Reflection on the 2018 General Assembly – Bill Hilton

Along with Marilyn Austin, I attended the UUA General Assembly as your delegate (thank you for the opportunity) last weekend via the web. It involved a lot of listening and relatively little contributing, thought the interactions worked surprisingly well given the technical challenges. Approximately 150 delegates attended GA online; they joined 1000 in-person delegates. Three significant takeaways for me are:

First, the delegates voted better than 2-1 to support each of three proposed “Actions of Immediate Witness”. AIWs urge all UUs to engage in justice work in urgently needed areas, for which there may not have been time to propose and schedule discussion and debate prior to GA. The three are:

★ End family separation and detention of asylum seekers and abolish ICE;

★ Dismantle predatory medical care practices in prisons and end prisons for profit;

★ We are all related: solidarity NOW with indigenous water protectors.

Second, turmoil in the UUA, especially among its leaders, is calming down after several years of comings and goings. For example, Mr. Barb Grieve and Elandria Williams served well as interim co-moderators and have been elected to continue in those roles for GA 2019. They led the Assembly delegates through a number of by-law changes, several of which sought to ensure that language is fully inclusive of all people.

Third, the approved Congregational Study/Action Issue is “undoing intersectional white supremacy.” The term “intersectional”—which was new to me—means, “beyond black and white and interwoven with other forms of oppression, it (white supremacy) is multiracial and intersects with issues of class and income, gender, age, ethnicity, immigration status, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and more.” I will have much to learn about intersectional white supremacy as defined in this CSAI.

Much more about GA is readily available at this link on the UU World website: https://www.uuworld.org/ga

–Bill Hilton

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