Last month several of us Unitarian Universalist ministers joined activists and clergy from around the country at the Repairers of the Breach Moral Political Organizing Leadership Institute and Summit (MPOLIS) in Raleigh, NC. The training was led by Rev. William J. Barber II and other clergy and leaders from seminaries and organizations focused on social justice and community organizing. One of the main conversations was on poverty and what we can do to radically change the systems and structures around the world that have billions of people living with so little. The UUMA has joined many others as a sponsor of the New Poor People's Campaign and hope our members will join the campaign as well. We asked one of the participants at the summit, our colleague the Rev. Sasha Ostrom who serves as the Assistant Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Raleigh, to share her reflections on the summit and the work that lies ahead.
Don & Melissa
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by all that must be done in our ministries and private lives when so many communities are under attack from so many directions. We can feel stretched in thousand different directions as we scramble to tear down systems of oppression and build up liberatory institutions.
In times like this I need community. I need to be in communities of resistance with people of diverse backgrounds and concerns who all come together at the intersections between our many different identities and many different causes to learn from one another, to be inspired by one another and to roll up our sleeves together to work for a better world for everybody. It's in such spaces that my hope and commitment are rekindled.
Last month I found myself in such a space when I attended the national Moral Political Organizing Leadership Institute and Summit in Raleigh, NC. At MPOLIS, I and several other UU ministers and seminarians joined a multi-racial, multi-religious group of faith leaders, movement builders and justice advocates from all over the country for a 2-day training led by Repairers of the Breach and Rev. William J. Barber II.
This year's MPOLIS focused on the deeply intersectional work being done by anti-poverty organizations all across the nation who are taking part in the New Poor People's Campaign. This exciting, vitally-necessary work is happening right at the crossroads between racial and environmental justice and many other causes. The community that came together just briefly at MPOLIS understood that effective movement-building today must embrace intersectional "fusion politics" as both an end and the means to that end; as both a movement strategy and as a vision of the better world we seek to create.
I came home from MPOLIS feeling energized for the work ahead. I hope that you too are able to find inspiration and renewal in the communities of resistance around you!
Rev. Sasha Ostrom
Feel free to share these weekly reflections with proper attribution to the author.