UUS Meeting Virtually Due to COVID-19
UUS is currently in Phase One (Closed for in person activity) of our COVID Reopening Plan. Sunday services are being streamed via Zoom at 10 a.m. Read more »
Led by the Racial Justice Team, we are actively engaged in building a more just and equitable world for Black people and other people of color.
As a predominantly white congregation, our primary focus is on self-education and reflection to understand white privilege and how to become better allies. We operate in a spirit of compassionate learning where it’s OK to make mistakes and feel uncomfortable as we grow individually and collectively.
We are also increasingly called to actively support and follow Black leaders in their quest for justice, particularly related to policing and mass incarceration. We are currently following the lead of the Unitarian Universalist Association, which has developed a resolution that the Racial Justice Team supports.
The core premise of the UUA statement on anti-Black racism is as follows:
The UUA denounces anti-Black racism and the inherent violence of policing. Police brutality is a symptom of white supremacy and anti-Black racism, and as people of faith and conscience dedicated to justice and liberation, we must name this truth.
Confronting and ending anti-Blackness will liberate us all. We can start with building alternatives to calling the police, but we don’t need to end there. We must commit to Black liberation fully.
In order to address anti-Black racism, the UUA suggests the following steps:
1) Truth-telling: Name the Ways Anti-Blackness Shows Up In and Around Us
It is impossible to eradicate anti-Blackness without naming how individuals, congregations, and communities benefit from anti-Blackness.
Have we examined the anti-Blackness in our lives?
2) Repair: Actively Build a Better Way
Predominately white, liberal congregations, such as Unitarian Universalist congregations, frequently suppress Black liberation by centering performative support for Black people instead of radical action for Black liberation. Once congregations name the truth of policing being anti-Black and oppressive, they must work on alternatives to calling the police.
What alternatives and systems can we create to repair the harm done to Black folks in our life, communities, and congregations?
3) Resistance: Follow the Lead of Black Organizers
If you don’t know how to resist anti-Blackness in your community, start by following the lead of Black leaders and organizers who have been doing this work. Support community organizations with a commitment to being pro-Black and a commitment to closing prisons and ending policing.
How will we advocate for a pro-Black, people first COVID-19 response in our communities?
The Racial Justice Team is compiling weekly actions that members of the congregation can take to support the Black Lives Matter movements.
As a congregation, some of our anti-racist actions to date include:
- Joining interfaith coalitions in denouncing anti-Black racism
- Distributing Black Lives Matter signs
- Leading a worship service “On Becoming Allies and Antiracists“
- Hosting a performance by Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey
- Hosting a benefit concert to provide scholarships to HS students joining the annual Civil Rights Bus Tour of the South
- Registering voters in partnership with predominantly Black churches
- Mobilizing a large group of UUs to attend a Cedar Rapids town hall following the police shooting of Jerime Mitchell
You may follow our activities on the UUS Racial Justice Facebook page. Or contact our Racial Justice Team chair to find out how to get involved: firstname.lastname@example.org