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Racial Justice

The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations in North America (UUA), through its annual General Assembly (GA) and its Board of Trustees, has supported affirmative action for women, people of color, and older Americans in ten resolutions since the merger of the Unitarians and the Universalists in 1961.

The 1966 Consensus on Racial Justice resolution identifies discrimination in housing, education, employment, public facilities and federal aid. It urges members to "practice equality of opportunity, both in private enterprise and in public positions."

In an attempt to alleviate this discrimination within the UUA, the Unitarian Universalist Ministry (1964) resolution was passed, urging churches and fellowships to "recruit and call qualified candidates to the ministry from all races, ages, and of both sexes" and to "provide financial assistance to theological students regardless of sex, race or age." Again in 1989, with the Equal Opportunity in Ministerial Settlement resolution, the UUA states its concern that "some member congregations have not practiced equal opportunity in the calling of ministers" and requests that the UUA provide assistance to congregations striving for equal opportunity in ministerial selection.

As early as 1962, with the Civil Rights Resolution, the UUA urges the United States government and residents "to secure compliance where pertinent laws exist and promote progress in private sectors" when considering affirmative action programs. This call for governmental action continues with the legislative branch. The 1979 UUA Action to Reduce Injustices of Discrimination, specifically names the Bakke case, "affirming the use of color as one of the means of opening opportunities for professional, scholarly, and technical training to blacks and other historically disadvantaged groups." This resolution further resolved "to increase its efforts in affirmative reduce the injustices of discrimination by monitoring local situations and encouraging appropriate public and private affirmative action." Again in 1984, with the Preserving Civil Rights resolution, the UUA "encourages active Unitarian Universalist participation in civil rights coalitions and the resistance of these coalitions of...efforts to undermine affirmative action."

While some of the above resolutions mention Black Americans specifically, other resolutions identify females and older Americans, recognizing that affirmative action programs benefit more than people of color. Citing affirmative action as a remedy for the wage gap between men and women, the 1987 Ending Gender-Based Wage Discrimination resolution calls for "equal pay for equal work and equal opportunity." The Senior Citizensí Charter resolution (1973) affirmed older citizensí "right to obtain employment based on merit." And the 1976 Older Women resolution cites the "double discrimination of ageism and sexism," urging members to "support equal opportunity in education for older women" as well as job training.

Unitarian Universalists have long recognized the institutional inequities levied against certain populations. As stated in the 1989 Equal Opportunity in Ministerial Settlement resolution, "discrimination is inconsistent with the Principles and Purposes of our covenant."

1961 General Resolution

Public School Integration
1961 General Resolution

Civil Rights
1962 General Resolution

Freedom Fund
1964 General Resolution

Federal Registrars for Voting
1965 General Resolution

Mississippi Challenge
1965 General Resolution

To Bear Witness
1965 Business Resolution

Consensus on Racial Justice
1966 Business Resolution

The American Indian
1967 General Resolution

Black Affairs Council
1968 Business Resolution

National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders
1968 General Resolution

Self-Determination for Blacks and Other Ethnic Groups
1968 General Resolution

Counteracting Institutional Racism
1969 Business Resolution

Countering Institutional Racism
1970 Business Resolution

Funding of Black and White Action
1970 Business Resolution

Indian Rights
1970 Business Resolution

Anti-Arab Violence
1986 Resolution of Immediate Witness

Arizona General Assembly 1988 Site
1987 Resolution of Immediate Witness

Proposal for Phoenix as Future General Assembly Site
1987 General Resolution

Civil Unrest and Economic and Racial Injustice—the Lesson of Los Angeles
1992 Resolution of Immediate Witness

Racial and Cultural Diversity in Unitarian Universalism
1992 Resolution of Immediate Witness

Justice for Indigenous Peoples
1993 General Resolution

Support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 1994
1994 Resolution of Immediate Witness

Support of Black Churches
1996 Resolution of Immediate Witness

Toward an Anti-Racist Unitarian Universalist Association
1997 Business Resolution

Protest Against Racial Profiling
2000 Action of Immediate Witness

Resolution on Support for the Cleveland, Ohio, Native American Community
2000 Responsive Resolution

Reparations for the 1921 Tulsa, OK Race Riot
2001 Action of Immediate Witness

Resolution to Establish Formal Relationships with the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media
2001 Responsive Resolution

World Conference Against Racism
2001 Action of Immediate Witness

Congregational Programs on Racism and Classism
2006 Responsive Resolution

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Last updated on Wednesday, August 24, 2011.

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