G.R.A.C.E. Team Members
Araya has been a parishoner of FCU Littleton for the past 7 years and their minister, Rev. Valentin, has reawakened Araya's desire and excitement about multiculturalism. Twenty years ago, while teaching Social Work at Boston University, Araya taught courses on racism and oppression as well as consulted with agencies on these issues. She is enjoying being in the process of her congregation becoming more multicultural.
Meck is Justice Ministries Coordinator for the district and a former co-director of the Women's Theological Center where she worked for many years building inclusive, intentional multicultural community. She is committed to the co-creation of the Beloved Community, Dr. King's radical concept of a world rooted in relationships of reciprocity and responsibility.
REV. JOSH PAWELEK
The Rev. Josh M. Pawelek has been minister of the UU Society: East in Manchester, CT since 2003. He serves as President of the Greater Hartford Interfaith Coalition for Equity and Justice, a 25-member faith-based community organization working on community-based schooling, reducing urban violence, and addressing race-based health disparities. He serves as chair of CT Clergy for Full Equality, who helped win passage of CT's transgender civil rights bill in 2011. He describes himself as a theistic Unitarian Universalist; accountable white anti-racist, feminist, queer ally; liberal, suburban American minister dedicated to transformative preaching, teaching, healing and social justice ministries. He lives in Glastonbury, CT with his wife and two young sons. Read his blog on faith-based social justice work at http://creedible.com/blog7/.
REV. SARAH PERSON
Over the past seven years Sam has trained and work in facilitating social justice initiatives, promoting multiculturalism and anti-oppression; bringing a comprehensive focus in both communities and congregational environment. He is a member of the Board of Trustees in UU Church in Meriden.
REV. MARTA VALENTIN
The Rev. Marta I. Valentín serves First Church Unitarian in Littleton, MA. Previously, she served in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and Arlington, VA. She currently serves on the UU Minister Association’s Nominating Committee, and on the “brain trust” that has created a new website/blog, called “Cooking Together," to prepare congregations on immigration issues in preparation for Justice GA 2012. Her poems and prayers have been published in various venues including most recently in Encounters: Poems about Race, Ethnicity and Identity and The Arc of the Universe is Long: Unitarian Universalists, Anti-racism and Journey from Calgary. Her work will also appear in the forthcoming “Been in the Storm So Long, Vol 2, edited by Mark Morrison-Reed and Jacqui James. She identifies as a Latina (New Yorican: Puerto Rican New Yorker) lesbian and lives in Littleton with her wife, daughter, and elderly but young of spirit cat. A percussionist, she is working on combining her poetry reciting with her drumming to create “percussive poetry."
Ken is currently on the Executive Board of Allies For Racial Equity (ARE). He is the former president of the Clara Barton District, the District Presidents Association and First Parish Church of Stow & Acton and, together with his spouse Laura, is currently a member of First Parish Church in Northborough. He began his anti-racist journey during the anti-war movement in the Viet Nam era, but didn’t begin understanding or unraveling his own role in the perpetuation of oppression until he began working in what was called a "white-privilege" group in early 2004 in his congregation. Since that time, he has collaborated with a number of such groups to sponsor and facilitate workshops and film series within several congregations and conducts AR/AO/MC Sunday services upon invitation from congregations around the country. Ken regularly facilitates and leads the discussion of films sponsored by ARE at General Assembly each summer. He is the proud father of four children, including one teenager still at home, a grandfather of one and lives in Marlborough with Laura.
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