Co-founder of Mijente, a new political home for Latinx & Chicanx organizingI’m not sure if I met Susan Frederick-Gray before she got arrested in Arizona or if our first conversation was how she could take her case to trial to continue to impugne Arpaio’s injustices even if it meant a conviction instead of a plea. But whenever we did meet, I was reminded of a truth I deeply believe: movement work is a spiritual practice. And time and again I have seen Rev. Susan model what it looks like to walk our prayers into the world.
Having collaborated with the association in planning its participation in the national day of non-compliance in Arizona, facilitated board planning of justice GA and been part of much of the programming and witness at it, as well as seeing UUs house us as we rode the Undocubus across the country, working with ssl to see those yellow shirts show up around the country, and celebrating the work of BLUU as it has taken formation and done heavy lifting – and also witnessing from a distance the important unearthing of how racism even still is present – I have a sense of both the potential and at least some of the pitfalls that must be navigated by UU leadership in these times.
In the time of Trump, taking the helm of any institution, but especially a faith association, and more especially one with the moral teachings and covenant of the UUs, is a very particular task. It is not business as usual. It will require strong management. It will require financial prowess. And those are things necessary to steady any ship. But it will also require a practice and a vision for navigating troubled waters, it will require prophetic voices, and it will require being part of a fleet of justice makers and world changers and steering us thru the mines in our path ahead looking to sink us.
I write this to say I have already seen Rev Susan do that. I write this to say that the work moves at the speed of trust. And trust is built thru practice and she has mine. I hope that those voting do vote for Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray.
And as a friend of the association, I want you to know many of us outside are watching with high hopes to see what happens next.