Changes to Draft Statement of Conscience Recommended by Members of Twin Cities UU Social Justice Community

The meeting was attended by members of the following congregations: First Universalist Church, First Unitarian Society, Michael Servetus Unitarian Society, and Unity Unitarian.

General Discussion Items
  1. There was broad agreement that the summary statement is too weak in its condemnation of economic globalization. (See specific suggestions for additions below.)
  2. There was broad agreement on the need to clearly separate the concept of corporate-led globalization or for-profit globalization from the positive affects that occur due to increased cooperation between peoples, improved communication, travel, and free flow of ideas and cultures. (This second, positive force could be called globalism, or internationalism.)
  3. There was consensus that the summary statement should include words that point out the positive trend of globalism or internationalism. This is especially true because UU’s have long been active supporters of this internationalist perspective. However, this positive force needs to be defined so that it is not confused with the powerful evil force of for-profit globalization.
  4. There was a sense that the section of the statement that begins on line 53 and ends with line 84 better explained the problems with corporate-led globalization. However, we did not discuss those points items in detail.

Specific Recommendations
  1. Line 1: Change word facilitating to affecting.
  2. Make it more clear that for-profit globalization is a very powerful force.
  3. Make it clear that corporate-led globalization challenges “national sovereignty”.
  4. The summary should include words like: “global financial markets”, “trans-national corporations”, and “wealthy elites”
  5. There needs to be more focus throughout the statement on trade and the powerful international bodies that control trade and international development, e.g., GATT, IMF, World Bank, etc.
  6. The vision of the positive world (see 3 above) should include mention of human rights, cooperation, and increased communication and freedom to travel across borders.
  7. The statement needs to clarify that corporate-led globalization is based on economic or profit-first logic to the exclusion of all other concerns.

Discussion Item – Where We Didn’t Reach Consensus
  1. There was disagreement in the group over whether the statement should specifically point out that globalization disproportionately affects “impoverished peoples of the developing world and people of color” (lines 4 and 5) or whether the statement should point out that globalization affects all people negatively (with the exception of the wealthy elites).
  2. Some people felt that the statement should also include words to highlight that globalization also disproportionately affects women.
  3. There was some objection to the use of the phrase “people of color”.

General Sense
Many people at the meeting liked the statement that was written by the Arlington Street Church that was distributed.

Names of Attendees:
  1. Phil Deering
  2. Brett Smith
  3. Robert Newkirk
  4. Cathy Coult
  5. Kathy Smith
  6. Sharon Bishop
  7. Sylvia Rudolph
  8. Nancy Browne
  9. Tom Atchinson
  10. Nancy Atchinson
  11. Betsy Allis
  12. David Kremer
  13. Bill Ellwood
  14. Jo Haberman
  15. Jeff Jackson
  16. Doug DeGrote