UU of the Month, December 2009

Michael Kusz Han
Michael Kusz Han lives in Renton Washington, just south of Seattle, where he is a part of the University Unitarian Church youth group.  Although currently not formally involved in the Unitarian Universalist Association, he recently finished a two year term as FUNTIMES Manager for the General Assembly Youth Caucus where he was able to share with others his passion for the governance of the association.
Michael has been a UU since birth.  His early life was greatly influenced by the kindness and caring he found at church.  Unitarian Universalism continued to be an important factor in Michael’s life through his move to Washington shortly before his 12th birthday.  As a newcomer to the Seattle area, Michael knew nobody, but his church helped him to become settled in a new place.
Eighth grade solidified Michael’s UU faith.  He began the year by participating in the Our Whole Lives sexuality curriculum, followed by Coming of Age.  All of this cumulated in the St. Louis General Assembly, Michael’s first GA.  It was his first glimpse of the UU world beyond his own congregation.  He returned to GA the following year in Portland, where he was elected to the position of FUNTIMES Manager, a position that allowed him to help create the community he loved.  The next year, amid the restructuring of YRUU, he became a member of the Youth Ministry Working Group and helped to re-envision youth programming.
Racial identity has always been a struggle for Michael.   Although he identifies as biracial, he is often asked to “check one box”, a policy he finds outdated and insensitive.  He contemplates what it means to be Asian, but to pass as white, especially since nothing except his eyes seemed to show he was Asian.  Earlier this year, Michael and the rest of his family changed their names from Kusz to Han, as a way of claiming their Corean heritage.
Michael is currently studying to be a Mechanical engineer at Highline College.  He also works as the lead math tutor at Highline.  In his spare time, Michael builds things, like self-defogging laboratory goggles.

UU of the Month, November 2009

India McKnight

India McKnight began serving as the Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Queens in Flushing, NY this fall.  India is originally from Silver Spring, MD, a suburb of Washington, DC. Growing up, she was exposed to the arts, and activism with a global focus and a deep sense of curiosity.
As a teenager she began attending the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Silver Spring and was drawn in by kind individuals and a justice focused spiritual youth group. At 19, India worked as a Religious Education Assistant for the Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church in Hyattsville, MD and served on the DRUUMM Youth and Young Adult National Steering Committee. She also served as an AmeriCorps Volunteer at the Alliance of AIDS Services in Durham, NC providing financial and counseling services to individuals living with AIDS/ HIV. Prior to becoming the DRE at UUCQ in September 2009, she worked with the Unitarian Universalist Association in the Youth Ministry Office for two years.
Through her volunteer and community work, India has developed a passion for working with Unitarian Universalist children and youth. She writes, “As a denomination we have an amazing opportunity to develop and experience strong leadership from our Religious Education programs.” “In developing that leadership we must make sure our children and youth have roots in our faith; roots that connect them to community, ritual, worship, and social justice.”
India loves chillin with her ancestors, traveling, reading, talking to strangers, writing and volunteering. She is a member of the Safe Outside the System collective of the Audre Lorde Project Organization. (www.alp.org) The Safe Outside the System collective are community members and organizations committed to providing safe spaces, financial support, time and effort to protect Queer People of Color in Brooklyn from violence.

UU of the Month

Month October 2009

Kevin for blog

Kevin Kapa is a recent graduate of the University of California San Diego where he doubled majored in Ethnic Studies and Urban Studies and Planning. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the First UU Church of San Diego, where he is an active member of the Journey Towards Wholeness anti-racism/anti-oppression committee. Kevin also serves as one of two young adult representatives with DRUUMM (Diverse Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries), the people of color organization of the UUA.

Kevin works as a community organizer with the Coalition of Neighborhood Councils in inner city San Diego, where he advocates for affordable housing, educational equity and green jobs. Kevin also organizes with the San Diego Youth for Revolutionary Change, a coalition dedicated to building the youth empowerment movement in the region and Anakbayan San Diego, a Filipino based international solidarity organization, rooted in the core values of anti-imperialism, anti-feudalism and anti-bureaucrat capitalism.

