2015 Summit Highlights & Links

2015 Summit Program Highlights & Links

Summit 2015 Photo Gallery

2015 Summit Recap

Friday Evening Pre-event

Registration, Exhibits, Continental Breakfast  (7:30 - 8:30)

  1. Exhibit Setup  (7:00 - 7:45)
  2. Registration    (7:30 - 8:30)
  3. Breakfast        (7:30 - 8:30)                                      

Welcome & Worship  (8:45 - 9:30)   We come to the Summit in all our religious, ethnic, and issue diversity to help each other build a way forward -- a path to a more just and sustainable world.  Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship  welcomed us, shared the warmth of their chalice and launched our day.  We came together as allies for justice.  Download the Program Handout from Saturday Morning

Shared Issues - Diverse Folks - Better Together  (9:45 - 10:45)   Using the TED talk format for these keynote presentations, leaders from Lummi Nation and Community to Community Develoment  introduced participants to their ally-rich work on issues ranging from national sovereignty to food sovereignty, from preserving our sacred lands and planet to preserving our democracy.

  • Jewell James, Lummi Elder and Indian rights scholar, spoke of the deep connections he and Lummi Nation have to their land, to their ancestors, and to the future that has not yet manifest.  He also spoke of Lummi Nation's commitment as stewards for our natural environment, both close to home and planet-wide.  Elder James spoke of treaties broken and laws ignored and of vast injustices to his people. He talked of partnerships with allied peoples of faith; laws that have been changed and legal cases that have been won with the help of those of faith who stood with the native peoples of our region.
  • Rosalinda Guillen, executive director of Community to Community Development, took the podium next.  Speaking first as a migrant farmworker who came to the United States with no English when she was just 10 years old, Rosalinda Guillen mixed personal history and her migrant perspective with broad issues of social justice.  She challenged us to open our eyes to the systems of oppression that are a part of every meal we eat, and to recognize the need to heal the old wounds of oppressed peoples in our country and begin again with new and more just ways of manifesting both personal and group power.  She talked about how we, as people of faith, are needed to stand witness to what is happening and to take action in solidarity with marginalized peoples.  She spoke of farmworkers and how we could stand for a new system of feeding our nation that would not be at the expense of others, like the farmworkers.  We could begin, immediately, if we chose, standing with the Northwest farmworkers boycotting Driscoll’s Berries.

Keynote Follow-up Sessions  (11:00 - 12:00)   Attendees then choose a Keynote Follow-up Session with one of our speakers who each made themselves available for hour-long question, comment and planning sessions. 

Resource Area: LUNCH & EXHIBITS  (12:00 - 1:00)   Lunch was a time for informal networking as well as eating healthy (and well labeled) food.  Special thanks to those that provided our lunch and staffed the many exhibits that introduced us to issues, programs and allies working along side us in our justice work.

The Following Groups Exhibited at the 5th Annual Justice Summit in 2015

  • BUF Fair Trade Ministry
  • BUF Food Bank Ministry
  • CarbonWA
  • Cedars Social Justice Committee
  • Community to Community Development
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation
  • General Information / Brochure Table
  • Ground Zero Center
  • Northwest UU Justice Network
  • Plant for the Planet
  • Oak Flat Preservation
  • Sierra Club - Seattle
  • UUs for a Just Economic Community
  • UU Peace Ministry
  • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  • Wamend/Move to Amend
  • Whatcom Peace and Justice Ctr

Tools We Can Use  (1:00 - 1:20)   Attendees joined DD Hilke, executive director of the Northwest UU Justice Network to learn how the Network will be expanding over the next few years.  Participants were encouraged to literally locate themselves and their issues with a push pin on the map hanging in the back of the room.  In so doing, participants were helping the Network take its first steps in creating connected clusters of issue activists throughout the greater Pacific Northwest.  DD envisioned our future network as a justice circulatory system for the Northwest, pumping information and empowerment both within and between congregations and outward to the allies or secular organizations they work with.  She spoke of a Network that will make our justice work easier to organize and implement and that will increase the visibility of our justice work both to ourselves and to others whom we would want to work with us.

Introduction to Breakout Sessions (1:25 - 1:35)  Participants learned where to join each of the following breakout sessions, and finalized the  two to-be-determined session topics for Breakout #2.

Breakout #1:  (1:45 - 2:45)   Follow the links, below, for reports from each of these Breakout Groups.  Click here for an annotated summary of all breakout sessions from this summit.

Breakout #2  (3:00 - 4:00)   Follow the links, below, for reports from each of these Breakout Groups.  Click here for an annotated summary of all breakout sessions from this summit.

