The First Parish Blog

Learning More After the UU White Supremacy Teach-In

By , Published on May 2, 2017

Rev. Catie preached a sermon on April 30th, Heed Their Direction, as part of the national “UU White Supremacy Teach-In” organized by the Black Lives of UU organization. Were you interested in learning more about the current UUA hiring controversy? Do you wish you knew more about our denomination’s history countering racism and white supremacy in and outside our faith? Have you wondered what you could do to examine and decrease your own internal biases?

To learn more about the UUA hiring controversy, you can visit the UU World magazine’s “tagged” articles about the controversy, read the entirety of Christina Rivera’s blog post wherein she revealed she was the “not the right fit” candidate, and visit the Black Lives of UU Teach-In website. UU seminarian and activist Elizabeth Mount has compiled a lengthy public Google document as a preliminary documentary history of this controversy. You can also search social media for hashtags like #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn, #BuildingANewWay or #BuildingNewWay, and #‪‎25PercentIncreaseBy2019 to see some of the conversation in real time; however, there has been a great deal of meanness, unkindness, and racist commentary on social media on this topic, so proceed with caution and with commitment to our congregational covenant and Seven Principles!

To learn more about our Unitarian/Universalist history with anti-racism, there are many good resources on denominational website. You can read the Journey Toward Wholeness report of the Racial and Cultural Diversity Task Force and our many denominational social justice statements regarding racial justice; watch videos of General Assembly presentations about race and racism; and, experience the justice-focused 2016 Service of the Living Tradition. You can also connect online with Unitarian Universalists of color organizations (such as DRUUMM and Black Lives of UU) and the UU white ally organization, Allies for Racial Equity; all these organizations have open membership and annual in-person gatherings.

To learn more about American racism and white supremacy and what we can do to reduce our own biases, this is a sample of ideas from Black Lives of UU and Unitarian Universalist minister Rev. Shawna Foster: Rev. Catie used the white supremacy culture description and the pyramid of overt versus covert white supremacy for her sermon. The UUA Youth and Young Adult ministries’ blog Blue Boat Home has many resources on anti-oppression, privilege, and spiritual practices of resilience and resistance for all ages, and the UUA Faith Development blog has ideas for parents hoping to open conversation with their kids about race. You can read Dr. Peggy McIntosh’s classic article on privilege, Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, and look over the local White People Challenging Racism group’s extensive resource list. WPCR regularly offers anti-racism classes in Greater Boston, and is connected with another local white ally anti-racism organization, Showing Up for Racial Justice. You can also commit to diversifying your regular reading list by subscribing to people of color-run news (such as Colorlines, Aljazeera, and Indian Country Today) and by committing to read works from authors of color — as a start, the Poetry Foundation has excellent lists of black-, indigenous-, Asian-, and Latinx-American poets. You can learn how to manage conversations with folks who are resistant to the idea of systemic oppression through this tongue-in-cheek online guide, Derailing for Dummies.

Please reach out to Rev. Catie directly if you have any questions or concerns about our congregational anti-racism work moving forward.

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