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Building covenantal relationships among Unitarian Universalist women that equip us all to be better co-conspirators and allies in the movement for collective liberation.

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  • Wednesday, December 13, 2023 3:19 PM | Anonymous

    As the war in Gaza continues, the UUWF joins our fellow UU justice organizations in condemning the genocidal atrocities taking place there. It is our moral imperative to fight for the freedom of the Palestinian people, and to fight anti-semitism in all its forms.

    We acknowledge the complex history surrounding this conflict. The Hamas attack and subsequent Israeli response is rooted in decades of colonialism, occupation, restriction of resources, terrorism, genocide, dehumanization, and retaliation. As complex as these issues are, UU principles demand that we speak out.

    Women, Children, and Acts of War
    All over the world and throughout history, women and children have been those most affected by war. Women and children are used as pawns, imprisoned or kidnapped and leveraged in negotiations like pieces of property rather than human beings. Gender-based violence, including rape, is used to terrorize, torture, and destroy innocent people, families, and communities. The current war in Gaza is no different:

    • Women and children are estimated to be 67% of the over 15,000 Palestinian deaths since October.
    • Out of 2.1 million people in Gaza, 1.7 million are internally displaced–800,000 of those displaced are women.
    • At least 240 Palestinian prisoners released by Israel were women or teenagers.
    • All of the 78 Israeli hostages released between November 24 and November 30 were women and children; 33 of them were under the age of 18.
    • Mass sexual violence, including rape, forced nudity, and mutilation have been reported in recent days by survivors and first responders to the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel.

    We denounce the use of gender-based violence as a tool of war and the kidnapping and imprisonment of women and children as a method of intimidation and leverage.

    U.S. Complicity
    We recognize that the United States government has been complicit both here and abroad in all of these abuses, and remains complicit in this current crisis through continued funding, training, and weapons to the Israeli government. Just as we denounce militarized police, economic and racial apartheid, racialized and gendered violence, and Islamophobia and antisemitism in our own communities in the U.S., we call for an immediate end to the same injustices in Gaza and Israel.

    Cease Fire Now
    We join the thousands of people of faith across the globe in calling for the protection of women and children throughout the region; an end to US funding of the Israeli military; a permanent and unconditional cease-fire; a release of all hostages; immediate humanitarian aid to Gaza; and an international investigation of war crimes and human rights violations on the part of both Hamas and the Israeli government.

    Never Again, for Anyone
    Multiple truths are difficult, but they do not obscure our ability to know right from wrong. We reject the narratives that insist on a clean, simple analysis that discounts the injustices of Israeli occupation of Palestine. We also recognize that historic trauma and fears due to rapidly rising antisemitism are real and legitimate. We do not accept the assumption that opposition to the actions of the Israeli government is inherently antisemitic. We do not conflate Hamas with Palestinians or Jews with the Israeli government. We echo the words of Jews and Palestinians around the world who are acting in solidarity and saying together, “Never Again, for Anyone."

    Washington Post
    Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security
    Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
    Human Rights Watch
    Amnesty International

  • Thursday, November 30, 2023 1:50 PM | Anonymous

    How do you know if you’re on the right track? Is it in the number of allies you have? The people that come and support you? What about the folks that ask to play in your sandbox?

    Some years ago, UUWF set out to change how we do things. We took a hard look at how we show up in the world and made the choice to be a safe haven for voices we had pushed out. So, how do you know when you’ve accomplished something?

    It’s in the people who come to the table.

    In the Fall of 2023, we launched Black Women of the Chalice (BwoC). Created by two Black female seminarians, QuianaDenae Perkins and Dana Matthews-Moore, BWoC centers on the needs of Black Women Seminarians and their ministerial journeys. When they said they needed more support managing and running their monthly gatherings, UUWF offered our staff assistance. Our collaboration allows for Dana and QuianaDenae’s vision to grow while removing the burden of doing this work alone, especially with the full plate of being a seminarian.

    BWoC meets once a month and gathers around a particular topic. During that time, we use deep check-ins to reconnect with each other, renewing our commitment to each other and our faith. Although we focus on seminarians at the moment, the goal is to open up the monthly gatherings to all Black women religious professionals. That is why this month’s gathering is so different!

    We are inviting ALL Black UU women faith professionals on December 14th @ 5p P/8p E. This includes religious professionals and administrators.

    • Ministers in fellowship
    • Ministerial candidates and seminarians
    • Religious educators
    • Musicians
    • Administrators
    • UUA Staff

    Our special guest, Takiyah Nur Amin, MFA., PhD, will be leading us on the topic of Kwanzaa. She is a dance scholar, educator, and academic success strategist. She has identified as a Unitarian Universalist for more than 20 years.

    You can join us by registering HERE for this month’s gathering. UUWF is happy to build a home for BWoC and continue our commitment to build covenantal relationships. If this gathering isn’t for you, please share this announcement with a friend or family member who it would support. We rely on the support of our community to get the word out.