In his free time Kevin loves hiking through forests, swimming in the ocean, meditating atop seaside cliffs, deepening his understanding of God and writing/performing spoken word poetry. Feeling compelled to continue pursing his passion for social justice and spirituality, Kevin plans to attend seminary and pursue his Masters in Divinity and work to translate Unitarian Universalism to the next generation.

Victory! / Kevin Kapa

A prayer dedicated to ALL who struggle:

Can you imagine the VICTORY!


It will be as if heaven’s LOVE / rained down from the sky and flooded the earth with peace.


Forests shall be regrowN / waters shall be restored / and we will hear the sounds of birds again.


The ways of the ancestors / will become relevant and their teachings will be burned into our skin.


Poverty, greed, and fear will be ousted,

And replaced by spiritual well-being, authentic friendship, and deep love.


The heavens above will ring a mighty sound / calling us home / calling us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.


We will no longer have irrelevant or meaningless arguments,

Nor BE afraid of the power of our own voices.


Little boys and little girls will no longer be afraid to be who they are,

AND love who makes them happy.


Womyn of Color WARRIORS / will break the patriarchical & heternormative shackles that bind all of us,

SELF-HEALING / through ARTISTIC LOVE celebrations of expression.


The slave labor / of prison bondage will be DESTROYED,

And replaced by FREE / health care & education for all of our people.


Golf courses, freeway infrastructure, automobiles and oil forged by death / will become irrelevant,

And replaced by affordable housing, urban GARDENS, and solar mass TRANSIT.


The military industrial complex / will fall to its knees,

And be overgrown / by farmers MARKETS, CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUNDS and celebrations of solidarity.


The Aztec Sun / will once again RISE OVER the Brown People of the Earth,

Filling us with an indigenous pride in our ancestors.


The educational dreams / of undocumented children will manifest

And birth movement makers and spoken word prophets.


Borders will become meaningless / trade will be FAIR and NOT free / sweatshop abuse will finally END,

And prosperity will be for ALL OF US.
WHEN the victory comes

Indians, Blacks, Chicanos, Filipinos, Asians and Whites / will stand in solidarity with one another,

Fists raised HIGH / united together as one people.

WHEN the victory comes

Jews, Christians, Muslims, Pagans, Buddhists, Hindus and Atheists,

Will be able to share a meal at the table of sisterhood and brotherhood.

WHEN the victory comes

Military recruiters, prostitutes, drug dealers and gangsters / will be replaced by

Youth organizers, spiritual healers, community lawyers and green-collar-job makers,

The leaders of the REVOLUTION.


Love’s flaming arrow / will strike the hearts of the people,

Birthing us into ANGELS here on Earth.


Our way to HEAVEN / will be PAVED by the GOLDEN RAYS of the SUN,


WHEN the HEALING comes

It will NOT MATTER / what side you were on,

For God will have ALL OF US victorious in heaven.

WHEN the rebirth comes

The prophetic voices of:

Rumi, Che Guevara, Patrice Lumumba, Emilio Zapata,

Gabriela Silang, Philip Vera Cruz, Audre Lorde, Bayard Rustin, Malcolm X, Emma Goldman,

Angela Davis, Jo Ma Sison, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Van Jones,

Will be elementary school vocabulary.

WHEN the resurrection comes

It will be like the BIBLE SAID:

*Blessed are those who grieve / for GOD will COMFORT THEM.

Blessed are those who are humble / for the WHOLE EARTH will be theirs.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after justice / for they / will BE SATISFIED.”


We will realize LOVE / to be the FORCE on this planet pushing the world FORWARD


From Mother to Son,

From Father to Daughter,

From Generation to Generation.

Wherever there is struggle / the people WILL rise up.

Wherever there is fear, injustice or discrimination,

A movement calling for greater LOVE is bound to be birthed.

Whoever you are / whatever circles you travel with,

KNOW there is a movement waiting for your touch.

waiting for your unique soul to bless it / with your presence.


Now is the time /TO Step into the light / (AND pierce though the BULLSHIT!)

With the best tools we have at our disposal / our VOICES, our HANDS, and our UNITY!

Ashe. Kapalaran. Amen.