DRUUMM Village @ General Assembly Reflection

By Karin Lin, Communications Coordinator

There is nothing like a DRUUMM gathering at the General Assembly with dozens of BIPOC UUs to counteract the loneliness that many of us feel in our home congregations at being the only person of color, or one of only a few. The joy was palpable throughout the numerous events organized by DRUUMM GA coordinator Verdis LeVar Robinson, including opening and closing worship and identity- and regional-based caucusing. Our DRUUMM booth in the Exhibit Hall was ably arranged and staffed by DRUUMM Administrator Jolanda Walter, serving as an entry and welcome point for prospective and current DRUUMM members alike.

The DRUUMM Annual Meeting honored new and outgoing Steering Committee members, including outgoing Outreach Coordinator Noel Burke, incoming 1st Vice President Tomi Fatunde, incoming 2nd Vice President Rev. Carol Thomas Cissel, incoming secretary Michelle Venegas-Matula, and incoming Outreach Coordinator Nico van Ostrand.

Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti received the Mel Hoover Award, granted to a DRUUMM member who has made outstanding contributions to the community.

In general GA business, the major items of discussion were changes to Article II in the UUA bylaws, where currently the Principles and Sources are enumerated, as well as a business resolution for complete fossil fuel divestment and reparations brought by UU young adults. Delegates voted to continue the multi-year conversation on Article II revision, and although the business resolution did not pass, UUs affirmed the need to continue pushing forward on the issues highlighted in the resolution.

The final highlight was witnessing the installation of Rev. Sofía Betancourt as the first out queer individual and the first woman of color elected as UUA President. DRUUMM members waved purple bandanas in a rousing show of support and excitement.

Next year’s General Assembly will be completely virtual. Stay tuned for opportunities to gather both online and in person to experience GA with DRUUMM!

At her GA installation ceremony June 25, newly elected UUA President Sofía Betancourt shows appreciation to the cheering audience.