    In Community,
    Antoinette Scully
    National Organizer

  • Monday, September 25, 2023 4:33 PM | Anonymous

    The Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation (UUWF) is a community that champions justice, equality, and the inherent worth of every person. At its core, the UUWF seeks to empower individuals, particularly women, to live their lives authentically and free from oppression. Our priority of Protecting Women aligns with these values and is paramount to addressing all gender-based violence.

    This violence, which includes physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, fundamentally violates our UU principles, including the First Principle that affirms "the inherent worth and dignity of every person" and the Seventh Principle that calls us to "affirm and promote the interdependent web of all existence." Gender-based violence disrupts this interconnected web and, by addressing it, the UUWF exemplifies its dedication to these principles. From educational resources like toolkits and webinars, to landmark statements like our stance on protecting trans lives, we assert our commitment to safeguarding the dignity of all individuals, irrespective of their gender.

    We are deeply committed to gender equity and equality, AND we know that public witness is vital to moving the conversation. As we uplift those at the margins and highlight the ways that we can co-conspire together, we invite you to join us for a 3-part panel series called “Addressing Gender-Based Violence.” On September 28th, October 12th, & October 26th we are bringing expert voices together in an attempt to create a complete narrative of the world around us, and the best tactics to keep each other safe.

    Our first panel will highlight the voices of non-binary and gender-expansive experts in our UU communities. We’ll hear from three religious professionals, Dandelion Prinsloo (they/them), Rev. Leela Sinha (ze/zim/zir), and Rev. KC Slack (they/them), on how our communities can work together to end violence on women and gender-expansive folks.

    Protecting women and addressing all gender-based violence is not just a matter of social responsibility; it's an essential component of the Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation's mission. We believe that in public discourse in our communities and beyond, we are centering our principles of justice, equity, and human dignity and also taking meaningful steps toward creating a world where all individuals can thrive, free from violence and oppression. Together, we can build a more just and compassionate society where every person is valued and safe.

    Please join us as we explore what it means to allies and co-conspirators in this work. 

    Register Now

  • Monday, August 21, 2023 7:35 PM | Anonymous

    The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation is thrilled to bring a new program to our UU community. Finding Freedom:  White Women Taking On Our Own White Supremacy is a five-part series designed specifically for white and white-socialized women or genderqueer folks.

    The purpose of Finding Freedom is to deepen our individual and collective understanding of how we as white women and gender-expansive people are complicit with white supremacy, and how we can make changes that help us live more deeply and consistently into our racial justice commitments.

    UUWF is offering this series for three reasons:

    1. We know that our history as a primarily white upper middle class women’s organization includes dismissing, ignoring, silencing, and failing women of color, and we are committed to being an authentically multi-racial organization that practices an inclusive approach to justice work.  Part of doing that is for white women to hold ourselves accountable as white people, and do the work necessary to become more effective co-conspirators in the movement for collective liberation.
    2. We’ve heard from our members that they are interested in going beyond “Anti-racism 101” and explore their role as white people in dismantling white supremacy.  People have said that they want to dig deeper, and we want to do that with you.
    3. We want to provide practical tools for UU groups and congregations who are interested in taking their racial justice work to the next level.  We encourage several people from a UU group or congregation to participate together–it will make it easier to apply what we learn to our local justice work. 

    We are excited to have Evangeline Weiss and Kari Points facilitate Finding Freedom, because they bring lived experience as queer white women who also have a keen understanding of intersectionality, including the intersections of race, gender, and class. Evangeline and Kari have spent more than 40 years combined as white queer people working with communities, individuals and organizations that center racial, gender, and economic justice. They developed Finding Freedom and launched it in 2017, and to date, more than 500 white women and genderqueer people have participated in the workshop. We are in very good hands. 

    The Finding Freedom workshop series is right for you if you are striving to understand your own relationship to being white and how that impacts your ability to make your way in a multiracial world. All white women and genderqueer people are welcome in the workshops.

    Join us. Bring a few comrades from your congregation or UU group. Let’s dig in. 

  • Tuesday, August 15, 2023 7:50 AM | Anonymous
    My name is Mandy Goheen, and I am the Board President of the UUWF.  We are excited to offer a new workshop series–Finding Freedom:  White Women Taking on Our Own White Supremacy.  

    Why do I think this is important?  
    1. To build my own capacity.  I am a white minister in Chattanooga, Tennessee serving a congregation of around 160. The church I serve is a growing community that is creating beautiful diverse ways of belonging. As their minister, I am an integral part of creating a church in which BIPOC people are welcomed with love and enthusiasm, and who feel a sense of belonging in our community. This is one reason I am signing up to be part of Finding Freedom–so that I can continue to develop my capacity for deep racial and economic justice work.

