Introduction to the Justice and Equity Team

Hi folks!  We’re Amber and Erin!

Over the past two years, we’ve had the pleasure of working with the Canadian Unitarian Council on some pretty exciting and challenging inclusion work. In our blog, we will introduce you to some fantastic people who are “getting into the weeds” of inclusivity and share some tools to make this tough work a bit easier. But first, we’d like to introduce ourselves!

In some ways, we have a lot in common. We’re both artists, storytellers, mothers, and conversation starters. We have connections to a few specific Indigenous communities and are deeply engaged in equity and justice work within our communities. We each experience a mixed bag of social privilege and oppression and are open to discussing how these things impact our lives and perceptions.

In other ways, we are quite different, making great conversations as we grow and learn together.

Amber here:  I’m a long-time Unitarian Universalist (UU). My involvement started as a young adult and continued into adulthood. I love my UU community and have created lifelong friendships. That said, several aspects of who I am have sometimes made me feel excluded. So it has been deeply personal and meaningful to me to lead these inclusion efforts. In everything we do, I aim to show up with vulnerability and encourage others to do the same. I have seen vulnerability transform hearts and minds! I am confident the difficult work of changing ourselves and our institutions can be made much easier when we come with an open heart. 



Erin here:  I’m what you might call an outsider to UUism. My life’s work is to help organizations and communities move from where they are to where they want to be. While I am not UU, I am inspired to work with this national movement because of their desire to challenge themselves, question their biases, dismantle what does not align with justice, evolve how they express themselves, and expand to become more welcoming. That’s not something I get to see too often! A naturally curious person, my questions tend to shine a spotlight on things that insiders might miss. I’ve been told that one of my superpowers is that I can find a metaphor in just about anything. I share these liberally with the intent to help people shift perspectives. With my irreverent yet playful banter, I invite people to imagine a different way forward: inspiring, just, and expansive.

In all we do, we aim to blend the heart work with the head work required to transform our lives and the systems we co-create. We understand that some of our followers may already know us, having experienced us in action through our workshops, forums, and coaching sessions. With so much work to do, we are creating this blog to appeal to the wider world of organizations and individuals invested in inclusion work. 

Wherever you are, and in whatever work you do to bring joy and inclusivity into the world, we look forward to connecting with you.

Before you go, say “hi” in the comments. We’d love to know who you are and what you hope to gain from this blog.

Call and Response, the Canadian Unitarian Council’s new blog, is a forum for sharing ideas, tools, and resources with people and organizations who want to create a more loving, just, and equitable world.

Amber Bellemare is the truth healing and reconciliation program coordinator and Erin Horvath is the justice and equity lead for the Canadian Unitarian Council.


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