Brunswick church gets grant for programs focused on discrimination

BRUNSWICK — The Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick has received a $ 3,800 Community Building grant from the Maine Community Foundation to engage the community in transformative learning focused on racial, ethnic and cultural discrimination. The learning will be through interactive workshops and programs put on by groups, individuals or organizations that have experienced prejudice.
“We at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick are incredibly grateful to receive this grant,” said Cathey Cyrus, co-chair of the church’s Working for Justice Steering Group. “The award will make possible programming to encourage reflection and action within our congregation and the wider community on issues of white privilege, racism, colonization and immigration justice. We understand this learning to be a life-long commitment.”
The grant will support the following projects:
● The Maine-Wabanaki REACH (Reconciliation, Engagement, Advocacy, Change, Healing) workshop “Exploring Wabanaki Maine History,” an interactive storytelling experience to teach about events in the colonizing history of Wabanaki people and their descendants;
● “Deeper Than the Skin” community concert — a mix of music and narrative that invites the audience to engage in open respectful dialogue that moves them from emotion to action, giving voice and direction to the question “What can I do?”
● Shay Stewart/Bouley workshop: an interactive workshop combining lecture and small-group work. It allows participants to deepen their knowledge of racism, examine their own biases, and learn techniques for starting conversations on racism and difference in predominantly white spaces.
● A panel presentation and discussion featuring four asylum seekers, each telling his/her story of journey to becoming new Mainers in the Midcoast region.
The mission of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick is to be a spiritual community, to welcome all, to nurture one another, to work for justice, and to care for the earth. The church’s Working for Justice Steering Group works to offer vital social justice programming that is personally transformative for the congregation and contributes to needed change in the larger community.
The Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more about the foundation, visit www.mainecf.org.