"Healing and enriching our lives, uniting our communities"
Q:What is UI?
A: UI is a fledgling organization that combines the principles of 12-step organizations with those of civil rights movements to create a united fellowship of diverse races, religions, cultures, etc. Meetings and individual participation started Oct 2nd, 2013. The below Q&A is based on the planned structure and charter of this organization.
Note: Go to the UI preamble in the "About UI" link for a more detailed description.
Q:Is UI a charity?
A: UI is not a charity. It is a society with the intent of uniting diverse groups. UI includes a suggested 12-step program that places us all in the best position to effectively help in this endeavor.
Q:Is UI a political or religious organization?
A: No. UI is neither a religious or political organization nor does UI have any political leaning. It is against the UI traditions to take a political stand. The goals of unity are a universal concept. Making strides towards unity will require involvement from all political and religious sectors.
Q:Why is UI needed?
A: Historical social, economic and political maladies such as racism, classism, chauvinism and bigotry continue to plague the whole world. Those taking part in this endeavor recognize this and wish to take part in addressing the root causes of this global epidemic. Most of us carry some form of prejudice. Joining a diverse fellowship active in taking steps to overcome such maladies is an effective measure for healing ourselves and influencing our society.
Q:Who is UI intended for? Is it only intended for people with prejudices, bigotry or racism problems?
A: Everyone. This fellowship is not just for people who carry prejudice. If you acknowledge that prejudice, bigotry and racism are prevalent problems in our society and you would like to participate in solutions by joining our fellowship, UI is for you. This organization is intended for everyone!
Q:Why would I or anyone else join UI?
A: There are two main reasons why someone may want join Unity Initiative; First, you recognize prejudice, bigotry and racism are still maladies that permeate our society to the detriment of present and future generations and you see hope in Unity Initiative's approach for helping resolve these problems and would like to be a part of the solution. Second, like most of us, you may be able to admit you too carry some form of prejudice and would like to overcome your own distortions through the steps, education and fellowship UI offers.
Q:Does UI charge for membership?
A: No. UI is a non-profit organization and charges no dues or fees for membership or its services. We do this for enjoyment and for the benefit of our communities. Expenses are paid through the voluntary contributions of its members through collections at meetings.
Q:How do I get Involved?
A: To get involved, you can attend our meetings and let us know you wish to partake in this endeavor.
Q:What measures does UI recommend for overcoming prejudice?
A: First, we recommend participating socially in our fellowship. This simple act of exposing yourself to other diverse groups is a very good starting point for overcoming stereotypical misperceptions. UI then recommends following the twelve steps for self-examination, spirituality and service. The steps and the principles behind them are outlined in the Unity Initiative text.
Q:The first step states “We examined ourselves for prejudice, then admitted to any unfair biases we may carry”, but I don’t have prejudices. Why do I need UI or why would I need to work the steps?
A: Some of us carry subconscious prejudices in which we are not aware. The steps include measures for self-examination that can uncover these prejudices. If that happens, you will be very pleased at the results of your courage in taking action. However, even if you don’t have prejudices, that is just one small aspect of step-work. The true aim of the steps is to replace insecurities, fear and egotism with humility. They are designed to help everyone grow, regardless of your state in life. The risk of not taking the steps, is that you will not be as effective in breaking down social barriers or in addressing the root causes of prejudice. If you concede you are not perfect, you stand to gain enormous benefits from these humbling acts of growth. The steps are intimidating for some, but don’t let apprehension stand in your way! You won’t regret it!
Q:How does one go about working the UI steps?
A: Working through the steps should be done with the help of a sponsor who has already successfully worked through the steps. Once you choose a sponsor, they should guide you through the steps with the help of the UI literature.
Q:What is a sponsor, where do I get one, and how much do they charge?
A: A sponsor acts as a mentor to get us oriented into the fellowship and answer questions. But most of all, their purpose is to guide us while working through the 12 steps. Sponsors do this at no charge as part of the twelfth step. You choose a sponsor by listening to people at meetings. When you find someone you trust and admire, that has a good working knowledge of the program, ask them to be your sponsor to assist you in your step-work.
Q:Since UI is a 12-step program, can it be used to address maladies such as drug-addiction or alcoholism?
A: No. Because identification is so important for recovery, help for such maladies should be sought through programs that address these problems. However, we encourage anyone struggling with these issues to also attend UI meetings. Also, adopting these principles early in life and being part of a healthy supportive fellowship will likely help young people from facing these other maladies.
Q:Who personally profits from UI finances? Who receives salaries?
A: Unless being compensated for a specific job or task, no individual benefits from UI finances per our traditions. UI may employ special workers to fulfill needs such as running offices that answer phones or we may hire contractors for services such as cleaning, plumbing and electrical, but no one receives funds or salaries outside of such services.
Q:Who runs UI?
A: UI has no governing leaders and we are not organized per our 2nd and 9th traditions. Running UI is a collective effort. Elections for service positions are held to fill service positions which are to be rotated. Each member has an equal opportunity to participate in the affairs of UI.
Q:How is UI funded?
A: UI groups are self-supporting through individual membership contribution, but UI service offices may also be funded through sales of UI literature along with group contributions.
Q:Where do funds from book sales or meeting collections go?
A: Meeting collections first go to paying the expenses of the group, including rent and utilities. Groups may then contribute to inter-groups that service a geographic area in answering phones and distributing literature. Groups may also contribute to the UI foundation office. Literature sales will go to support the foundation office including salaries for special workers. Some funds will be retained at various levels of service as a prudent reserve. If the amount of prudent reserve is exceeded at the foundation level, UI literature will be discounted to shrink the reserve.
Q:Can I donate money or property to UI?
A: Generally speaking, no. As part of the 7th tradition, UI does not accept donations, but groups will collect funds by “passing a basket” to raise the necessary monies to run their group, inter-group or UI foundation.
Q:Won’t this movement stir controversy?
A: UI has an honest desire to avoid controversy. This organization is meant to serve our communities through unity. We take no stand in politics or religion. We hope community citizens appreciate the possibilities of our endeavor and get involved regardless of ideology.
Q:How big is the organization?
A: The organization has just started in 2013. A small group is being established.
Q:Where/when are meetings held?
A: Once meetings have started, the unityinitiative.org website will be updated and post meeting information.
Q:What religious beliefs does UI subscribe to?
A: UI includes references to God in our steps, yet we advocate no particular spiritual belief. Every one of every belief system is welcome to our organization.
Q:What happens if the courts want to mandate a “hate-crime” offender to UI?
A: UI hopes people suffering from bigotry will find their way to our doors. If they want to find peace in freedom from this malady, we can help. All that is required is a willingness to support a culture of harmonious diversity. This is the only requirement for membership.
Q:Does UI offer any professional help?
A: No. We offer no counseling, nor do we proclaim to be experts or professionals in any area of sociology, psychology, history or the like. All we offer is our personal experience of participation in a diverse fellowship along with the growth we found through our step-work. However, most will find that these are very effective tools in overcoming almost any problem.
Q:Is UI affiliated with any other organization?
A: No. Per the 5th and 6th traditions, UI is not affiliated with any other organization. Although individual members may personally support the efforts and get involved with other organizations, the UI traditions deter us from forming affiliations at the organizational level.
Q:What are the demographics of UI?
A: Such information is not available as UI is a fledgling organization whose membership has just begun in October 2013.
Living united and absolutely free