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Leading Congregations into a Multiracial, Multicultural Future: Now is the Time!

Held at the Post Oak Lodge in Tulsa, OK, April 3-5, 2009!

We are called to honor and attend to the challenges of nurturing multiracial, multicultural Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations. But how do we approach and embrace multiculturalism? How do we learn to see and challenge the ways in which white culture and privilege define our community? How do we lead into this different future from where we are now? How do we create and sustain congregations that are truly welcoming and inclusive? What compels us?

Participants in the third Multiracial, Multicultural conference came together in Tulsa to address these and other questions at an exciting, meaningful, and informative program. For detailed information on the program go to the Conference Schedule for a list of the complete conference calendar.

Discussion Guide (PDF)

Friday Keynote Address and Program with Dr. Mark A. Hicks on "Inclusive Excellence"

Inclusion: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in people and in communities (faith-based, intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase one’s awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.

With Dr. Hicks explored how individuals in Unitarian Universalist congregations can better understand themselves and their communities by engaging individual diversity, such as personality, learning styles, and life experiences; and group differences such as race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political or other affiliations. Congregational teams and other conference attendees used an understanding of Inclusive Excellence to evaluate current congregational dynamics and brainstorm possible next steps for cultivating excellence that acknowledges, accounts for, and embraces diversity and differences.


  • The conference explored Inclusive Excellence in the context of congregations. Conference leaders and participants shared insights and questions from the previous day's keynote; explored congregational strengths and opportunities and thought about further strategies and tactics for taking it home in ways that activate and support our congregations intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity.
  • Participants enjoyed an afternoon of Native American music, dance, and celebration in a Cultural Program at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Tahlequah. Talhlequah, OK, the capital of the Cherokee Nation and a place where many Native peoples and cultures flow.

Plus—Worship that draws on the diverse cultural heritage of Tulsa and its neighboring communities, including participating in the All Souls Unitarian Church Palm Sunday Worship Service in Tulsa, was an integral part of the conference experience.

For more information contact araomc @

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

Last updated on Tuesday, July 26, 2011.

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Video of the full session. This video lasts 100 minutes.

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