UU Women and Religion

... toward a new day ...


International Convo Day 2

Speakers today were amazing.

Rebecca Adamson of First Peoples Worldwide spoke about the matrilineal culture of her Cherokee heritage. Ruled by the white council, the council of women, in times of peace. The red council ruled in times of war. But the members of the red council get hand-picked by the white council. Because who knows better the leadership qualities of those men than the ones who raised them?

She showed maps of where indigenous peoples are gaining recognition, where their lands are. Indigenous lands comprise 24% of the Earth and they are where the biodiviersity is at its greatest. They are where the big phamaceutical companies are searching for the next wonder drug to come from plants. First Peoples Worldwide is helping peoples take charge of those native plants as their intellectual property, and resisting the drug companies' attempts to come in and steal what's theirs. But there are many indigenous peoples at risk of extinction. Extinction! Why isn't THIS on the nightly news??

Read more: International Convo Day 2

International Convo Day 3

The International Convo website has more and better photos, great videos and reports from the event. Please keep checking back at http://portal.icuuw.com. A DVD is being produced, but no word yet as to when it will be available.

Here are some more tidbits from my experience at the Convo:
Barbara BeachBarbara Beach of the ICUUW Advisory Committee announced many of the sessions and introduced speakers. Her wit was wonderful, and her sense of humor infectious.
Dr. Kalpana KannabiranDr. Kalpana Kannabiran of India, is Professor of Sociology at NALSAR University of Law. She spoke of inspiration from her mother, whom she has worked with in the struggle for women's rights. She sang a hymn to Sarasvati as an example of that inspiration.

Read more: International Convo Day 3

CEDAW Treaty Ratification Now More Hopeful

Editor’s Note: “U*U’s and nons in a vast interconnected web of purpose” (quoted from Dana Fisher Ashrawi’s poem about the Convocation in the Fall WOMUUNWEB) is already coming true! I received the first post-Convo.news item (below) just this morning from a non-U*U.

The situation in Washington DC appears more hopeful for ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) with the new Obama/Biden Administration, and the new Congress. Both the new President and Vice President are familiar with the Treaty, both having served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as Senators, Biden most recently as the its Chair. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), who now chairs the Committee, has always been supportive, as is Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who chairs the Sub-Committee in which the Treaty rests. The Committee membership now has three women members, Senator Boxer, plus two new women Senators, Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and the Party ratio is now 11 Democrats to 8 Republicans (one still undesignated pending the outcome of the Coleman/Franken Senatorial race in Minnesota.) Ratification passage by the full Senate will require a 2/3rds (67) favorable vote.

Read more: CEDAW Treaty Ratification Now More Hopeful

Weaving Global Partnerships


Weaving global partnerships to enrich women’s lives
February 26 – March 1, 2009

Rev Shirley Ranck, UUWR co-convenerThe Convocation opened and closed with a view of Earth from space on two giant screens. The closing song was Blue Boat Home(1) and as it was sung large Earth balls went flying over the heads of the 600 participants who kept them flying by batting them around the large ballroom. It seemed to me that a whole new world-view was finally emerging.

The Convocation itself was both exhilarating and sobering. We listened to a stunning array of powerful women speakers, women such as Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman, Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, Rev. Dr. Ann Peart from England, Dr. Kalpana Kannabiran from India, Rev. Pap Maria from Transylvania, Dr. Creamlimon Nongbri from India, Rebecca Adamson from the Cherokee Nation, Rev. Rebecca Sienes from The Philippines, Dr. Sharon Welch, Margot Adler of National Public Radio, Frances Moore Lappe, Kathy Matsui from Japan, and many others who led workshops and facilitated small groups. We watched and listened as the chalice was lighted with words from five languages. We sang along with singer/songwriter Carolyn McDade and singing group emma’s revolution.

Read more: Weaving Global Partnerships

Who We Are and What We Desire

Dr Misty SheehanThe UUA has been our stalwart supporter and our challenge as we bring women and religion concerns and goals into the Unitarian Universalist system of religion. With changes in the UUA that have recently occurred, UU Women and Religion (W/R) needs to look at what our role will be under the new affiliates' changes.

UU Women and Religion is not an official organization of the UUA, but falls under the category of being recognized as a part of the UU faith tradition. W/R is a free, associated group. Along with a large number of previously UUA affiliated groups, we are no longer given slots for workshops at General Assembly, and must pay more for booth space, crimping and cramping our previous style (in recent years) of having a strong General Assembly appearance.

Read more: Who We Are and What We Desire