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weARE@GA . . . almost . . . and before we pack

06/14/2019 6:33 PM | Laura Bollettino (Administrator)

Wow! Those two weeks went fast! Here are just a few last-minute updates before we start packing our bags.

Thank YOU !!!

So many of you contributed to and shared fundraisers over the last few weeks to support our doubling down at GA! Between direct donations to our weARE@GA fund and money given on facebook, we raised #MoreThanEnough to cover the costs of our expanded outreach, help several UU Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) accountability partners to offset their GA expenses, and assist ARE team members who needed it with getting to Spokane. Expressing our gratitude via email isn’t anywhere near enough⁠—so stop by our BOOTH (#341) so we can thank you in-person, shower you with snazzy ribbons, and get a cute pic of us talkin’ about “the elephant in the room” together!

Resources & Support

For those who couldn’t join us, here’s our GA prep video covering both “the basics” and some things that are specific to this General Assembly. You’ll find the latest updates and information during GA on our events page and our facebook page.   

Be sure to check out our ARE booth resources online for suggested programs at GA, ARE workshop resources, bonus video and print content⁠—and possibly to save yourself the overweight baggage fee on your trip home! We doubled down this year.

Don’t miss the weARE@GA In-gathering on Wednesday and our Membership meeting on Sunday in room 302AB, where we’ll spend some much-needed time together⁠—share tools, tips, tricks and tactics to disrupt white supremacy⁠—and talk about what’s coming up for ARE in the next year.  

Room 302AB will be serving as our “intentional white ally space” for much of GA and will host programming offered by the CoIC on Friday, 1:30-4:00 PM and Saturday from 9:00 AM - Noon.  

The DRUUMM space is nearby⁠—and is explicitly for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color, so please be mindful when in the area. 

Feel free to reach out to ARE’s chaplains (we doubled down on them too!) if white supremacy gets to you⁠—and you feel you need more than a pep-talk to get through the day. You can visit our booth (#341) and we’ll also have a link up at uuare.org

Off-site participants:  Connect with us in our short zoom debriefs  https://zoom.us/j/532628682

Wed-Sat 1:00-1:30 PM PDT, and Sun 3:00-3:30 PM to share your online experience and to stay updated about what’s happening on the ground.  

On-site attendees are welcome to join these. Decentralized action rocks!   

Volunteering & Advocacy

Please do sign up to volunteer with advocacy, solidarity work, staffing our booth (#341), and talkin’ about #TheElephantInTheRoom⁠—we’ll need all the help we can get to be in all the places all the time! You can schedule your time and rsvp for off-grid events here, and catch ARE’s GA coordinators Laura Bollettino and Carolina Krawarik-Graham anytime at theTeam@uuare.org. Don’t forget to add the weARE@GA volunteer dinner and debrief to your calendar if you volunteered for ARE this week!

SIGN-UP TO VOLUNTEER

Heads Up!

The Commission on Institutional Change still has some Focus Group spots available at GA. Many of us have participated in them and they’re so important to our work together. Sign up here!

Keep a lookout for an AIW on values-driven investing that ARE is collaborating on! We were hoping it would be ready for review, but it looks like we might have to wait until we’re all in Spokane. Details when we have them!

What Doubling Down Looks Like

One thing that the GA Planning Committee is committed to this year is creating more opportunities for caucusing, where people who share an identity (People of Color, white people, youth, young adults, etc.) gather for a time by themselves. If you or a friend has questions about caucusing, we’re always at the ready for that conversation. Particularly for People of Color, GA is an opportunity to be in wider community in their various identity groups. Also, it can be so much easier for white people to work through our own racialized conditioning in a space dedicated to white-ally work.

This GA will be really different for me because I’m co-coordinator for ARE’s presence at GA and also our primary booth coordinator for the first time. I will probably have to be extra mindful to practice self-care: Sleep every night. Eat at least one good meal every day. Be in the moment. And when there are two things happening at the same time, I’ll decide which to attend based on how I feel when the time comes.

From all I’ve heard, this year I’ll probably need to be even more in the moment than usual. And It’ll be an opportunity for me to practice extreme flexibility, which I’m actually looking forward to. Let’s remember that a sense of urgency is one of the characteristics of white supremacy culture. I invite you to join me in disrupting it by pacing yourself well while you’re at GA learning, teaching, caucusing, and doing our vital anti-racism anti-oppression work.

Lastly, let’s all make time for friends old and new, even in the chaos that is GA, because this work really is grounded in relationship.

Spokane, here we come!

In faith,

Laura Bollettino
Events and Actions Team

P.S. Don’t forget to join us via Zoom for ARE’s full GA debrief on July 1, 6:00 - 7:30 PM PDT!

We are building an anti-racist movement of white Unitarian Universalists to dismantle white supremacy in ourselves, our congregations, and communities.

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