On Friday, June 21, the Allies for Racial Equity Leadership Collective, a group of white Unitarian Universalists, became aware of a book being distributed at General Assembly by a Unitarian Universalist minister. Our siblings most targeted by this text were those most marginalized amongst us—particularly Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), Trans, and Nonbinary Unitarian Universalists—whose identities are egregiously discounted and erased with the author’s criticism of “identity politics” and “political correctness”.
This book is not only a failed attempt at logical discourse rife with white fragility, it is a stark reminder that ideas aligned with alt-right ideology do exist within Unitarian Universalism. It is a clear premeditated and callous attempt to further strife within our beloved faith. It has caused and is causing pain to all too many within our UU community. It is a manifestation of white supremacy culture fighting back against the beautiful, transformative work that so many are doing to confront and dismantle systems of oppression. The call to end white supremacy—to close the gap between the faith we proclaim and the reality of the lived experience of marginalized beloveds—is more crucial and compelling now than ever before. May we be even more resolved to do the demanding and joyful work of justice and restoration as we journey together towards more wholeness.
With deep appreciation, we honor the tremendous effort of BIPOC Unitarian Universalists who have been in, and who are currently leading this struggle for the heart and soul of our faith, often at great personal and professional risk. Particularly, we lift up past and current members of the Commission on Institutional Change, as well as many religious educators of Color, who have time and again invited us into deeper dialogue and challenged us to do better. The opportunities they have provided us, particularly white UUs, to learn about our complicity in oppressive systems that bind all of us, and harm those holding marginalized identities the most, continue to open up new possibilities for ensuring our faith’s promise. This has been an immeasurable gift.
Allies for Racial Equity explicitly invites white Unitarian Universalists, especially those grappling with these complexities, to join us in deep conversation. May we cultivate a spirit of welcome and joy when confronted with discomfort. We must resolutely lean into this vital work of uprooting white supremacy to create a faith worthy of us all.
Together in Faith,
Allies for Racial Equity Leadership Collectivetheteam@uuare.org
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We are building an anti-racist movement of white Unitarian Universalists to dismantle white supremacy in ourselves, our congregations, and communities.
ARE ℅ Sarah Berel-Harrop3047 Eric LaneFarmers Branch, Texas 75234