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Melissa Saggerer

Check out these generous Justice GA Exhibitors who pledged 40 service hours each

First, a little background: The General Assembly Exhibit Hall has long been a beloved part of the GA experience.  We wanted the exhibit hall this year to be a part of Justice GA, and also serve a specific purpose toward our larger vision and goals of this GA.  We welcomed UU exhibitors as well as other human rights and service organizations, past exhibitors and vendors of goods sold to benefit human rights and justice causes. We are excited for all these groups to form the Justice GA Expo, which will carry on the role of an important networking hub for the exchange of information and ideas.

As a part of the reservation process, each 5 day booth made a minimum donation of $150 to support partner organization participation in the exhibit hall and to support the 2012 GA Service Project.

As an additional show of support, exhibitors could choose to increase their donation or pledge service hours.  These exhibiting groups all pledged 40 service hours to be completed on their own, unrelated to activities at General Assembly:

We will hopefully have an upcoming blog post from one of them further detailing how they plan to spend their 40 hours of service.

To maximize the opportunity for justice work, partnership, and conversations, Arizona community partners are invited to utilize table space on Sunday, June 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. when the Justice GA Expo is open to the public. We will have a number of skirted tables set up in a prominent area of the exhibit hall that will be free for community partners to disseminate information, talk to attendees and the public, and sell items if desired.

We will also have a hands-on service project to be completed in the hall on Saturday.

Be sure to check out the Justice GA Expo (GA Exhibit Hall):

Exhibit hall hours:

Wednesday, June 20
12:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
open to GA registrants only

Thursday, June 21
10:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
open to GA registrants only

Friday, June 22
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
open to GA registrants only

Saturday, June 23
10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
open to GA registrants only

Sunday, June 24
10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
open to the public

Films on Immigration

Taken from Standing on the Side of Love: The UUA has compiled a list of powerful films that are ideal for educating yourself, your family, your friends, and, if applicable, your congregation on immigration-related issues. Whether you’re just looking for an entry point on the crucial human rights topics related to immigration or seeking a backdrop to a community-wide dialogue that may spur policy change, these films are some of the best.

Films on Immigration

Chosen based on quality and/or subject breadth, these movies touch on many different aspects of immigration. Don’t feel you need to watch all of them. Start with one that sounds interesting, or pick a few that cover different topics and have an Immigration Film Fest.

  • Detained: The New Bedford Immigration Raid
    On March 6, 2007, workers at a New Bedford factory producing vests for the U.S. military were arrested in a raid conducted by Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE) officers. Of the 361 undocumented immigrants arrested that day, the majority were women, many with small children. Detained follows families affected by the immigration raid. (more…)

Scholarships, Grants and GA Support!

The following is reposted from Blue Boat, written by Ted Resnikoff with youth and young adults in mind, but much of it applies to other age groups as well- make sure to also check out our Financial Aid page!

Registration for  General Assembly is open as are  several funding opportunities to help offset the cost of attending. 

Deadlines are approaching, so get your applications filled out soon!


Local scholarships and support – Deadlines vary
Several districts are providing scholarship assistance and other support, from covering registration, to providing an additional matching grant, to organizing caravans.  These opportunities are specifically for those within the district.  Check our updated list of resources by district.  Some are general funds for all attendees, while others are specifically for young adults or for youth.

One application, two scholarship chances! – Application Deadline March 31!
To ensure that youth and young adults are considered for even more scholarship options, the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and the General Assembly Planning Committee (GAPC) have combined their scholarship application processes. The funds and decision-making procedures remain separate, but youth and young adults no longer have to submit separate applications to be considered for either of these two scholarship awards— one application automatically qualifies the applicant to be considered for both programs!  If you received a scholarship from one of these programs last year, you are still eligible to receive one from the other this year.

Youth and Young Adult Scholarships
This award pays the applicant’s GA registration fee and up to $500 for expenses associated with attendance at GA.
Additional funds beyond $500 for expenses are available this year through a generous gift from the Katie Tyson Fund for applicants who demonstrate exceptional leadership ability and potential and indicate in their applicant statement their plan for bringing what they learn at GA back to their communities.

GAPC Matching Grants
The General Assembly Planning Committee (GAPC) has established a matching grant scholarship.  The GAPC grant covers registration and then will additionally match the amount of aid provided by the congregation up to $250 (for a total of $500 assistance, split between the congregation and the GAPC).
Under special circumstances, youth and young adults who are awarded GAPC matching grants may request that an award from the Youth and Young Adults Scholarship Program serve as their congregational match.

