The BIG EASY is coming! For one week in June, New Orleans (NOLA) the city of Second Chances, will host our Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly. The General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through the democratic process. Anyone may attend; congregations must certify annually to send voting delegates. This s a very important year as we (YOU reps who attend) will vote on a new president of our Association.
Key Points You Should Know
Who should attend?
General Assembly has something for everyone. Whether you’re new to this faith or a seasoned person, YOU ARE WELCOME!!! There are things from our youngest folks, teenagers to adults to participate in during this conference. It’s also a great time to exchange ideas with other UUs, here fascinating speakers, listen to incredible music and attend so many moving worship services!!!
Steeped in a history of influences from Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa, NOLA is one of America’s most culturally and historically-rich destinations. It is a city known for its music, food, architecture, and festivals. GA will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
This congregation has a tradition of having many attend. Our largest ever attendance was 42 and while this location isn’t close, it is driveable and we’re hoping to have many go.
One of our key events is the Ware Lecture. This lecture features a well-known activist who will address our Assembly. Since 1922, there have been a host of influential speakers including: Cornell West, Mary Oliver, Julian Bond, Marian Wright Edelman, Norman Lear, Eboo Patel, May Sarton, Carl B Stokes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Holly Near, Rashid Kahlidi, and a host of others.
This year, our Ware Lecturer is Bryan Stevenson who is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults. Mr. Stevenson has successfully argued several cases in the United States Supreme Court and recently won an historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court banning mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional. In 2015, he was named to the Time 100 recognizing the world’s most influential people. Recently, he was named in Fortune’s 2016 World’s Greatest Leaders list.
So what other questions might you have?
Isn’t it hot in NOLA?
No, not really. The average high temperature in June is 89 degrees and the average low is 71.
I have access and/or mobility issues.
This conference is fully accessible. If mobility is an issue, don’t let that stop you!!
Accessibility Services—Even if you are someone who doesn’t usually use assistive equipment, you might really be helped by the available services, from mobility and hearing equipment to advice and orientation services.
Our UUA has a Commitment to Inclusion—beyond the physical accessibility of the facilities we use—ramps, captioning, seating cut-outs, etc.—we endeavor to take the next step: to truly welcome people with disabilities into every facet of GA.
Is this a vacation?
Many use this time to recharge their spiritual and social active sides as well as take a vacation. NOLA is a wonderful vacation spot and this is an excellent opportunity to mix your faith with vacation. With the changing times in the world and our country, our initiatives are even more important.
How can I get a better sense of what will happen?
Check out the following links:
- 2017 GA Summary Schedule
- Detailed Travel and Housing Information
- What the schedule looks like: http://www.uua.org/ga/program/schedule
- Contact Holly Bussey at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
What is the atmosphere like at GA?
Our UUA is committed to Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression, Multiculturalism—and affirms its commitment to maintain an environment free of discrimination and harassment based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, or disability. Economic Accessibility– The UUA is committed to the goal of making GA accessible to as many attendees as possible. Go to uua.org/ga to learn about scholarships to support delegates – particularly those from marginalized groups – and volunteer opportunities (work in exchange for registration).
How do I connect with others from UUCWC?
Holly Bussey will try to coordinate those who are attending. But feel free to talk to others about going (Sallie Dunner is another excellent resource!), sharing rides, or even rooms! It’s a great way to save money and get to know folks better!!!
Consider participating in your faith BEYOND our doors with thousands of other UUs in New Orleans!!!