By Aly Tharp, Benjamin Franklin Craft-Rendon, Elizabeth Mount, and Jason Faulk
Today, we four Unitarian Universalist Young Adults for Climate Justice (UUYACJ) members will begin making our way across the Gulf Coast to St. Augustine, Florida, to stand in solidarity with the Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples and other allies in the Resist 450 Coalition.
From September 5-9 we will join other activists in peacefully demonstrating against St. Augustine's 450th Anniversary Celebration of the arrival of Spanish colonizers, including a historical reenactment of the landing of Spanish colonizer Pedro Menéndez de Aviles.
Repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery is at the epicenter of Resist 450. UUYACJ has joined this coalition because we believe it is in line with our Unitarian Universalist faith to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery through conscientious actions that support Aboriginal Indigenous voices of conscience and and leadership.
This is a major step on the path to a world that is truly equitable and compassionate in human relations and in harmony with the Earth. Such is our vision for Climate Justice, and our responsibility as a denomination with Christian-colonial roots. We rejoice to be four among many Unitarian Universalists who are taking action to advance the rights and freedoms of Indigenous Nations in faith and in right relationship with frontline communities.
We would be very grateful to have your blessings on this journey in one or more of these ways:
Now: make a donation to UUYACJ to help us offset our journey to St. Augustine and support our continued work.*
On September 7 and 8: Light a candle, incense or chalice for us and all the active Earth-defenders in St. Augustine, with your prayers and blessings. At dawn on September 8th, we will protest the re-enactment of Pedro Menéndez de Aviles’ landing, with kayaks and canoes.
Throughout September 5-9: Follow and amplify our news from St. Augustine via Twitter (@UUYACJ), and on Facebook.
- On or around October 12: Create opportunities for discussion and education with your friends, family, and congregations for Indigenous Peoples Day, such as launching a book-reading and discussion group about the Indigenous People’s History of the United States. Use this holiday as a chance to learn about and take action to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery.
If you would like to virtually connect your congregation with UUYACJ to hear stories and ask questions about the Resist 450 demonstrations, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be delighted to do so. Thank you for your support!
In Faith and Gratitude,
The UUYACJ delegation joining the Resist 450 Coalition:
Benjamin Franklin Craft-Rendon
*The donation link takes you to the UU Ministry for Earth online store. Once you click "ADD TO CART" you can donate any amount by filling in the “add donation” row, and clicking "UPDATE CART." We estimate our total expenses will be around $400, since we will be staying with friends along the way, and camping out and eating in community while in St. Augustine. You can also mail checks to UU Ministry for Earth, 1034 SW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97205 (to the order of UUMFE, with UUYACJ in the memo line).
This post originally appeared on the UU Young Adults for Climate Justice blog.