LREDA Guidelines for Presenters
1. Our Unitarian Universalist community includes many theological and cultural traditions. Use language, music, visual displays, art, and activities in your program, workshop or worship that respect and reflect the theological and cultural pluralism of today’s Unitarian Universalism.
2. Plan, implement and evaluate your program, workshop or worship, to ensure that it is respectful and inclusive of persons of all ages, races/ethnicities, religions, classes, genders, gender identities, physical abilities and sexual orientations. Choose language and names/identities for examples and case studies that reflect a variety of communities.
3. Speak from your own experience and identify it as such. Be mindful that your audience will listen from multiple perspectives.
4. Develop your program, workshop or worship, not in isolation, but in consultation with persons, communities, or religious groups whose culture is referenced in your presentation.
5. Be mindful of the possible negative impact of cultural appropriation (enacting rituals or using stories, songs, objects or symbols that are sacred to a particular culture.). When in doubt, consult with a representative of that group about using such materials. Be particularly cautious when representative of a community advise against using their traditions or materials.
6. When you plan to share wisdom or information from a culture other than your own, credit your sources and place your story/activity in context – explaining why and how you have chosen to use the material.
7. Include contemporary readings that represent cultures featured in your program, not limiting yourself to “long ago” materials. Use of only “long ago” materials and prayers can perpetuate the myth that certain cultures are from the past rather than the present.
8. Respect copyright laws and ownership of intellectual property. Credit your sources. Obtain permission before copying materials or music for use as handouts in your program or worship.
9. Some LREDA events may have a designated process observer who will facilitate responses to your program. Even if a facilitator is designated, we have a Process Observation Form available so that participants can share such responses.
10. People with obvious and not-so-obvious disabilities need accommodation in order to participate fully. Routine preparation should include:
· Large print documents upon request
· Use of a microphone at all times, both for presentation and also for questions and answers
· Attention to facial hair and gestures that may prevent or interfere with lip-reading
· Refraining from the use of scented products such as incense, candles, or personal care items, since fragrances can trigger asthma attacks in people with environmental and chemical sensitivities
· Use of appropriate language that puts the person first, rather than the disability (e.g., “a person who uses a wheelchair,” rather than “a wheelchair-user”)
· Refraining from phrases such as “someone who is wheelchair-bound,” implying that a person who uses a wheelchair is tied to the chair
· Use of the phrase “Please rise in body or spirit,” rather than “Please stand”
· Provision for people with learning disabilities, who may have difficulty reading complicated texts
· Reminders to participants to keep fire exits clear and refrain from sitting on the floor behind people using wheelchairs or scooters
11. Bear in mind that LREDA is a continental organization; use language that is inclusive of our Canadian colleagues. (e.g., the Unitarian Universalist Association is headquarters for U.S. congregations, in Canada it is the Canadian Unitarian Council and Canada is divided into regions, not districts.)
12. Use language that doesn’t leave first-time participants feeling like outsiders (e.g., “This person needs no introduction.”)