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Racial Justice at First Universalist
The First Universalist strives to embed racial justice in every aspect of its work. The Racial Justice Leadership Team approved a Racial Justice Resolution on May 31st, 2015 to create an organized vision for these efforts.
The Resolution states:
"Racial Justice is the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all.
The impacts of systemic racism are fundamentally at odds with our Unitarian Universalist beliefs, and confronting racial inequity and oppression is essential for our humanity and spiritual life."1
Read the full Racial Justice Resolution here: http://firstuniversalistchurch.org/racial-justice-resolution/
Reverend Jen Crow on the emergence of racial justice work at the church:
"It really started with a small group of congregants who had been talking, talking, talking to our senior minister Justin in particular and saying, 'I can’t believe we’re not working on this. This is hard. It’s a risk. You know, there’s a lot of heartbreak, and a lot of missteps are going to happen, but we really need to do this.'
And so they were persistent with him which was great, and he listened and started learning, and as he did, he really took it up as something we needed to do as a congregation. So it started with a small group of congregants and kind of getting to him, and then we started by really educating the staff and then the leadership of the church and then having the board say, 'Yep, we want to move in this direction, and we are committed.' Then it was and still is an effort of ongoing education of the whole congregation, and we’re stepping more into action in the past year or so. We tried to really commit and slow things down and say, 'We have a lot of learning to do.' We have been miseducated on race, and often as that starts to opens up, there’s a lot of shame and guilt that can then cause harm when you go out and try to change the world."2
Polly Talen, 2016 member of the Racial Justice Leadership Team on discomfort in racial justice work:
"Discomfort is kind of the point of the work. That’s how it’s lived. That’s how we keep doing the things that are maybe not as conducive to creating change and equity in the world. Because it’s uncomfortable, we don’t want to talk about it. We have done a good job of making racism really covert." 3
"Racial Justice," last accessed June 3rd, 2016, http://firstuniversalistchurch.org/racial-justice/l.↩
Jen Crow, interview by Natalie Jacobson, March 15, 2016. ↩
Polly Talen, Interview by Natalie Jacobson, April 24, 2016. ↩