The UUFP Social & Environmental Justice Committee (S&EJC) and its Racial Justice Team (RJT) whole-heartedly endorse the Fellowship’s new Racial Justice Program, created by Rev. Andrew Millard. The new Racial Justice Program is based on the Welcoming Congregation and Green Sanctuary programs and the 1997 General Assembly resolution, “Toward an Anti-Racist Unitarian Universalist Association,” with a structure based on Gilbert’s Wheel and the Jones and Ruchotzke “Community of Communities” Workshop at UUA’s General Assembly, June 25, 2020.
The Racial Justice Team was formed in 2021 by those UUFP members and friends who completed the 11-part Study-Action Workshop based on “Widening the Circle of Concern,” a comprehensive report of the findings of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change. The participants completing the Study-Action Workshop decided on four objectives for the RJT to focus their efforts on last year — those became its official “charge” from the S&EJC. The team put in many hours of work achieving most of those recommendations. We are proud of all that the members of the RJT have accomplished during their first year.
The Racial Justice Team is pleased to accept this new Racial Justice Program as its guide in its ongoing work to accountably dismantle racism within ourselves and our institutions. The Racial Justice Program will replace those earlier objectives and charge, and the RJT will begin immediately working on these new objectives. The objectives are divided into four categories based on Gilbert’s Wheel:
I. Religious Exploration – Learning Communities
II. Worship – Celebrating Communities
III. Hospitality and Fellowship – Caring Communities
IV. Moral Discourse and Action – Prophetic Communities.
The team will be restructuring itself to lead these four Communities, and we plan to invite everyone and every committee to join us in one of these communities. Much of the current work being done by the Racial Justice Team will be folded into this new Racial Justice Program format. We look forward to guiding our church in carrying out these objectives. Our efforts will continue with joy and with the knowledge that although we may stumble, we will always get back up and continue moving forward. Together we will work to create Beloved Community!
Here is the new Racial Justice Program:
UUFP Racial Justice Program – June 2022
Based on the Welcoming Congregation and Green Sanctuary programs and the 1997 General Assembly resolution, “Toward an Anti-Racist Unitarian Universalist Association,” with a structure based on Gilbert’s Wheel and Jones’ Community of Communities.
- Study of White Fragility (DiAngelo) or similar.
- Study of Widening the Circle of Concern.
- Form a Racial Justice Team to design and offer programming and monitor progress.
Religious Exploration: Learning Communities
1. Schedule regular RE programs at all age levels that incorporate anti-racism and multi-culturalism.
2. Establish an on-going study/reflection group using How to Be an Antiracist (Kendi) and Be Antiracist (Kendi).
3. Offer regular congregation-wide educational opportunities on anti-racism and multi-culturalism, with follow-up opportunities for study and reflection.
4. Maintain a minimum participation of at least 15% of congregational members in “Creating a Jubilee World” or similar workshops within the last five years.
Hospitality and Fellowship: Caring Communities
5. Establish anti-racist and multi-cultural language, images and other content on the congregation’s website and social media and in greeting, signage and printed materials.
6. Offer regular training in the difference between “calling out” and “calling in.”
7. Provide opportunities for spiritual support and soul care to those working to be anti-racist.
8. Establish a plan to respond to incidents of racial violence in the wider society.
Worship: Celebrating Communities
9. Use inclusive language and content as a regular part of services, and provide worship leaders and preachers with guidelines on inclusive language.
10. Establish annual training for worship leaders and musicians on Cultural (Mis)Appropriation.
11. Celebrate and affirm anti-racist and multi-cultural history and achievement (whether through services, sermons, meditations, reflections, readings or music) during the church year, e.g., Dr. King Day, Black History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Juneteenth, Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Native American Heritage Month, Kwanzaa.
12. Commit to paying “royalties” for the use of spirituals and other African-American music in services to an organization that promotes Black music and creativity.
Moral Discourse and Action: Prophetic Communities
13. Include affirmative non-discrimination clauses in congregational bylaws, policies and other relevant documents concerning membership, hiring practices and the calling of religious professionals.
14. Establish and maintain contact with local groups and organizations, either led by people of color or oriented to racial justice, to build relationships, offer support in whatever ways are needed, and promote dialogue and interaction.
15. Participate in and/or support efforts to create justice, freedom and equality for people of color in the wider society.
16. Research, initiate and maintain an on-going Environmental Justice project, using Our Place in the Web of Life to explore the congregation’s racial, economic, and environmental impact and create an action plan for deepening the congregation’s accountability.
You can also find the new Racial Justice Program HERE.
 Richard S. Gilbert, The Prophetic Imperative, Skinner House Books, 2nd Ed., 2000.