Amen to Uprising: A Commitment and Call to Action 2020 Action of Immediate Witness

BECAUSE Unitarian Universalist congregations covenant to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and to promote justice, equity and compassion in human relations, we proclaim loudly, Black Lives Matter!

WHEREAS, police departments and officers across the United States have taken the lives of Black people, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Rayshard Brooks and so many others;

WHEREAS, modern policing in the United States is a continuation of what began as slave patrols and have been used to control and harm Black people for generations;

WHEREAS, anti-racist protestors have been met by violence of an increasingly militarized police force;

WHEREAS, many of our faith communities have been complicit in creating the society and systems we currently live within; and

WHEREAS, our ancient and evolving universalist theologies call us to bring an end to all hells that exist and call for accountability and transformation, not punishment.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT, as Unitarian Universalists we commit to shaping a world in which love and justice may thrive, where Black leadership, creativity, and resilience is celebrated while Black grief is honored and held with love. We will use our voices to amplify the demands of Black Lives Matter, Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU), Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM), Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), Undocublack, and other organizations operated by and for Black people.

THEREFORE, we call upon the UUA to collaborate with organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to the work outlined in this AIW, for example, National Bail Out, Reclaim The Block, Black Lives of UU, in education, support, and resource development for congregations and to take action through staff commitments via the Organizing Strategy Team, Lifespan Faith Engagement, Congregational Life, and other groups.

THEREFORE, we will create systemic change within our congregations by:

  • Revising agreements and policies to create alternatives to policing (including developing plans for safety and accountability);
  • Choosing not to involve police departments, and deactivating security systems that mobilize police response when triggered;
  • Engaging in creative, transformative, justice processes;
  • Pursuing abolition of policing systems within the congregations and institutions in which we have power;
  • Moving congregational and institutional resources and endowments towards Black liberation organizing and long-term redistribution; and
  • Rooting ourselves in theologies of liberation and abolition.

THEREFORE, we will support uprisings with spiritual and material resources, serving as places of respite during protests, funding movements through congregational budgets, and providing spiritual care for protestors and survivors of police and state terror.

THEREFORE, we will advocate in the wider world by:

  • Following the example of institutions like the Minneapolis Public School Board in ending contracts with police, and directly intervening alongside communities experiencing policing and ICE raids;
  • Joining in widespread calls for immediate defunding of police departments, ending immigration detention, and abolishing ICE; and
  • Advocating for reinvestment in communities that have been victimized by policing and other forms of white supremacy.

THEREFORE, we commit to making our congregations and communities authentically multicultural, multiracial, anti-oppressive spaces that dismantle anti-Blackness; resisting a culture of perfectionism, and repairing our mistakes; and, given that building the Beloved Community is an ongoing and ever evolving process, we commit to staying in this work for the long haul.