This year’s Justice General Assembly is not business as usual when it comes to workshops, which is apparent when you look at the program topical guide. But  there are still plenty of workshop options that will help you build on your foundation of leadership, especially in the areas of:

• multicultural sensibility
• contextual sensibility
• generational sensibility
• change skills
• communcation skills
• being mission-focused as a leader

We’ve created a list of GA workshop “quick picks” that have a secondary focus of leadership development:

Thursday, June 21

10:30 am – 11:45 am

#204 – Shift Happens  – Rm 224 B Join us for a story-based workshop examining our frameworks and turning points in our lives. We live our lives viewing the world through a certain lens or framework, we reach a critical moment, our perspective changes and shift happens.

#212 – Justice Ministries: Into the Heart of Your Congregation – Rm 124 Do the social action efforts in your congregation tend to be scattershot, depleting or marginal to congregational life? Participants will explore current realities in their congregations and consider the transformative power of engaging social justice as 1) congregationally-based 2) justice 3) ministry.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

 #246 – How to Build Meaning-Full Social Justice Ministry Teams – Rm 224 B It takes more than passion to save the world. Learn how to build sustainable, theologically grounded, strategically based Social Justice ministry teams that will engage your whole congregation. Explore a method for developing or focusing your concerns about immigration, ARAOM, peace, poverty, the environment and more.

#249 – Context Is Everything: Life in the Borderlands – Rm 226 Unitarian Universalists visualize a multicultural future, but many UU’s are living the vision today. Hear multicultural UU’s, beyond the black/white binary whose intersecting identities inform their journey in a dominant culture, as they navigate a society where race is socially constructed and borderlands shift accordingly.

Friday, June 21

9:00 am – 10:15 am

#317 Get A Grant From The UU Funding Program – Rm 232 C The UU Funding Program awards $1,000,000 in grants to UU projects that strengthen institutions and community life, increase UU involvement in social responsibility, and to non-UU groups organizing for social and economic justice. Come meet the people who give it all away and see if your project fits our guidelines.

10:30 am – 11:45 am

#321 – Energizing the Reluctant Activist – Rm 224 B Are you having a hard time figuring out how to balance personal responsibilities and limitations with the values that call you to activism? Want to get involved but don’t know how? This compassionate, informative and practical workshop will address issue-burnout and help you identify your path to making a difference.

#327 – Getting Unstuck: New Directions in Catalytic Leadership – Rm 226 Inflexible and linear models of leadership are ineffective for a world wherein multiple voices and multiple realities hope to co-exist.  Explore new understandings of the types of ministerial and lay leadership required to structure congregational life and facilitate culturally competent lay leadership.

#334 – Taking it Home: Youth in the Lead – Rm 221 Come learn practical and applicable skills for organizing around immigration and other justice issues in your youth group, congregation and wider community. We’ll explore ways youth can create change, from deciding what issues are pressing in your community to how to reach out and find allies.

3:15 pm – 4:30 pm

#344 – Crossing Political Borders, Breaking Down Barriers – Rm 125 How can we do viable social justice work if we don’t agree politically? A play on the unheard voices of UU conservatives and a multifaceted lecture will engage participants in an exploration of the political barriers as well as the opportunities for transformational justice work that exist in our congregations.

#349 – Getting Unstuck: New Directions in Cross-Cultural Partnerships – Rm 226 A celebration and exploration with congregations that are creating authentic, transformative cross-cultural ministries. We will explore both the joys and challenges that accompany living at the frontlines of our multi-racial, multicultural and theologically diverse world.

#354 – Engaging Young Adults in Social Justice Ministries – Rm 222 A Take the message of Justice GA home to your community. This workshop panel and discussion will highlight the young adults who are engaged in social justice work in their communities. Come learn about opportunities to get involved in existing justice projects and/or how to start a social justice ministry project in your community.

Saturday, June 22

9:00 am – 10:15 am

 #409 – Young Leaders Visioning for Justice! Planning for Action! – Rm 121 Youth and young adults will envision a future together and work separately to create action plans for moving forward. An interactive, participatory, and fun workshop where young leaders will find their voices and the power to create their own future within their congregations, schools, and communities.

#412 – Understanding & Developing Multicultural Competencies in Congregations – Rm 222 BC Learn how identity work is essential for building our capacities to create a fair and just world! Through panel presentation, resources and experiential learning, participants will engage with six identities— class, ethnicity/languages other than English, race, gender identities, abilities, affectional orientation.

#417 – Organizing 101: Recruitment & Leadership Development – Rm 125 In this interactive workshop, we’ll focus on why people must be central in justice work and learn a framework for assessing who’s in your activist crew to help you do effective and spiritually grounded recruitment and leadership development, two key and often-neglected pieces of our justice work in congregations.

#418 – Partnering Congregations and Community Organizations – Rm 231 How do I connect my congregation with community groups leading campaigns for justice? What are the steps to building meaningful relationships between congregants and partner groups for successful actions and for building community? Hear from UU ministers, social justice leaders, and community activists about what works and what hasn’t.

10:45 am –  12:00 pm

#423 – Building Cultural Competence in Congregations – Rm 229 For many, “cultural competency” is a theory or a hope. In this workshop, clergy from three congregations share examples of the steps members took toward establishing multicultural ministries. Lessons learned, challenges met, and the resulting surprises and rewards as their congregations continue to grow and deepen in cultural competence and spirit.

#425 – Organizing Campaigns: Power Analysis and Successful Building Blocks – Rm 122 Don’t know where to start? Learn from National Day Laborer Organizing Network the fundamentals of putting together a campaign that builds a group, wins demands, and improves conditions for the members of your community.

#427 – The Road From Misappropriation to Cross Cultural Engagement – Rm 222 BC Engagement formed in response to oppression experienced in worship at GA 2007. The group committed to create conversation space that could hold multiple truths, witness pain and focus on deepening relationships across cultures and organizations. The story continues. We each hold a part. Join us.

#429 – Collaboration and Accountability for Racial Justice Empowerment – Rm 125 This workshop will share the story of how institutional sponsorship and collaboration in the planning and organizing of a standalone, multi- generational People of Color gathering in the Southeastern District served as a tool for community building, empowerment, racial justice and reconciliation surrounding the district name change process (from Thomas Jefferson to Southeastern District).

#430 – Storytelling, Mobilization, and Social Media – Rm 232 AB Stories are a powerful tool for social change. Use online communication to tell your story, build relationships with partner organizations, and win legislative and consumer-advocacy victories. Panelists include speakers from Standing on the Side of Love, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and the statewide networks.

About the Author
Rev. Renee Ruchotzke
Leadership Development Consultant, Central East Regional Group (CERG) of the UUA. I have a vision of Unitarian Universalist congregations being led by thousands of diverse, spiritually mature and passionate people ready and willing to spread the good news of liberal religion.  I believe ministry is best when shared between lay and professional leaders. More information about me can be found on the UUA website.