The Unitarian Universalist Association’s social justice campaign has changed its name! As Canadian Unitarians, we share values and engage in common causes with our partners in the States; many Canadian UU’s have been involved with projects and campaigns led by “Standing on the Side of Love.” You’ll find below their announcement released on January 10, 2018 regarding a name change:
Since its inception, Standing on the Side of Love (SSL) received feedback from disability rights activists within Unitarian Universalism about the exclusionary and ableist language of “standing”.
Over the last nine years, the vision of our work has shifted and transformed from working on issues of dismantling white supremacy, LGBTQ equity, addressing anti-Muslim bigotry, immigration justice and more. We find ourselves now meeting the shifting political moment, providing behind the scenes support in moments of uprising, leveraging resources and offering spiritual sustenance. During this time, some UUs have already adapted our name to remove the word “standing.” We have seen people change t-shirts, banners, and the song that inspired the campaign’s name. Pushed forward by a Responsive Resolution at GA 2017, we committed to changing the name because of its history of injury and exclusion and to honor and respond to feedback by making the shift. Staff from the UUA, in collaboration with the authors of the Responsive Resolution, EqUUal Access and other stakeholders, worked on the name change proposal.
We are so excited to share with you that our new name, our new imagining, as the Responsive Resolution so beautifully called for, is Side with Love! You can also watch a video about our announcement here. Check out EqUUal Access’ take on the shift here.
Side with Love is an invitation and a challenge. It is an opportunity to firmly name what we are for and against. To recognize that as we seek to embody universalism we commit to resisting oppression. A recognition that in many moments there are two sides: one of love and one of oppression and violence. We are always bound up in messy webs alongside even those who perpetrate hate. And daily, we choose whether we are siding with love, freedom, liberation, reparations, and integrity or whether we are siding with the violence of white supremacy, patriarchy, ableism and heterosexism.
Side with Love raises provocative spiritual questions including “When have I sided with love? When have I shirked siding with love? When have I chosen the side of comfort, apathy, despair, and acquiescence instead of the side of faith, risk, sacrifice, and resistance?”
Side with Love is an opportunity to expand and deepen our understandings of the ways ableism shows up within the justice and spiritual communities we participate in, create and cultivate. Over the last year, we supported organizing to stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, working with members from disability rights and housing justice organizations like ADAPT and Housing Works. We hope to continue to build with organizations within our faith working on these issues. We also invite you to engage the Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry Program, EqUUal Access, and Worship Web, and the many leaders within our faith doing this work and offering powerful resources for this journey.