On Tuesday, June 30th, UUSM musicians made a special appearance at Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice’s annual Giants of Justice Awards!
CLUE is an LA-based organization whose members accompany low-wage workers, immigrants, and communities of color in the struggle for safety, dignity, and good jobs. By working in partnership through CLUE, faith communities, alliances, and unions can work more effectively to build a more equitable and humane society.
CLUE and UUSM have a long history of collaboration. CLUE’s program director, Jeremy Arnold (son of board member Abby Arnold), grew up in our congregation. Rev. Rebecca Benefiel-Bijur served as CLUE’s development director after departing our congregation in 2017. Now I am working with CLUE to help with fundraising there. Dozens of our congregants are active in CLUE’s organizing committees and as supporters of CLUE’s work.
As CLUE wrestled with retooling its largest fundraiser of the year as a live-streamed event, I wanted to take advantage of the online medium. UUSM choir director Saunder Choi has done an astounding job of music production in our new landscape. So it seemed natural to invite him to put together a piece for CLUE’s fundraiser.
He suggested a song. We acquired streaming and performance rights, and gave him some photos. Saunder then worked his magic with UUSM choir section leaders Jyvonne Haskin and Chloe Vaught, as well as guest musician William “B.A.” Washington.
The resulting music video of the John Legend/Common song “Glory” was a moving end to the program.
It felt so good to be able to support our outstanding musicians while we are in this unprecedented situation.
Hundreds of faithful people from across LA and Orange Counties attended Giants of Justice. UUs across the region were well represented. And it was a wonderful event.
You’re invited to learn more about CLUE’s work and check out the performance here. The UUSM musical performance is about 90 minutes into the stream. If you listen to the entire stream, you’ll get to hear another familiar artist. UUSM pianist Ryan Humphrey provided the prelude and postlude music for Giants of Justice.