Equality U, July 19, Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Porterville

Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Porterville

Sunday service is at 10:30 am; coffee and visiting at 10:15 am

135 E. Harrison (Corner of Harrison Ave. and Fourth St.)

Porterville, CA 93257

For additional information call 782-1724

Our website is: http://UUFellowship.homestead.com/UUFellowship.html

July programs coordinated by Terry Crewse

July 19 “Equality U” A feature length documentary following a group of 33 young activists on the Soulforce Equality Ride, a first of its kind, to confront antigay discrimination policies at 19 conservative religious and military colleges. Discussion with John Coffee and Brock Neeley. Ann Marie Wagstaff has been able to get Equality Rider Kayla Bonewell to join us.

We invite recent new attendees at Fellowship to linger a while longer so that we might get to know you better. Ask a member how you can become more involved in the weekly activities. June 21 was not only the summer solstice but also a standout performance by presenter Ann Marie Wagstaff with 28 persons attending the program. Many are involved at Porterville college but others were just interested in the program. A great day!

We will continue meeting throughout the summer whether we have 8 or 28 people in attendance. If you can help in any way with programming, please sign up on the program list clip-board.

We, the member congregations of the UUA, covenant to affirm and promote:

The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in

society at large;

The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Equality U

Run Time: 1 hr 23 min

Equality U is a feature-length documentary following a group of 33 young activists on the Soulforce Equality Ride, a first of its kind, two-month, cross-country tour to confront antigay discrimination policies at 19 conservative religious and military colleges. It is a human story of a group of young people struggling to stand up for what they believe is right. Against the backdrop of the Equality Ride, the film focuses on seven of the “Equality Riders” and two courageous students they encounter along their journey. The Riders, led by Jacob Reitan (23) and Haven Herrin (23), must come to terms with their new role as young activists, deal with internal conflict within the group, and face the daily onslaught from administrators that don’t want them on their campuses. And while most of the young Riders identify as Christian, not all of them do so in the same way, if at all.

At each stop, the Riders exercise “relentless non-violent resistance” and often face arrest for trespassing. They must confront the controversial question: “Do schools ultimately have the right to decide who does and doesn’t belong?” But even in the most seemingly unwelcoming campuses, the Riders find straight students who are interested in a dialogue.

Can this small group of activists sow the seeds of dialogue as their bus rolls down the highway? How will the road change them? For the Riders that identify as both Queer and Christian, how will the journey challenge or transform their faith? And what happens to the outed gay students they encounter and then leave behind?

Incorporating verité footage, interviews, and personal video journals recorded by the six central Riders themselves, Equality U focuses on the personal stories of our lead characters and the journeys they take during this foray into activism. The story comes through their eyes. They’ll make mistakes and they’ll have conflict with the outside world and amongst themselves. Equality U looks closely at their personal struggles over the course of the entire tour, allowing us an intimate portrait of a group of young people on the forefront of social change.

Kayla Bonewell

Equality Rider

Life as a graduate theology student at liberal, San Francisco-area Pacific School of Religion is a far cry from Kayla’s conservative Christian family in Oklahoma. Knowledgeable about all facets of Bible scholarship, Kayla is a devout Christian…an identity which she struggled to hold on to while coming out. Now, embraced by her faith community, she boldly states her case that being gay and Christian are not mutually-exclusive, but will her own faith be tested due to conflict with her family, making Equality Ride too heavy a burden to bear?

Posted in General Information.