Traveling Mic – Say it in one breath -- takeaways from the day (4:15 – 5:00)   At the end of the day, we reflected on three questions and passed the microphone one last time for final comments:

Closing Worship & Song (5:00 - 5:15)

Special Thanks to our 2015 Summit Sponsors

Sponsoring Congregations

Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship (Host)

Cedars UU Church

Church of the Larger Fellowship

East Shore Unitarian Church

Edmonds UU Church

Evergreen UU Fellowship

Free Church Unitarian

Northlake UU Church

Olympia UU Congregation

Quimper UU Fellowship Social Justice Council

Shoreline UU Church

University Unitarian Church

Vashon Island Unitarian Fellowship

Woodinville UU Church

Sponsoring Organizations

Community to Community Development

Earth Ministry

Move to Amend

RE Sources/Power Past Coal

Sierra Club

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community

WAmend - Washington Coalition to Amend the Constitution

Washington UU Voices for Justice

Recently Updated
Reaching Beyond the Divides: Faith, Party, and Privilege Part One, Opening Address for the 6th Annual Northwest UU Justice Summit (October 1, 2016) Last Updated on 2016-10-06 14:51:17 Download this Presentation Introduction The theme for this year’s Northwest UU Justice Summit is titled “Reaching Beyond the Divides: Faith, Party, and Privilege,” which we will begin to approach with back-to-back opening talks by Florence Caplow and me. Reading: “Mending Wall” I begin my part by reading the well-known poem of Robert Frost titled “Mending Wall,” a poem that addresses the subject of division and suggests ways to approach it. “Mending Wall” was written in 1913 while Robert Frost was living in England for three years, trying to establish himself as a writer … written shortly after he had visited Scotland with a friend. There, walking one day with his friend in the village of Kingsbarns, Frost came upon some loosely heaped, unmortared stone walls that reminded him of similar stone walls that had bordered the... More »
Homily - 2015 Summit "Allied for Justice" - Rev. Paul Beckel Last Updated on 2015-11-24 17:38:07 "So to borrow the relational metaphor ... of Jack Mendelssohn’s ..., the strangest feature of the relationship between great congregations and a great movement is that they, too, create one another." Rev. Paul Beckel Next weekend, I’m excited to say, I will be installed here as minister of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship. Somewhere within that ceremony, odds are, someone will bring out the oft repeated statement by Jack Mendelssohn, who wrote: The future of the liberal church is almost totally dependent on these two factors: great congregations (whether large or small), and skilled, effective, dedicated ministers. The strangest feature of their relationship is that they create one another. I’d like to expand that relational analysis. The Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship is a great congregation. Our people and our mission have been at the forefront and... More »
2015 Summit - Morning Challice Lighting by Rev. Paul Beckel Last Updated on 2015-11-24 16:47:04 Last night we began by invoking the names of the many who were with us in spirit but no longer with us or unable to travel to be in Bellingham this weekend. Then we evoked too all those who were with us in spirit because at one time or another they had inspired us to carry on through the challenges of social justice work. As we rekindle the chalice this morning, think of all of these good people, let’s remember that We build on foundations we did not lay. We warm ourselves at fires we did not light. We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant. We drink from wells we did not dig. We profit from persons we did not know. And we are forever bound in community. Adapted from Hebrew scripture by Peter Raible More »
Annotated Summaries - 2015 Summit Breakout Session Reports Last Updated on 2015-11-17 12:13:34 BRIEFS from THE JUSTICE ISSUE BREAKOUT SESSIONS AT THE 2015 NW JUSTICE SUMMIT An Annotated Summary Download a copy CLIMATE CRISIS The climate crisis group focused on identifying productive ways to get involved in working to ease the climate crisis and its impacts. Attendees identified a dozen organizations in which they are active for environmental justice, some of which were exhibitors at the summit: 350.org, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, First Nations, Earth Ministry, CarbonWA, Plant for the Planet, Commit2Respond, UU Service Committee, UUA-UN Office, Rising Tide, Earth First, Forest Ethics, Backbone, Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, Nature's Trust. Several significant recommendations were developed to share with Network participants. Specifics recommendations for action included: developing and supporting legislation on protecting watersheds; nonviolent resistance to fossil... More »
2015 Summit - Money-Out-of-Politics Breakout Session - Report Last Updated on 2015-11-06 17:08:40 What is the issue or problem? Concentrated financial power applied to electoral campaign finance distorts and corrupts our democratic processes of self-government by the people. As US Supreme Court Justice Stevens said in his dissent to Citizens United, speech financed by big money from the rich and financially powerful “drowns out” other voices in electoral campaign speech. 
Note: The Occupy “movement” also called out the distorting and corrupting influence of election campaign donations from the richest "1%". This problem has worsened and become acute since 2010 because a series of US Supreme Court decisions interpreted First Amendment protections of Free Speech to override regulations on Election Campaign Financing – some of which have been in place for 40 or more decades and others which were part of more recent bi-partisan McCain –... More »