Last month I celebrated my first full year away from the UUA. It was important to stay out of the fray after my departure after 10 years of organizing and ministry with youth and young adults. The transition was made even more profound when my 36th birthday came around! No longer am I a young adult. In the ministry there is a lot of health conversation about the importance of giving space to new leadership when we transition. It feels like that happened for me, as I had maybe one or two conversations about young adult and campus ministry in the whole year, and only at social events. There is still some sadness that after a decade of intense action and reflection with the youth and young adult generation, my generation at the time, that the experience and learnings are stored away like an Indiana Jones find. Nonetheless, given my collective organizing principles, I believe that the best leadership will come from young adults themselves. A new generation of empowered, visionary, radically inclusive and spiritually alive youth and young adults are leading already.
I have a lot of love and powerful memories from my 10 years of work. Through all the ups and downs of funding, part-time, leadership transitions, etc, that period in my life both professionally and personally was very meaningful. With an amazing group of dedicated activists, together we built an effective and creative continental network of Unitarian Universalists. We were able to develop on so many levels, not only organizationally, but spiritually. Our basic theology and philosophy of the ministry evolved…process theology and practice at work.
Now that a year is passed, I’m paying attention to only one of the ministries that I left, the Groundwork Initiative. This was a joint collaboration of DRUUMM, YRUU, C*UUYAN and the UUA that was administratively managed by the UUA and led at least ideally by the collective of youth, young adult and mentor anti-oppression/anti-racism trainer-facilitators who went through a 4 day train the trainers. Our work was, and unfortunately still is on the cutting edge. I am pleased to see the integration of so many of the Groundwork participants in our UU congregations, in the organizations we sought to partner and be accountable with including the Catalyst Project (formerly Challenging White Supremacy), People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, Asian American Resource Workshop, Western States Center, and Crossroads Ministry. There is a Groundwork connected member, apprentice or mentor in each of these organizations at some level. This is amazing!