SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – In this time of national divisiveness, the Springfield Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse has been on a months-long journey of learning, listening, healing, and harmonizing. We’re working to answer the questions: How did we get here? What’s behind our national problems? What creative opportunities are there? And what’s our part in creating a path of unity forward?
We joined with the Springfield Town Library to watch and discuss the film “A View from a Different Lens: Race Amity.” We’ve virtually hosted the film’s executive producer, Dr. William “Smitty” Smith, who is founding director of the National Center for Race Amity and Vermont poet Rajnii Eddins. And we continue to watch, listen, read, and discuss.
On May 16, we’ll be hosting Jane Williamson, who has researched and written about abolition and the Underground Railroad. Recently, she uncovered the history of African Americans in the Champlain Valley and is now extending her research to other parts of the state. She holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from the University of Vermont and was the director of the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, Vt. for over 20 years. Rokeby is among the best-documented Underground Railroad sites in the county and has been described as “unrivaled among known sites for its historical integrity and the poignancy of the stories it tells.”
Jane Williamson will speak on “Radical Abolition in Antebellum America: The War before the War.” A new wave of antislavery thinking swept the country in the 1830s as some radicals demanded immediate emancipation of slaves and equal rights for free blacks. And some of those people were motivated by the teachings of their faith traditions. Jane will present the philosophies, strategies, and tactics of these abolitionists, compares their efforts with those of earlier abolitionists, and explore their impact on American society.
You can watch the talk and service on Zoom, https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6130779853, beginning at 10 a.m. You’re also invited to stay for continuing discussion during virtual coffee hour.