Anti-Racism and Reparations Via Restorative Justice
WHEREAS, the forced labor, egregious punishments, and inhuman sufferings of Americans of African descent during the chattel enslavement era catapulted America into a world superpower, financially and militarily;
WHEREAS, the full reality of the violence perpetrated on and free labor of Americans of African descent has not been sufficiently taught, discussed, or acknowledged, giving rise to a belief in and practice of white supremacy that condemns Americans of African descent to be second-class citizens, without equal protection under the law;
WHEREAS, throughout the chattel enslavement and Jim Crow eras, and into the 21st century, the Federal Government has adopted housing, education, policing, and tax policies that penalize persons of African descent;
WHEREAS, the escalation of political polarization has resulted in widespread education censorship bills and voting rights restrictions that are clearly anti-African American and pro-white supremacist; and
WHEREAS, no group has escaped the dominant narrative of white supremacy in our educational system, thereby requiring modernization of secondary and higher education; and
WHEREAS, the New York State Assembly has passed a Reparations bill. Reparations are being implemented in Evanston, Illinois, and Georgetown and Harvard Universities have set aside millions of dollars for reparations to those enslaved who built and contributed to the success of those institutions, and a Task Force is currently deliberating reparations in California.
THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that the 2022 General Assembly encourages its member congregations to engage the principles of Restorative Justice and truthful American history, to fully understand and reject white supremacy and, in alignment with our faith values, to address and engage Restorative Justice through allying with representatives from the most affected communities, and taking action at all levels of public engagement in the political and educational spheres, including the following:
First, Create Study/Action Groups in our UU Congregations that engage in Restorative Justice. Congregations should take the initiative to embrace the principles of Restorative Justice and partner with marginalized communities to seek societal repair/reparations as an essential aspect of UU social justice work.
Second, Promote and support cultural and gender identity in leadership and in learning environments, by modeling a comprehensive approach to change.
Third, Support local school committees to include, as graduation requirements, enrollment in civics classes and classes that teach the true history and realities experienced by peoples of color.
Fourth, Encourage Unitarian Universalist congregations to become advocates for reparations/repair initiatives in their local communities.
Fifth, Protect the academic freedom of teachers and other workers in education and condemn the current mischaracterization of true, demythologized history known as “critical race theory.”
Sixth, join national and local initiatives and organizations, such as the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA), the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC). Grassroots Reparations Campaign, Coming to the Table to repair the soul of our nation.