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My Voice, My Experiences, and My Journey

Posted by Elizabeth Nguyen // March 24th 2015 // Events and Opportunities, Mosaic, Stories and Voices // no comments

Unitarian Universalist Association Multicultural Leadership School is an annual gathering of soul-renewal and leadership development for Unitarian Universalist youth and young adults of color from July 10-14th, 2015 at the Walker Center outside of Boston, MA. Apply by April 15th, 2015. Registration fee is $275 (transportation included) and there are many scholarships available! – Elizabeth Nguyen.

In this third guest blog from a Multicultural Leadership School alum, Byron Herbert shares about his MLS experience!

MLS_15_4_BBHello my name is Byron (B.) Herbert and I attend the historic Unitarian Universalist Church of Meadville, PA. Before attending Multicultural Leadership School (MLS), I had begun to discern my call to ministry. MLS served as a beacon of affirmation to this call. During MLS one of my major insecurities was put to rest – the insecurity being ‘is my voice needed?’ MLS taught me that my voice, my experiences, and my journey is needed and welcomed.

Prior to MLS, I was a co-chair of the social action ministry of the church I attend. Now I’m the mission and outreach coordinator, I have helped created and co-lead two vigils supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement. I am now a leader of a community action group whose goal is bring racial inequality awareness to the city.

Going into MLS, I had a difficult time identifying with the term ‘African–American.’ During the school I was able to express my discomfort. With doing so I was met with the encouragement to take my identity into my own hands. To do some research and develop into who I am.

My heart flutters with happiness when I talk about having dinner with the #MLSFamily2014 in Boston. A major indicator for family in my opinion is food. We didn’t just eat at the same table, we had dinner together, passing plates and having fun conversation. To this day I still have the fortune from the fortune cookie we received after dinner; it serves as a reminder of the connections I’ve made and the importance of my future ministry.

20140704_123851Byron Herbert lives in Meadville, PA and is a full time fast food manager who is beginning the journey towards ministry. He attends the Unitarian Universalist church of Meadville and serves as the mission and outreach chair. He is one of the leaders of  Meadville Action for Justice, an emerging group dedicated to bringing racial inequality awareness to the city.

About the Author

Elizabeth Nguyen is the Leadership Development Associate for Youth and Young Adults of Color at the Unitarian Universalist Association.
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