Thursday, December 17, 2015

Which Lives Matter?

Recently at Ohio University, a graffiti wall that had been painted by our Black Student Union with the message "Black Lives Matter" was painted over with a different kind of message, which you can see here. The result has been a resurgence of racial tension, an intensification of discourse around race, and renewed demands that university administrators take action to promote an inclusive community on the campus and in the town.
Predictably, there have been backlash-y reactions to it that highlight the continuing problem of racism in this country (as for example here--although if the "f" word bothers you, this will be a risky click). Much of the backlash revolves around the question, "but don't ALL lives matter?" To help unpack this conundrum, our campus minister, Rev. Evan Young, offered this explication:

I'm a Unitarian Universalist. And the first principle of Unitarian Universalism is that we "affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person." So yes, all lives matter. And Unitarian Universalism as a faith community has embraced the‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ movement, encouraging individuals and congregations to stand with people of color against the systemic and systematic oppression visited on black people in our society. Our actions speak most clearly about what we as a people believe--and our actions as a nation and a society have been saying, for centuries, that black lives matter less. Because I believe that all lives matter, and because I have seen and recognized that our society treats black lives as somehow less valuable, less worthy of respect and equal protection, I must as a person of faith stand with the oppressed, and I must proclaim with them that black lives matter. That's what justice looks like; that's what a just community would do in the face of such injustice. So when people say "black lives matter," the only response I believe can be made with honesty and integrity is "Yes, they do. Let's start acting that way."

At UCM, we stand with those who continue to proclaim that Black Lives Matter. And we commit ourselves to building a community, a culture, and a world in which we all act that way.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

This Old House

The red brick house at 18 N. College St. has been the home to dynamic campus ministry at Ohio University since it was donated to the Westminster Foundation in 1951.  It’s within these walls that courageous and dedicated clergy, staff, community activists and students have fomented resistance to oppressive forces, agitation for social justice and solutions to community problems for almost 65 years. Here we have counseled Vietnam draft resisters, women with unplanned pregnancies prior to Roe v. Wade, organized for equality and justice for women, people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and community members, and resisted war and violence of any kind. Here we have sown the seeds for area organizations like My Sister’s Place, Athens AIDS Task Force and the Southeast Ohio Foodbank. For our students, UCM has been their home in Athens – a place to come to feel supported and encouraged to live out their faith; to question and grow and know they’re supported and loved along the way; to flop down on the couch for a quick nap or grab coffee in the basement with another intern.

This house has taken good care of us and we must take care of it. In the past 2 years alone, we have invested nearly $60,000 in building repairs and updates including a new roof, gutters and drain spouts; repairs to ramp and handrails; extensive work to address drainage problems in the basement; and removal of moldy paneling and plaster walls. If that wasn’t enough, we had an unexpected main waterline break this past February deep freeze that required expensive repairs.

Since most of these projects required immediate attention, grant funding was usually not an option (other than the front basement door and railings – thanks Athens Foundation!) So we have had to dig deep into our pockets to ensure that this old house is safe and sound for all who call it home. If you love our old house like we do, and would like to help us offset some of these expenses, please consider a donation today! You can set up PayPal to be an ongoing sustaining donation or make a one time donation on our website or check.

Help us ensure that 18 N. College Street is home for interfaith, progressive campus ministry for years to come! Thank you.

Friday, September 25, 2015

UCM Annual Board and Staff Retreat at the beautiful Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens! (Aug. 2015)
(First row, L-R) Anna-Kaye Rowe (social media intern), Kathryn Bublitz (Social Work intern), Kelsey Gerard (Community Service intern), Kelli Wanamaker (Community Service intern), Jackie Duffy (Social Work Inter), Melissa Wales (Executive Director), Amanda Hobson (Board Secretary), Katie Dawes (Board Member), Miranda "Lacee" McKinney (Program Intern), Anne Huddleston (Board Member), Josh Baron (Community Service Intern), Rev. Evan Young (Campus Minister), Andrew Stuart (Board Treasurer), Laura Harrison (Board Member), Sarah Jenkins (Board Member), Josh Bodnar (Board Member), Kellea Tibbs (Board Chair), David Descutner (Board Vice Chair) and Tyler Barton (Board Member)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Thank you, Casa Nueva for choosing United Campus Ministry as the recipient of customer tips for the month of July! Go to Casa today, and every day this month, and tip generously! You'll enjoy a delicious, locally-sourced meal AND contribute to UCM's work and mission! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015 Annual Meeting

You are invited….

United Campus Ministry’s
Annual Meeting 2015

Wednesday, April 15
5:00pm – 7:00pm
ArtsWest 132 W. State Street

Meet the current Board of Directors 

including the newly elected 2015-16 Executive Officers, 

staff and interns.

Celebrate our Sustainer Circle and donors.

Panel conversation on current and future accomplishments including 

this year’s expansion of the Campus Minister position!

Refreshments provided.

We look forward to seeing you!