We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee would like to express our gratitude and appreciation of our congregation for adopting the 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism by an overwhelming majority at our 2022 annual meeting. First Parish in Needham joins more than 160 UU congregations in affirming a commitment to accountably dismantle systemic racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions. Thank you to everyone who has given the 8th Principle thoughtful attention, however you ultimately chose to vote.
Preparing ourselves for the 8th Principle vote was a multiyear journey. Our congregational anti-racism work started in 2014 with the founding of the Racial Justice Task Force (RJTF). In 2017, we became a Level 2 Sanctuary Supporting Congregation. In 2018, Rev. Catie brought attention to our congregation’s history with slavery, which led to the Reparations Task Force, Lyceums, Summer Services, Blogs, Book Clubs, and many other congregational conversations. The RJTF advocated for a standing DEI Committee, which was established in 2021, to position ourselves as leaders in the work of “dismantling racism and other oppressions in ourselves and in our institutions.” Indeed, regardless of individual votes, it is clear from the comments at our annual meeting that the FPN community voices an unwavering commitment to anti-racist and anti-oppression social justice work.
As we continue our journey, the DEI Committee will serve as a resource to the congregation to support and encourage our building a multicultural, diverse, and inclusive community in which we all feel loved, nourished and enriched. We invite all friends and members of FPN to join in shaping our journey.