7/27/2017: The Benefits of UUJEC Membership, by Jim Black


The benefits of membership in the Unitarian Universalist Just Economic Community (UUJEC) are many.  The benefits which I have taken advantage of several times are the resources available on the UUJEC website.  Go to the UUJEC website and click on the menu “escalating inequality” and a drop down menu will appear with several workshops and videos which can be presented at your congregation or community setting. I have had personal success with TED Talk presentations.

I chose TED Talks to present at our Fellowship in Door County Wisconsin. My timing was not the greatest. I made the first presentation of TED Talks during the non-tourist season.  There are just a handful of communities in northern Door County. These communities all have populations less than a thousand.  During the tourist season there are tens of thousands of folks in Door County. During the non-tourist season it is common to see neither a car nor person on the main streets. These same streets during tourist season are so crowded open parking spaces can not be found and walking is difficult due to the crowds.  My expectations were low.

I advertised the TED Talks as being presentations and discussions around income and wealth distribution in the United States and possible remedies, if there is something to remedy.  I expressly encouraged all political views to participate. I advertised in the local weekly paper’s community events section, the local radio station’s community event broadcast, and the Fellowship’s Order of Service.  I convinced myself if two people showed up I would deem the presentation a success.

I set up the TV in the gathering room at the Fellowship. I loaded in the TED Talks, a TED Talk which discussed how income is distributed in the United States and a TED Talk by Richard Wilkinson, whose discussion pointed out that those countries where income is more equally distributed are healthier and happier. I then went to another section of the Fellowship for a meeting which preceded the TED Talks. When the meeting ended I raced into the gathering room hoping to find at least two people. There were over twenty folks there to watch the TED Talks.

Not all of the folks who attended the TED Talks were from the Fellowship. There were several from the community, covering the political spectrum from liberal to conservative. Everyone attentively watched the TED Talks. Afterwards there was a robust respectful discussion. Every voice was given an opportunity and everyone was listened to.

I continued to present the TED Talks for four consecutive weeks.  The TED Talks were all found on the UUJEC website. At each presentation there were about twenty participants. The presentations were followed by respectful robust discussions.  I have since made two more four week presentations of TED Talks at the Fellowship. All were well attended.  All were easy to present because the folks at UUJEC have sorted through numerous TED Talks and selected those most impactful around the topic of income inequality.

So a major benefit to being a member of UUJEC is to support the efforts which created the resources found at the UUJEC website.  At my Fellowship the TED Talks were so successful other members of the Fellowship visited UUJEC’s website and found other resources.  We are in the process of putting together a six week workshop around income inequality through the resources found at www.uujec.org.

Enjoy the video curriculum series in your own congregation.

Escalating Inequality Curriculum: https://uujec.org/tedcurriculum

Corruption of Democracy Curriculum: https://uujec.org/corruptionDemocracy


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