Category Archives: Commentary

Let’s set our Children Free

Juneteenth marks the date in 1865 when many black slaves in Texas finally learned they were free from federal troops arriving in Galveston after the end of the Civil War, more than two and a half years after President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in the Confederate states. In most years Juneteenth is a jubilant celebration, but this year has been a stark reminder of exactly why we choose to commemorate and honor that day and why history is so important. I’m glad the president learned a little bit of history he was unaware of and postponed his Tulsa speech for one day. In my dear friend and beloved role model Fannie Lou Hamer’s eternal words, nobody’s free until everybody’s free. Continue reading Let’s set our Children Free

Justice Vigil

by Carol Rowan,
Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke

For seven hours on Sunday, June 7, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke (UUCR) held a silent justice vigil on the corner of Brandon Avenue and Grandin Road. The goals were to promote solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and to express their sadness and outrage over the murder of George Floyd, systemic racism and continuing injustices. Continue reading Justice Vigil

Lose Job, Lose Health Insurance

How many people have lost their employer-based health insurance during the current pandemic in each of the following countries?

• United States – 27,000,000
• Australia – 0
• Belgium – 0
• Canada – 0
• Denmark – 0
• Finland – 0
• France – 0
• Germany – 0
• Greece – 0
• Italy – 0
• Japan – 0
• New Zealand – 0
• Norway – 0
• Portugal – 0
• South Korea – 0
• Spain – 0
• Sweden – 0
• United Kingdom – 0

Millions in the United States have lost job-related health insurance while those in other nations have not. For persons who get their health insurance from an employer, losing a job means losing health benefits. Continue reading Lose Job, Lose Health Insurance

Never forget to Say Their Names

by Traci Blackmon,
Associate General Minister

As George Floyd lay dying, pinned to asphalt by police, he could be heard calling for his mother whom we now know is deceased. Twice this 46-year-old black man, himself a father, called for his mama with his dying breath. In 8 minutes and 45 seconds, Mr. George Floyd was asphyxiated by a police officer who refused to remove his knee from his neck. He died calling for his mama when all other pleas of mercy failed.

I’ve watched that video more times than is good for my soul.
I’ve watched, not because I needed to see, but because I cannot turn away. Continue reading Never forget to Say Their Names

“We Struggle Together, We Thrive Together”

In the midst of this moment of national trauma I wanted to share a story of hope. When Jacquelyn Kendricks, program director at Roberts Family Development Center, heard her daughter say she had confronted a bully at school, Jacquelyn went into “natural mom mode.”

“Listen, Taylor, that’s not your business,” Kendricks recalls saying. “As long as your friend is safe, you get an adult.” Continue reading “We Struggle Together, We Thrive Together”