    2. To build the capacity of my church.  Further, I am assembling a team of white women from our church to join me in the Finding Freedom series, so that we can deepen our understanding together, and bring our growth back to our shared work in the church.  

    3. To personally explore the relationship between race and class.  Personally, I know that working for collective liberation calls me to keep learning.  I am white woman married to a white man for twenty-nine years, and we have six children. As a couple, we have shifted from working poor to a military family to a well-established educated white middle-class homeowners. We have worked hard and done without comfort getting here; but we are comfortable now, and I know that these changes in our lives over time have come with new perspectives and blind spots. This is another reason I am excited to be part of Finding Freedom: to understand how my social mobility has influenced my understanding of justice.

    4. To be vigilant.  One of my spiritual practices is to ask myself, how can I do the most good? When I feel my defensiveness rising, or when I resist discomfort, I must push for growth. There is a temptation from my social location to proclaim my current identity as antiracist, feminist, abolitionist…and call it a day. I am the mother of six BIPOC people who teach me hard lessons daily. I have read the books and gone to many workshops.  So why, if I have worked this hard, do I need another workshop about owning my white woman bias?  This is why: 
      To build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialization that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination. – bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope

    The bottom line is - I need this training for me, for my family, and for my UU community. Yes, it is a time commitment, I think there is homework, it’s on Zoom, and a bit of a mystery. But the opportunity to do this good work with other white women feels like the reorientation to discomfort my heart needs to stay present in my work. Sounds fun to me because a good challenge brings me joy!

    I am excited to invite you to this work with me on behalf of the UUWF, an organization focused on building covenantal relations with women of all backgrounds  Will you join us in this collective learning opportunity?

    Space is limited!  Sign up today for “Finding Freedom: White Women Taking on Our Own White Supremacy.”  

    Register Now.  

  • Friday, May 19, 2023 4:55 PM | Anonymous

    The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation (UUWF) stands firmly with those who are tirelessly working to defend gender-affirming care and the rights of trans and gender expansive people to live fully as their authentic selves both publicly and privately. Our faith calls us, through our principles and sources, to love and care for one another. We are bound by our covenantal relationships to uphold these ideas to guide us on the path of beloved community and collective liberation.

    The UUWF firmly believes that each of us has the right to bodily autonomy, the sacred right to define our own identities, and the right to health care–including gender-affirming health care. We loudly oppose the work of those who would deprive parents and patients of the right to make the medical decisions that best fit their needs. All healthcare providers have a right and duty to provide life-saving care, including gender-affirming care, without interference from the state.

    We, the UUWF Board and Staff, are outraged and loudly oppose the hate-based violence against LGBTQIA+ people, including state and state-sanctioned violence. We demand a stop to the wave of attacks on the lives and liberty of trans and gender-expansive peoples. We recognize that due to the intersectionality of systemic oppression, People of Color are affected in different and more harmful ways than others. Our work to center women and femmes calls us to speak up and take action, and uplift marginalized voices, so that we move closer to justice.

    Our priorities, Women’s Health, Women & Work, Women’s Poverty, and Stopping Violence Against Women, all support our work to protect the rights and bodies of women, femmes, non-binary, and gender-expansive people. We side with you because this is our fight too.

    We are in this fight with communities affected by hate, violence, misinformation, and harm. We send love and care to all those directly affected in these states, and we see you. We side with you, your families, and your communities.

    Although we know it may be difficult, we encourage those in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana and other states where anti-trans activities are escalating, to take time to move mindfully through these tough moments. Schedule time for personal care, and to care for those around you. Reach out for help from those of us with more to offer.

    We ask that our UU community outside of the battleground areas spend time reaching out to those affected, connecting with your local justice ministries, and Side With Love. You can also learn more through The ACLU, The Human Rights Campaign, and The Trevor Project.

  • Tuesday, March 28, 2023 4:37 PM | Anonymous

    The UU Women's Federation has signed on to the following letter to John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change, in support of Resolution A/77/L.58 -- International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on Climate Change and Human Rights. A PDF copy, include all signers, can be found here.

    As religious organizations and people of faith, we are writing to ask you to support Resolution A/77/L.58 in the United Nations General Assembly initiated by Vanuatu and other states, requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on climate change and human rights. Supporting this resolution would demonstrate US commitment and global leadership in addressing the profound implications of climate change. It will also offer a powerful testimony to the connections we share with the earth and our global human family; connections we are called to honor by every sacred tradition.

    We celebrate the concrete steps the US has taken toward achieving ambitious climate mitigation and adaptation goals, including:

    • net-zero by 2050
    • actively encouraging other governments to pursue ambitious climate action in their climate policies
    • U.S. leadership on the establishment of the Loss & Damage Fund
    • leading numerous multilateral climate initiatives, such as the Global Methane Pledge.

