDLON

There is also this article, by Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez, who writes, "the basic message is this: Tourists stay home; organizers welcome." (thanks to Michael Tino and Clyde Grubbs).

The nicest thing would be for AZ SB1070 to be ruled unconstitional and no longer in force in 2012, so that we can all go to Phoenix and live out President Morales' challenge to be more organizers than tourists.

I look forward to DRUUMM's response; maybe I will change my mind yet again...