Join us at the UUPLAN Annual Meeting! Learn how to organize for social justice, inspire others to join us on the journey, and nourish your own spirit as we bring UU values to the public square in Pennsylvania.
Registration opens at 5:00 pm
5:30 pm – Dinner + “Feeding the Spirit for Social Justice” – Readings & Singing by The Lemington Gospel Chorale
The Lemington Chorale is directed by Pastor Deryck Tines. They sing in the Traditional Gospel Style and perform wearing black, white, and pearls! They are based at the Afro American Music Institute in Homewood, PA. The Chorale has performed at many social justice centered events over the years and lifts the spirits of audiences throughout the Pittsburgh region and beyond.
Registration opens at 8:30 am, Keynote at 9:00 am
Keynote: “Structuring Justice” by Paula Cole Jones
Paula Cole Jones, Management Consultant specializing in group facilitation, diversity and social justice, is a lifelong member of All Souls Church, Unitarian, in Washington, DC. Her experience in this multicultural congregation led to involvement as a leader in antiracism, anti-oppression, multicultural training and consulting with the Unitarian Universalist Association. She has also worked as a Natural Resource Manager with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and as an Environmental Specialist, with the District of Columbia Government. She is a past president of Diverse & Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) and the founder of A Dialogue On Race& Ethnicity (ADORE). Paula is the author of “Reconciliation as a Spiritual Discipline,” which appeared in the UU World magazine in 2004; and a contributing author to three books, A People So Bold: Theology and Ministry for Unitarian Universalists, Darkening the Doorways, and a book on environmental justice, which will be released this year. And, she is the editor of Encounters: Poems about race, ethnicity and identity, published by Skinner House Books.
“Building Structures of Readiness” by Paula Cole Jones
How do we galvanize members of our community to call for, build and sustain justice? Paula Cole Jones will facilitate an interactive process that helps leaders to be strategic about building the capacity and the numbers of people needed to effect systems change. A shared framework for change helps people to better understand how to contribute their time, skills and resources to social justice actions. Let us build together.
In Pennsylvania, Democrats hold a 4 to 3.2 advantage in voter registration. In a recent election, Democrats won all the statewide offices receiving 80,000 more votes than Republicans, but Republicans won 13 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and Democrats won 5. The reason is Gerrymandering – legislators, in this case Republicans, drawing strangely shaped districts to favor their party. It is a nonpartisan problem because in other states Democrats have Gerrymandered districts to gain a similar advantage. Suzanne Broughton will explain Pennsylvania’s two current redistricting processes, demonstrate how they undermine democracy through Gerrymandering, and offer a solution to the problem that has been proposed by Fair Districts PA and introduced in the legislature as Senate Bill 22 and House Bill 722.
Suzanne Broughton is a former president of the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh and a former member of the board of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania. She is currently a member of the boards of the North Area Environmental Council in northern Allegheny County and the Allegheny Land Trust and is active in the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network.
Ms. Broughton graduated from Bryn Mawr College and earned a masters degree in Physics from Brandeis University. She taught physics at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and Point Park University in Pittsburgh. In 2012, Ms. Broughton looked into the methods of redistricting in Pennsylvania to develop a presentation for a local organization. She has continued to research and speak on the topic. In December 2016, she joined the Fair Districts PA speaking team.
“Building Powerful Through Intentional Conversation” by Bill Bartlett
The basis of any effective effort for political and public action begins with one-to-one conversations. Learn how to have an intentional conversation to surface self-interests and move people into action around shared values.
Bill Bartlett is a congregational organizer at the PA Interfaith Impact Network, based in Pittsburgh, PA. He was formerly the Western PA Director for Action United, a membership organization of low and moderate income families that organize to change neighborhood and political. He has been organizing folks in PA for about 12 years.
The best way to influence your legislator is to make an appointment and visit them in person. Not sure what to expect? In this workshop, Rep. Ed Gainey will present his perspective as a legislator and UUPLAN Director, Anita Mentzer will address how you can plan to be a successful citizen advocate.
Before joining the House of Representatives in 2013, Edward Gainey worked as the community development specialist for the city of Pittsburgh, where he implemented several initiatives such as business seminars, the Minority Media Initiative, diversity education for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and The 52 Weeks of Peace Initiative.
Gainey is a board member for Divine Intervention Ministries and PROMISE organizations. He has received several community awards and certificates. His most recent award was from The New Pittsburgh Courier for being one of the 50 Men of Excellence in the Pittsburgh region. In 2010, he received the Family Life Empowerment Community Center award from the Northside Church of God and Christ for his accomplishments in community outreach. In 2009, he received the Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Public Service Awards from Champion Enterprise. He also participated in the planning and implementation of the Be A 6th Grade Mentor program, which was designed to mentor 6th graders in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
In 2010, he became the first African-American to serve as chairman of the Pittsburgh City Democratic Committee. He currently serves as Allegheny County Democratic Committeeman in the 12th Ward 10th District.