What is Racial Justice?
Unitarian Universalists work to end racial discrimination and injustice by supporting multiracial, multiethnic congregations and advocating for stopping racist policies like mass imprisonment and attacks on voting rights.
Why do Unitarian Universalists Work for Racial Justice?
Unitarian Universalists are guided by our Seven Principles which includes striving for justice, equity, and compassion in human relations and working to create a world community of peace, liberty, and justice for all. Institutionalized structures of racism violate these Principles and call us to the vital work of dismantling those structures.
Unitarian Universalists have fought for equal rights for years. On the 50th anniversary of the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, we honored civil rights martyrs who were Unitarian Universalists, the Rev. James Reeb and Viola Liuzzo, as well as Jimmy Lee Jackson, whose death inspired Martin Luther King, Jr. to call for clergy to come to Alabama. We presented Courageous Love Awards to the families of all three and recommitted to the work of racial justice.
As a faith movement, we express our values through social justice statements based in our Seven Principles. Because our First Principle calls us to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all people, we have issued statements supporting racial justice for decades. Most recently, Unitarian Universalists voted to give public support for the Black Lives Matter Movement at our annual General Assembly in 2015.
What are Unitarian Universalists Currently Doing to Achieve Racial Justice?
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) works to advance racial justice in a variety of ways. We help our congregations and religious professionals build a faith movement that is intentionally multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural. We provide a variety of resources for worship and religious education to help Unitarian Universalists develop their own multicultural capacity.
And we act. Through our Standing on the Side of Love campaign, we join with oppressed groups as allies in the work to dismantle racism and white supremacy. UUA Witness Ministries also works in interfaith partnership and through community groups to achieve justice by ending mass incarceration, supporting full voting rights and helping congregations get involved in the Movement for Black Lives.
Unitarian Universalist congregations have been bold in showing their support for Black Lives. Many have installed banners or added the “Black Lives Matter” message to existing signs outside of their congregations. Many banners have been vandalized or stolen and congregations have chosen to replace them, sometimes repeatedly. These public expressions of support are an important part of our effort to bear witness to racism in our communities and let our neighbors know that Unitarian Universalist congregations are a safe and welcoming space for all.
If you are a member of the press and would like to speak with a UUA staff person about our work in this area, please contact:
Jill Goddard, Public Relations Director