Apply Here

Get There Grants – Application Deadline March 31
Get There Grants are for projects that defray costs to help youth and young adults attend the 2012 Justice GA in Phoenix, AZ. These grants are for shared expenses that can lower the cost of attendance for a large number of youth or young adults.  This could be for a charter bus, providing box lunches for youth and young adults, purchasing ingredients for a shared meal of-site, and more.  Learn more about the Get There Grants on our website.

Other options
You can volunteer at GA to have your registration waived, and we’ll be in blogging about some fundraising ideas in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, you might want to check out the resources here on Blue Boat, including a fundraising guide from our Spirituality and Service program.

Immigration Resources- get the most out of this Justice GA

Want to know more about immigration?: check out some of these resources to see why we’re going to Phoenix and what we’re addressing while we’re there.  Attendees will come away with a heightened knowledge of the issues, have opportunities to participate in witness and service and come away having been a part of something unique.

Let us know in the comments if there are other resources you recommend!

Cooking Together: Recipes for Immigration Justice Work

“Cooking Together” includes this page and a blog, where people of all ages who are passionate about engagement with immigration justice work are invited to share, create and adapt faith development materials for congregations. Have materials or ideas to share or resources you are seeking? Contact Gail Forsyth-Vail, Adult Programs Director (adultprograms @ uua.org).

Best Practice

Posadas & Interfaith Witness with Immigrant Families: On Saturday, December 10, members of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice of Ventura County (CLUE VC) gathered with others in Oxnard, CA to provide support for immigrant families who are being faced with the very real possibility that one or both parents will be (or have been) deported. These deportations result in children being separated from one or both of their parents and often being placed in foster care. A crowd of about 80 people attended the event and signed postcards to be sent to President Obama, asking for justice for immigrant families. Rev. Dr. Betty Stapleford, a UU minister and CLUE VC Board member from Thousand Oaks, introduced other clergy and lay representatives from various religious communities who shared blessings from their faith traditions in support of immigrants. Read the complete story.

Faithful Witness and Action

Faithful Witness and Action includes information and resources for organizing and carrying out actions in support of immigrant rights and family unification through the Standing on the Side of Love campaign; congregational stories of witness, action, and support; partner organizations; and opportunities for witness, advocacy, and solidarity in response to legislation, policies, events, and organizing campaigns.

Congregational Stories

Stories of what other congregations have done to bring about justice or deepen learning on immigration.


Worship includes links to hymn and music suggestions, prayers, meditations, litanies, stories, and readings for adults, young, adults, youth, children, and multigenerational groups.

Theological Reflection

Theological Reflection includes sermon excerpts and reflection questions, small group ministry plans for people of all ages, and essays on a UU theology of immigration.

Religious Education

Religious Education includes program plans for children, youth, adults and multigenerational groups that explore topics connected with immigration justice and invite people to respond as they are called by Unitarian Universalist values and principles.

Immigration Policy

Immigration Policy includes information about federal and state public policy, legislation, government action concerning immigration,and analysis of migration to the United States.

UUA GA is a Top Organization for Green Meetings!

One of the values that we hold close while making decisions about General Assembly is our commitment to sustainability.  Meetings and Conventions named our General Assembly as a leader in green meetings in an article- “5 Top Organizations for Green Meetings: How five companies have raised the bar for eco-friendly gatherings.”  [we’re on page 4] Check it out!

sneak peek: “Going green has never hurt the UUA’s bottom line, Sneegas reports. The only area for which the group has paid extra is in food and beverage — specifically, to use more organic and local foods. In this case, the UUA’s “ethical eating statement of conscience,” which was passed last year, trumps the budget. Sneegas explains, “Our contracts require 20 percent of the foods to be organic and local at no extra cost, but if the vendor can do more, we’ll pay for the difference.”

To see some of the other values that drive our meeting planning work visit our website- Our Values in Practice page.

GA 2012 Exhibit Hall- Join the Justice GA Expo!

Are you interested in exhibiting at General Assembly? The Unitarian Universalist Association is gearing up for a fresh and exciting Justice GA in Phoenix, Arizona.  It is a GA that will have a focus on education, preparation, faith-based worship, witness and service. You are warmly invited to be a part of it!

