Friends, I’m writing to announce that your UUFP Policy Board, in collaboration with the Social and Environmental Justice Committee (SEJC), has resoundingly adopted an anti-racism motion at our July, 2022, meeting.
The Board motion reads as follows:
The UUFP commits to becoming an anti-racist congregation.
In doing so, the Policy Board will:
- Affirm the Racial Justice Program as adopted by the S&EJC and its Racial Justice Team
- Affirm the ongoing development and implementation of this Racial Justice Program as a key long-term learning/action tool in our fellowship, recognizing that there are divergent approaches to dismantling racism in ourselves, our institutions, and our society.
- Commit to attentively assuring that our job descriptions, and personnel decisions in hiring, discipline, and dismissal are explicitly attuned to anti-racism concerns.
- Remain alert to the need for any further task forces to advise the Policy Board going forward on issues of becoming an anti-racist congregation.
So, what does this all mean?
It means that UUFP is committed to dismantling racism in ourselves, our congregation, and in our society.
It means that we are looking to the next tangible steps in this work. The Racial Justice Program designed by Rev. Andrew points the way. As adopted by the SEJC and its Racial Justice Team, this plan is based on the Welcoming Congregation and Green Sanctuary programs and the 1997 General Assembly (GA)Resolution, “Toward an Anti-Racist Unitarian Universalist Association.”
Look how LONG ago the GA made that Anti-Racist resolution — a full 25 years. Rev. Andrew is convinced that White Fragility, our reflex against talking about and owning racial issues, lies at the root of our denomination’s lack of progress. So, prerequisite to our UUFP program are critical studies of White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (or similar) and Widening the Circle of Concern, which sizeable groups of UUFP members have already undertaken in August and September 2020 and January through May 2021, respectively.
Of course, as foundational documents, these merit our further, critical study. They comprise part of our common vocabulary and understanding. And so, yes, we revisit.
To that end, as President of the UUFP, I seek to assure all voices are heard and honored in our individual search for truth and meaning. To that end, Ann Kunze and I will lead another study group on White Fragility this fall, on (likely) the first and third Wednesdays for four sessions, starting September 21 (stay tuned).
I commit to creating an open learning environment, an environment where each person can understand what DiAngelo is saying, what they agree with, what they disagree with, and how this work fits into or informs how we move forward as individuals and as a congregation. I’m excited to co-lead this inquiry with Ann. Hope you will engage! Look for information to emerge soon!
And look for news from the Racial Justice Team as it designs and offers programming and monitors progress. Explore the S&EJC’s Racial Justice Program which brings us focus on anti-racism efforts in community — learning communities, caring communities, communities in worship and communities in prophetic action.
In sum, this is big and important news:
“The UUFP commits to becoming an anti-racist congregation” (Policy Board, July, 2022).
Warmly and in community,
Rebecca (“Bek”) Wheeler, President
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula
Grow in Wonder – Connect In Love – Engage in Service – Inspire Generosity