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Arizona State Honors Credit MLK Jr. Holiday to Parliament Trustee

Dr. Paul Eppinger, Executive Director of the Arizona Interfaith Movement and Trustee of the Parliament of the World’s Religions speaks at an Arizona State University breakfast where he is honored for his work establishing the MLK Jr. State holiday in Arizona.

Dr. Paul Eppinger, was honored by Arizona State University on January 23, 2014 for his work to establish the Martin Luther King Holiday for the state of Arizona.  In 1992, Dr. Eppinger was the Executive Director of “Victory Together” which won for Arizona that holiday.

In his comments, Eppinger lifted up the concept that the great challenge facing the world today is Interfaith Relationships, quoting Dr. King’s dream for world peace, and that world peace can only come from Interfaith understanding and respect.

Arizona State delegation awards Dr. Paul Eppinger on MLK Jr. Day 2014.

The response by the audience of hundreds of people was a standing ovation as they were challenged by the place of Interfaith Relations for the building of world peace.

The Parliament congratulates Dr. Eppinger on these honors.

January 30th, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Restoring Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: A Pathway from Australia to Arizona

by Dave Weiman
from Cooking Together

At the January meeting, the UUA Trustees voted to place a responsive resolution to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery on the business agenda for the General Assembly.  What is the Doctrine of Discovery?  Why have our partner organizations in Arizona called for its repudiation?  How are we as Unitarian Universalist people of faith called to respond?  For the next several weeks, Cooking Together bloggers will address these questions.  This post was written by Dave Weiman, who has been working with others to educate UUs about this issue. – Ed.

At 7:30 pm on December 3, 2009, Joy Murphy Wandin, senior woman of the Wurundjeri People, was the first person to greet the 6,000 plus people who had come together for the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia, with this traditional ‘Welcome to the Land’:

On behalf of the spiritual ancestors and the traditional owners of Melbourne, I invite you to Melbourne in 2009, for the Parliament of the World’s Religions to share in the traditions, culture and spirit of Australia.

I was impressed that special recognition was given to the Peoples who had nurtured the land for thousands of years.   The welcoming practice not just for the opening, occurred at the beginning of almost every event during the Parliament, large or small.  And in fact, at the start of Sunday Service at the local Unitarian Church, the same basic welcoming statement started the service.  It is important to note that the words in these messages of welcome are of and by the Peoples who are native to the land, not from government officials.

At the final Plenary of the Parliament more than a dozen Indigenous Peoples from around the globe, presented a ‘Statement to the World.’  The Statement explained Indigenous cultures and contributions, the negative outcomes of colonization, and the injustices suffered by Indigenous Peoples.   It concluded with seven ‘appeals’.  Of the seven, two became an important focus of my social justice work when I returned home.  One asked for all nations to implement and support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Declaration), and another asked for the repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery (Doctrine).

From the opening moment of the Parliament to its closing, I was being drawn into a social justice cause about which I had known virtually nothing.  Since the Parliament I’ve been learning more, about the Declaration and the Doctrine, and come to understand why these are so important, not only for Indigenous Peoples, but for all of us.