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Fortification Episode 8: Gabriel Foster

Fortification Episode 8: Gabriel Foster

The past week has been filled with sorrow and reflection coupled with incremental victories. In these times, we know there is a role for each of us to double down and share our gifts and talents in the service of movement and resistance. We hope our next episode of Fortification illuminates the ways we can support and flank movement in these times.

In our eighth episode of Fortification, Caitlin is joined by Gabriel Foster, co-founder and Executive Director of Trans Justice Funding Project. Gabriel Foster is a black, queer, trans, ‘momma’s boy’ living and loving in New York.  Prior to making his way to the Eastern Time Zone, he worked in Seattle, WA with the Northwest Network of bisexual, trans, lesbian & gay survivors of abuse helping to create their youth programming.

It is hardly the end - Reflections on Standing Rock

It is hardly the end - Reflections on Standing Rock

When word began to spread at Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock on the afternoon of Sunday, December 4th, there was skepticism. The Army Corps of Engineers, some were saying, was about to announce that it was denying the permit which would have allowed the final sections of the Dakota Access Pipeline to be completed. 

Just twenty minutes later, when Dave Archambault II, Chairman of Standing Rock, announced that this hope was indeed true, elation spread among the thousands of people gathered in support of environmental justice and the sovereign rights of the Native people. Success! At least for the time being.

Since April 2016, the encampments at Standing Rock, supported by at least 200 indigenous tribes in North America whose flags were lining the roads within the camp, had been a place of prayer, reflection and direct action. In early November, 500 clergy, over 50 of them Unitarian Universalists, had answered the call to come to Standing Rock. Now, a month later, many of us – numbers yet unknown -- were gathered responding to the invitation from Chief Arvol Looking Horse. 

Showing up for Standing Rock - This Weekend & Beyond

Showing up for Standing Rock - This Weekend & Beyond

This weekend, people of faith and conscience will join the thousands of people holding prayerful witness in solidarity with the Water Protectors resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline. For folks traveling to Standing Rock this weekend, please join the UU Solidarity with Standing Rock – Dec 4 Interfaith Day of Prayer Facebook group for up to date information.

Conditions continue to evolve on the ground as resistance and solidarity grows. Whether you’re able to travel to Standing Rock or not, below see some timely resources important to inform and ground your solidarity with this movement. Wherever you are, doing the work to be accountable that is grounded in discernment, reflection and prayer is required as we support the Native-led prayerful organizing taking place in Standing Rock. Click here to find #NoDAPL Solidarity events taking place across the country.

Call to Standing Rock: Dec. 4th Interfaith Day of Prayer

Call to Standing Rock: Dec. 4th Interfaith Day of Prayer

Last Sunday night, in below-freezing temperatures, unarmed water protectors just north of Standing Rock survived shocking assaults from water cannons. Many were traumatized, and some needed emergency room care. In the aftermath of these attacks, and in the months prior, my congregation has received countless messages from people around the country – and world – asking, "What can we do?”

Meanwhile, we have received one of the most important invitations we are ever likely to receive, as people of faith and conviction. Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle, has called upon each of us to join him at Standing Rock on Sunday, December 4th, for an Interfaith Day of Prayer. In solidarity with indigenous people and mutual love for the water, it is my hope that you and your communities of faith will participate in this history-making day.

As those who have visited know, the nonviolent water protector movement at Standing Rock is deeply rooted in prayer. Each day I spend at Oceti Sakowin camp, I feel myself challenged and inspired to live a more prayerful and faithful life. We awake with prayers, dine with prayers, go to rest with prayers, and pray continuously throughout each day. 

Fortification Episode 7: Alfredo Gutierrez

Fortification Episode 7: Alfredo Gutierrez

We are entering a whole different time politically. We need stories from our elders now. We are grateful to be able to offer this next episode of Fortification with one of those people, an elder who has supported and helped build resistance in Arizona. We hope some of the reflections and lessons will fortify you.

In our seventh episode of Fortification, Caitlin is joined by Alfredo Gutierrez, former Arizona State Senate majority and minority leader. Mr. Gutierrez served for 14 years in the legislature and is an outspoken advocate for immigration reform and public schools. His first book, To Sin Against Hope: How America Has Failed Its Immigrants; a Personal History was published in 2013.