Daily, we face strong evidence of the rise of nativist sentiment, coupled with overt distrust, hatred and violence against immigrants, people of color, the LGBT community, non-Christians, nonbelievers, and other “outsiders” throughout the country. In this program, we will revisit Unitarian Universalist principles and discuss how these principles make it imperative for GUUF (Groveland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship) to fight hate in the Twin Cities area and in Minnesota as a whole as its top priority. To recall, these principles are : 1) the inherent worth and dignity of every person, 2) justice, equity and compassion in human relations, 3) acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations, 4) a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, 5) the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large, 6) the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all, and 7) respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. We will explore potential courses of action, using the guide for how communities can fight hate published by the Southern Law Poverty Center ( https://www.splcenter.org/20170814/ten-ways-fight-hate-community-response-guide). If there is interest among the fellowship in undertaking any of the actions suggested in the SPLC document or from other ideas, a follow-up can be planned for the near future.
Our presenter, Leticia Smith is the treasurer of Groveland UU Fellowship and an active volunteer at the League of Women Voters of Dakota County. A nonprofit management consultant with a background in university teaching and management positions in Wisconsin state government, she also served as Chief Court Administrator of the Milwaukee Municipal Court for almost 14 years. She continued to serve on boards and committees of various nonprofits advocating for community development, equal rights and civil liberties until her move from Wisconsin to Minnesota two years ago. Leticia has a Ph.D. in sociology and an M.A. in communication from Michigan State University.