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New guidelines and policies

Dear friends,

You may have experienced this fun feeling: Watching the news, or looking at a news article online about an important justice event, and, wham!-- there it is, another yellow shirt sighting! Doesn’t it feel great to see our community represented so vibrantly all across the country, and even internationally?

We know that how we show up in the world, as Evangelists for Love, as people committed to a radical love ethic, as Standing on the Side of Love (SSL) Activists, is one of the most important things we do. Whether it’s in person or online, our iconic imagery helps identify us to each other, and to our larger faith and justice communities.

With that, we are excited to announce new policies for the SSL brand materials. We know, we know, “excitement” and “new policies” don’t often show up authentically in the same sentence, but we are truly energized to share with you what has been in the works for several months. Since the beginning of this campaign, our visionary founders sought to make this an open-source campaign that would grow organically. And truly, our exponential growth since 2009 as one of the leading faith-based voices for social justice grounded in love, has surpassed many of our original dreams for this campaign. Unitarian Universalists, and everyone who stands with us as a Love Person, have been hard at work spreading our message of harnessing the power of love to stop identity-based oppression, and we have been thoughtful about how to do that. 

Thankfully, so far, we have not yet run into any persons or organizations that have sought to distort our message of love. But we know that if we are to continue to grow, we should take the necessary steps to protect our vision (Or, to put it in more business-like terms, we have taken the necessary steps to protect our brand!). What this means: last year, we filed materials to trademark the Standing on the Side of Love brand materials. We thought a lot about this before taking this on: what does it mean to trademark our brand? How will we continue to grow and maintain our open source nature? How will YOU, our supporters feel about this change?

We put some great minds together to answer these questions, and we are happy to share that we’ve developed a system we think will be easy to implement. Here’s how it will work beginning October 15.

If you are interested in creating electronic or physical products with the SSL branding:

First, check out the UUA Bookstore for a wide variety of SSL products already for sale. If an item is for sale through our UUA Bookstore, we ask that you please purchase it there. We also ask that you not create SSL products on your own if the item is already available from the UUA Bookstore (Products customized with the name of your congregation may be an exception). Income from Bookstore sales funds the work of our Association, including the justice work of the Standing on the Side of Love campaign. If after reading these initial guidelines you are still interested in purchasing the rights to use the SSL brand materials, starting October 15th you can head over to the our SSL License form on our website and purchase a SSL logo lock-up.

Beginning October 15, 2015, all requests for the SSL brand materials will be directed to this new process, which will allow us to maintain the integrity of this campaign together, and keep our message of love going strong! We will also be asking for a nominal licensing fee for any and all uses of the SSL license. For all non-commercial uses, a one-time fee of $50 is required, and for any persons wishing to make SSL materials for a commercial process, a one-time fee of $100 will be required.  These fees will go directly back to the SSL campaign and the Unitarian Universalist Association to help fund our justice work. 

Finally, we would like you to know something about how we produce our SSL campaign materials:  in keeping with our UU values and the goals of the SSL campaign, we try as much as possible to use local vendors and union-made materials and to ensure that the workers who produce our products are compensated fairly.  If your organization obtains a license to create your own SSL materials, we ask that you follow these principles of fairness and responsibility as much as possible.  We are happy to reply to any questions you might have about this process. And we would love to hear from you with suggestions for new SSL products. Please send questions or suggestions to love@uua.org.

The Standing on the Side of Love campaign is profoundly grateful for your dedication to its values and your commitment to work for justice. Thank you.

In faith,

Jen, Nora and the SSL Team