Common Ground II

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What's in a name? For some people a name means everything, and for others a name has little value. One of the hardest tasks during Common Ground: Coming of Age was choosing a name for our new youth organization.

For me, L.R.Y. is a perfect name for us. We are Liberal Religious Youth. In my District, L.R.Y. carries good connotations and is a positive entity. Yet, I've realized in the past year, and especially during Common Ground: Coming of Age, that L.R.Y. has negative connotations in many Districts. L.R.Y. is a name that wouldn't work for the new youth organization.

So, what then? How do we come up with a name that satisfies everyone? The Planning Committee for this Youth Assembly had a box for suggested names. Those names submitted were put on a ballot and voted on. Five suggested names were top vote-getters. From those five, it was narrowed down, by vote, to two, and then down to one ... or so it was planned.

The two names it came down to were "Unitarian Universalist Youth" and "Unitarian Universalist Youth Fellowship." There were arguments for and against each name.

The Assembly decided to move into a Committee of the Whole for further informal debate about the name. In this Committee of the Whole, we brainstormed alternate words for "fellowship." After nearly an hour-and-a-half of debate, someone stood up and suggested "Young Religious Unitarian Universalists." A clear majority liked and wanted this name. It said something about us, and it had a cute acronym.

We came out of the Committee of the Whole and voted "Young Religious Unitarian Universalists" as the name of our new youth organization.

The acronym of Young Religious Unitarian Universalists-Why Are You You?-is an appropriate one for us. I think we are always questioning ourselves. We are always growing and changing; trying to discover new things about ourselves and the world. That is part of what it means to be a liberal religious youth, a Unitarian Universalist youth, or a young religious Unitarian Universalist.

I also feel that Y.R.U.U. is a perfect name for us. We are young religious Unitarian Universalists. I think that the youth of our denomination are becoming a larger part of our churches. For the most part, we are Unitarian Universalists, and our new name shows this. I'm not saying that everyone in Y.R.U.U. is a UU, because a few aren't. Youth can be involved in Y.R.U.U. without being Unitarian Universalists, just as adults can be involved in UU societies without being members of them.

It will take awhile for people to adjust to the name Y.R.U.U. The reactions I have heard from people at home are mixed. Some people think it is funny or cute, and others don't like it. Most reactions have been positive, though. I think we have found a name that represents the essence of what we are.

-Laila Ibrahim
Whittier, CA


Translated from the original text document to HTML by Lorne Tyndale, YRUU Programmes Specialist September 1993 - August 1994. The document was on I have placed the document on this site as I've been notified that appears to be down.

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