    The Biden Administration has already shown a strong commitment to centering justice in US domestic environmental policy, including through its Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. Supporting the UNGA resolution would demonstrate a similar commitment on the global stage.

    By supporting efforts to secure an ICJ advisory opinion, you can build on this necessary record of US climate leadership and strengthen critical international partnerships with countries advancing this initiative. The initiative already has 117 co-sponsors, the formal endorsements of the Caribbean community (CARICOM), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the co-sponsorship of 26 of 27 members of the European Union. We are called, as ancestors in the making and faithful stewards of this precious planet, to act with humility, courage, and determination. The US has the opportunity to be a bold, imaginative, and powerful voice needed in this moment.

    The UNGA resolution seeks to ensure that all States’ rights and obligations are considered without singling out any one State or government. The Court’s decision will help clarify how existing international laws and commitments, including human rights and environmental frameworks, should shape or drive global climate well-being efforts, bringing consistency and coherence to the way that international laws grapple with one of the world’s most complex problems.

    We implore you to be a champion for climate justice and for our collective future by voting yes and further advocating for the UNGA resolution for an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on climate change. Endorsing this resolution as it is tabled would send a clear signal to present and future generations that their governments are responding to climate change with the necessary resolve and a recognition that it is fundamentally linked, as both cause and effect, to other global challenges. Our communities of faith are watching. The issues of climate justice and human rights cannot be separated. Vote yes on March 29th.

  • Thursday, March 16, 2023 9:55 AM | Anonymous

    March honors Women’s History Month, Black Women’s History Week, Disability Awareness Month, Equal Pay Day, International Women’s Day, and many more days of observance. As we celebrate all month long, it is important to center intersectional feminism and continue the fight worldwide for equal opportunity and justice!

    March 14, 2023 marked Women's Equal Pay Day -- the perfect time for us to raise awareness about pay equity and workplace justice. Download our Pay Equity Toolkit and infographic for lots of resources you can investigate and share.

  • Monday, February 20, 2023 10:57 AM | Anonymous

    The UUWF has joined 110 religious, religiously-affiliated, values-based, and faith-centered organizations and communities -- representing millions of people of faith and conscience committed to securing universal access to affordable health coverage including coverage for abortion care -- in expressing our strong and unequivocal support for the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Act, which was just introduced in the House of Representatives.

    For over 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has pushed time-sensitive, essential abortion care out of reach for countless Americans by discriminating against those struggling to make ends meet. Now, the measure not only denies abortion coverage through Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but also extends to federal employees and dependents, military personnel and dependents, Peace Corps volunteers, indigenous peoples
    receiving care from federal or tribal programs, pregnant individuals in federal prisons and detention centers, pregnant individuals receiving care from community health centers, and survivors of human trafficking. The EACH Act would permanently end Hyde and related coverage bans while prohibiting political interference in private insurance coverage of abortion at all levels of government. Currently, abortion care is banned in at least 13 states with more restrictions on the horizon. In this anti-abortion environment, it is even more essential that everyone is able to make their own decisions about our health care and futures, and to thrive in their communities with dignity.

    Indeed, coverage bans further enshrine systemic racism in our federal laws and regulations and strip the poor of access to abortion, disproportionately impacting those struggling financially; Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities; young people; people living with disabilities; rural communities; immigrants; and LGBTQ individuals. People in the United States are facing severe economic duress compounded by a growing health crisis and firmly institutionalized racism; we cannot afford to further wrong the most vulnerable. As people of faith and conscience, we believe in the inherent dignity and equal worth of all people. We are, therefore, called to treat all individuals with respect, no matter their income, insurance, gender, race, or other factors.

    We also believe in the power of compassion to build a just and fair society. Our nation is at its best when our laws match our compassion. A compassionate nation ensures that every single person can access quality, timely medical services from trusted providers when they seek abortion care — regardless of how much they earn, how they are insured, or where they live. Because of our faith traditions, consciences, and deep respect for an individual’s moral agency, we support policies grounded in compassion that protect each person’s right to care for their own body, health, and well-being and to ensure all others can do the same.

    Finally, religious freedom is an essential shared principle undergirding our support of policies that ensure equitable access to abortion. The United States is home to people of many different faiths as well as people with no religious affiliation. We cannot limit an individual’s religious liberty by enshrining one set of beliefs into law and restricting their ability to make personal decisions about their pregnancy, health, and family according to their own religious or moral beliefs and conscience. No government committed to human rights and democracy can privilege one religion over another.

    Eschewing insurance coverage bans is a moral good. No one should be denied an abortion because of who they are, where they live, or how much they earn. It is long past time for our elected officials to eliminate the Hyde Amendment and all bans that interfere with people receiving the care they need. We welcome the introduction of the EACH Act and encourage you to support this critical legislation.

    A PDF of this letter, with the full list of signatures, is available here.

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