Click here to learn more about the history of the Anti-Racism Task Force at UUSO

Black Lives Matter is a national movement that is seeking to support the human rights and civil rights of Black Americans.  All of us are affected by the pervasive racial injustice present in our society today.  Racial bias is institutionalized in most of the organizations and systems we interact with every day, but this racism is often invisible to those of us who are white. In October, 2015, this congregation created the Black Lives Matter Task Force to learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement and to educate the congregation about the movement and our potential role in fighting racism in our society.  That task force met almost weekly, hosted discussions, presented movies, and brought in guest speakers. For many of us, these were challenging opportunities for exploration, growth, and transformation. In February, the members of this congregation voted to become an anti-racism institution, create the AntiRacism Task Force and to hang the Black Lives Matter banner on our church.  We recognize we must continue our exploration and education on the topics of racism, oppression, and white privilege.  We are committed to deepening our awareness of racism and working for racial justice. .

We recognize, in displaying this banner, that not everyone is at the same place in their understanding of and commitment to anti-racism work. The seeds of racism were planted hundreds of years ago and allowed, even encouraged, to grow throughout every aspect of our society. Racism is both shocking and subtle. Rooting it out, changing our institutions, will not be easy or quick. This banner is not the end of our work– it is just the next step in a long process we hope others will join us in working on together. It is our belief that anti-racism work starts with us, with deep conversations about what it means to be white in our society. These conversations are challenging; transformation and growth always is.

These questions about race and the answers we find are best explored in a safe place with people ready to listen, ready to accept, and ready to forgive. Our congregation wants to be that place. We want to be those people. We want to create that beloved community. Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey, whatever your understanding of these issues may be– we hope you see our Black Lives Matter banner as an invitation to join us in this work of exploration, discovery, and transformation. We are doing our best to stand on the side of Love and Justice– and we want to stand with you.

 

Rev. Craig standing below the Black Lives Matter banner displayed on Chapin Memorial sanctuary.

Wayside Pulpit message, visible from the doorway to the sanctuary.

 

   


For more information on the Black Lives Matter movement and Unitarian Universalism’s engagement with this issue, we suggest the following sites:

Black Lives Matter official website

http://blacklivesmatter.com/

UUA’s Action of Immediate Witness 2015 in support of Black Lives Matter

http://www.uua.org/statements/support-black-lives-matter-movement

UU Congregations Displaying Black Lives Matter banners

http://www.uua.org/multiculturalism/new-jim-crow/black-lives-matter-banners

Black Lives Matter resources on the UUA’s Worship Web

http://www.uua.org/worship/collections/black-lives-matter