Inclusivity Forum Session 4: Welcoming People of All Gender Expressions and Identities

Wednesday, October 5 – 4 pm PT | 5 pm MT | 6 pm CT | 7 pm ET | 8 pm AT (2 hours)

As part of the CUC’s commitment to dismantling systemic barriers to full inclusion, the Social Justice Team has planned two more Inclusivity Forums, a FREE series that will focus on:

  • Becoming more conscious of privilege, power, and biases
  • Practice noticing our own discomfort that arises when our beliefs, opinions, biases are challenged, and our responses to it
  • How to shift our UU culture and communities to be more aware and intentionally inclusive

This forum will focus on the experiences of UUs of All Gender Expressions and Identities within UU groups/congregations. This includes, but is not limited to folks who 

  • Faced challenges around coming out and transitioning in public
  • Gender expression is outside of the binary
  • Difficulties using public washrooms or physical space
  • Language barriers (for example, misused pronouns, dead names, etc)
  • Facing unique challenges related to family
  • Gender biases in the workplace and society

Alex Kapitan and Teo Drake of Transforming Hearts Collective invite you to an inclusivity forum on gender expressions, identities, and biases.  We hope to have a high number of Unitarian Universalists from across Canada show up for this dynamic and important session.

The Transforming Hearts Collective fosters resilience, healing, and long-term resources for the work of social change among queer and trans people, and helps faith communities practice radical inclusion and dismantle oppression in all of its forms.

Alex Kapitan is a trainer, speaker, consultant, editor, and anti-oppression activist. A transgender and queer lifelong Unitarian Universalist, Alex grounds radical social justice work in a place of faith and love, and also does interfaith ministry to help queer and trans people connect to religion and spirituality. For eight years, Alex worked at the national headquarters of the Unitarian Universalist Association, supporting anti-racism and Welcoming Congregation programming for congregations and maintaining large-scale social organizing efforts. Alex also recently served on the steering committee for TRUUsT, an organization of transgender Unitarian Universalist religious professionals.

Teo Drake is a spiritual activist, an educator, a practicing Buddhist and yogi, and an artisan who works in wood and steel. He is also a blue collar queer-identifed man living with AIDS. When he isn’t helping spiritual spaces be more welcoming and inclusive of marginalized people or helping queer and trans folks find authentic spiritual paths, he can be found teaching martial arts, yoga, and woodworking to children.

The focus of the forum is informed conversation, not education.  In this way it is different than a workshop where you show up to be taught. It is your responsibility to do the depth of education you need to engage in an informed and compassionate conversation about this type of inclusion. Educating ourselves ensures that those experiencing exclusion do not need to educate those with privilege or endure expressions of ignorance.  

Materials will be shared with registrants in advance. At the forum, we’ll discuss how UU communities can become more inclusive. The CUC’s Responsibility Covenant will be used to promote safety for all in attendance. A caucus group will be available for those who experience exclusion due to their gender expression or gender identity should they prefer to discuss together.

Inclusivity Forum Session 4 Registration – Deadline: October 5, 2022

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