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Beyond Categorical Thinking

The Beyond Categorical Thinking (BCT) program works with Unitarian Universalist congregations to promote inclusive thinking and help prevent unfair discrimination in the ministerial search process. During the Beyond Categorical Thinking visit, the congregation will learn more about its institutional culture, examine ways it can be more inclusive in its consideration of ministerial candidates, and surface subtle and often unintentional, unconscious biases members hold that may result in a decision to not select the minister who would be the best fit for their ministerial needs.

Unitarian Universalist ministers who identify as people of color; as Latina/Latino/Hispanic; as bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender; or as a person with a disability often have a more difficult time in the ministerial search process because of unconscious congregational biases. Even in congregations that have called a minister, interim minister, or intern from one of the aforementioned identity groups, new biases have arisen because the congregation mistakenly assumed that the presence of these ministers means that they have adequately addressed diversity issues and need no further work.

The Beyond Categorical Thinking program creates opportunities for conversations and reflection for the congregation to identify issues related to identity. In the process, congregations explore some of these biases, learn more about the search process, and begin to think about next steps, such as further consultation, education, or training beyond the BCT program.

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This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

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