The Justice GA Expo at the 51st UUA General Assembly will be an important networking hub for the exchange of information and ideas.  It will feature a wide variety of new and returning exhibitors that reflect the diversity of interests pursued by Unitarian Universalists: Craftspeople, Jewelry Artisans, Social Action Groups, Professional Services, Theological Schools, Educational Resources, UUA Congregations, UUA Organizations, Beacon Press, the UUA Bookstore, as well as partner human rights/service organizations, and vendors of goods whose sale benefits justice causes.  UU and non-UU exhibitors are welcome.

Just by reserving a booth, 2012 GA exhibitors will be making a financial contribution toward justice. For every exhibitor registration we receive, $150 of the booth rental rate will be donated to support justice work.  Exhibitors will also have opportunity to make additional donations for justice.  The GA Planning teams will also engage with exhibitors to identify other ways exhibitors can contribute to immigration, racial and economic justice work.

New This Year:
The GA Planning Committee is exploring opportunities for hands-on service projects that GA attendees can perform from inside the Expo Hall.

On Sunday, June 24 the Justice GA Expo will expand to include some additional local community partners who are engaged in justice work.  The Expo will be open to the public on Sunday.

Our current projected attendance for GA 2012 is 3,500.  Estimates become more accurate after registration opens in March.

More information about Exhibiting

Reserve Space in Exhibit hall

Program Ad information

As always- go to http://www.uua.org/ga/ for the most current information about GA.  Thank you!

2012 Justice GA Input and Email List

Check out this very short web form and fill it out if you’re interested in sharing your thoughts about the 2012 Justice GA.  You can also sign up to be on an email list to receive planning updates on the same form.

All input collected here will be compiled and shared with GA planners and stakeholders. Beginning in September, detailed plans for programming and witness, as well as arrangements for accessibility, registration, housing, etc. will start to come together. If you provide your email, we will send you updates as more information becomes available. We hope you are excited and ready to participate.

Please fill out this form if you have suggestions for GA 2012, if you have skills/expertise to help with GA 2012, and/or if you would like to receive email updates about the planning of GA 2012.

Exhibiting “Green” at General Assembly

Did you know that UUA will reuse 48,600 square feet of recycled content carpet at General Assembly this year? Carpet reuse avoids about 170,000 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions and saves enough water to fill 74,000 milk jugs!

Through practices like carpet reuse UUA and exhibitors are trying to create a ‘greener’ exhibit hall. A big thank you to all of these exhibitors who took steps to reduce the environmental impact of their booths this year:

These exhibitors reduced their footprint in a variety of ways, including:

  • Avoiding disposable booth elements by using materials and furnishings that are re-usable, rented or able to be donated.
  • Choosing reusable signage options, or ones that can be recycled locally.
  • Reusing packing materials and eliminating non-recyclable packaging.
  • Reducing or eliminating giveaways or ensuring these items are sustainable.
  • Using no lighting for their booth or choosing energy efficient lighting options like LED or CFL bulbs.
  • Using no flooring or choosing a re-usable carpet option with recycled content.

Come visit them in the exhibit hall and applaud their green practices!

To see find out more about the exhibit hall you can visit the list on our website or our new online event guide.

Sneak Peek at the 2011 Exhibit Hall!

This year we have a full and lively bunch of exhibitors ready to serve your information, justice, networking, religious and shopping needs! How could they possibly cover all that and more?  To find out…

Check out our online list of exhibitors

Our new mobile/web guide Event Mobi will let you see exhibitors as well with the added functionality of being able to search by categories!

The Unitarian Universalist Association is committed to a diverse marketplace of ideas.  Participation in our exhibit hall does not necessarily mean the UUA endorses the position of any given exhibitor.

King rooms now available at Crowne Plaza

GA Housing Update: There are currently a limited number of King rooms  available at the Crowne Plaza Charlotte Hotel which is located five blocks from the Convention Center.  We are still working on acquiring rooms with two beds from some additional properties.  If you need a room with two beds, please check back next week.  If you only need one King bed, please book a room at the Crowne Plaza now.

Thank you for your continued patience as we work hard to add to our hotel room inventory.

As we said earlier, housing reservations for General Assembly 2011 have been coming in at a pace we haven’t seen in years.

We are gratified that the level of excitement over this 50th Anniversary celebration is so high. The General Assembly Office is currently in negotiation with other area hotels – just having added one hotel option and hoping to be able to continue increasing the size of the UUA’s hotel room block soon.

General Assembly housing information is posted here.