-Ariel W., NUUC Youth Delegate
Although we had planned this trip from the beginning of the church year, I went to Phoenix with no expectations. It really helped me approach things with an open and interested mind. The first order of business was checking in to the youth caucus. Throughout the five days we were there, the youth caucus room was a great place to decompress, meet the rest of the youth, and go over things that would later come up in the plenary sessions.
The workshops, services, and plenary sessions were where I truly enjoyed my time the most. I learned incredible things about slavery, immigration, and self-empowerment. I delved deeper into my faith and spirituality, and I truly felt like I had a voice being able to vote as a delegate.
The day that truly effected me the most however was the Saturday night candlelight vigil. Things really began with the Ware lecture by Maria Hinojosa. She is an incredibly powerful speaker with profound stories to tell about the detention centers she visited. Once we got to the vigil outside tent city, all of us standing together, most of us wearing our Standing on the Side of love shirts, it was apparent that we couldn’t be ignored. We sang hymns, listened to hymns, and remembered those who had died. Justice GA was truly a success because knowledge brings action, and action is justice.