On March 24, 2021, we received an email from the Director of the General Assembly & Conference Services indicating that the Fifth Principle Project’s booth application at the June virtual General Assembly had been placed “on hold.”
The email indicated that the hold was motivated by the receipt of three emails “expressing concern about the presence of the Fifth Principle Booth.” The three emails were generally non-specific criticism of the Fifth Principle Project and the projection that the booth would be a “disruptive presence.” See a review of that letter by Jim Aikin, Something Wicked This Way Comes.
We later discovered more critical emails had been received. We ask, therefore, that supporters send emails expressing their support for the Fifth Principle Project booth at General Assembly. See Make Your Opinion Known (below).
The issue of the booth’s application was discussed at a Zoom session held on April 7 with the Director of the General Assembly & Conference Services, the UUA Executive VP and an Assembly Planner. The Zoom meeting was professionally conducted, but it was clear that the booth’s application was not moving forward due to the booth’s name, Fifth Principle Project.
It did not take much to read between the lines that there is a cabal of individuals wishing to silence the Fifth Principle Project.
That effort may have succeeded if it had not been for Jay’s candidacy for a UUA Board of Trustees position. We requested the booth (a) to inform GA attendees of the Fifth Principle advocacy group and (2) alert GA delegates of Jay’s candidacy.
We were “invited” to change the name of our booth. We declined the invitation. The objections to the booth’s name were based solely on the criticism raised in emails we never saw or had an opportunity to dispute. Nonetheless, it was implied that such a position would most likely negatively impact our booth’s application.
At the time of the posting of this Discussion, it is not known if our GA booth application will move forward.
We took an action item from the meeting to devise a solution that would both satisfy the UUA and preserve the intent of the booth. See Letter to UUA and General Assembly Staff below.
Make Your Opinion Known
Since a number of detractors have deemed it appropriate to contact GA and UUA officials, we ask that supporters of a Fifth Principle Project equally share their opinions. It is important that a balanced view be presented to decision makers with emails from supporters.
- Carey McDonald, Exec. VP, firstname.lastname@example.org
- LaTonya Richardson, Director of the General Assembly & Conference Services, email@example.com
Letter to UUA and General Assembly Staff
April 8, 2021
We very much appreciated the opportunity to meet on April 7, 2021 via Zoom regarding your concerns about our General Assembly booth application. We have discussed your request that we change the name of our booth, currently the Fifth Principle Project, as a condition for granting permission for the booth application to move forward.
Our understanding is that your strong preference is for us to ignore any reference to our advocacy group, the Fifth Principle Project. You have requested this booth name change, as we understand it, because you have received some objections to our presence at General Assembly. We have tried to allay your concerns by reiterating our purposes for requesting the booth—to advocate for a renewal of our Fifth Principle within our denomination and to support Jay’s candidacy.
We remain mystified as to why such advocacy has been met with any objection at all, much less the level of objection you described during the meeting. This advocacy is, however, the rationale for Jay’s putting himself forward as a candidate for the UUA Board. It is the platform on which he will run his campaign. While this has been described by us as the reasons for our booth, the two are unified by Jay’s rationale for running. During his campaign he will articulate the Fifth Principle Platform. It is because of this that we want to follow LaTonya’s suggestion that the name be changed from the Fifth Principle Project to Jay Kiskel, Fifth Principle Candidate for the UUA Board.
Please kindly respond quickly to this suggested change and tell us if this meets your demands and allows for our booth application to move forward.
Jay and Frank
Join The Fifth Principle Project
Join the Fifth Principle Project (it’s free) so you can stay connected with others who want to reinvigorate the right of conscience and renew the democratic process in the governing of our denomination.
Used to Be UU
Our book Used to Be UU is available on Amazon.com (search by the book title).
Painstakingly researched and engagingly written, Used to Be UU is a vitally important book for all of us who feel we’ve found our spiritual home in Unitarian Universalism.
This book is a remarkable analysis of the dangers to Unitarian Universalism (UU) by the increasingly authoritarian governance by the leadership of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA).
The amazing thing is how well the authors succeed in laying out what is happening: the gradual grabbing of institutional power by the few and the gradual movement which turns a body whose purpose is to serve individual churches with their own self rule into a body that increasingly controls the churches and deprives them of the means to access one another and work together apart from oversight from above
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