CSW Alerts and Business Updates, General Assembly 2017

UUA General Assembly Off-site Participation: June 21-25, 2017

For Reference

This page contains daily alerts from the Commission on Social Witness, amendments, and other updates since the 2017 Final Agenda (PDF, 15 pages).

Please note that no text should be considered final until it appears in the approved General Assembly minutes, which are usually available by September and which will be posted on Business & Social Witness at General Assembly 2017 when they are ready.

Proposed Responsive Resolutions

Download PDF files or read text, following.

Combating Escalating Inequality (Adopted)

WHEREAS, Tom Andrews of the UUSC said that he cannot think of a time when UU values were more under attack than they are today;

WHEREAS, Mr. Andrews exhorted us to take vigorous and sustained action to protect and further those values;

WHEREAS, the delegates of this 2017 General Assembly approved a Statement of Conscience regarding Escalating Economic Inequality;

WHEREAS, the causes of escalating inequality intersect with the effects of white supremacy;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the 2017 General Assembly calls on the UUA Board of Trustees and UUA staff to help coordinate, strategize and advise Congregations on how to address effectively these deep-seated cultural issues.

Making the “Standing on the Side of Love” Campaign More Inclusive (Adopted)

WHEREAS, the Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee report identifies Unitarian Universalism as a movement has made progress in anti-oppression work but still has work to do;

WHEREAS, part of the work we Unitarian Universalists need to do is make our justice campaign, “Standing on the Side of Love,” more inclusive;
WHEREAS, use of the word “Standing” as default justice language places a high value on the justice work and commitments of able-bodied people, while it makes invisible and excludes the justice work of people with a wide range of disabilities and autistic people;

WHEREAS, Unitarian Universalist principles call for “justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;” and
WHEREAS, our faith calls us to consider the impact of our words, and to take action and engage with ableism in the creation of a Beloved Community.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the 2017 General Assembly calls upon the leaders of the UUA’s “Standing on the Side of Love” campaign to create a new imagining that better includes and reflects the needs and contributions of disabled people.

Appointment of a Study Commission to Consider Adding an 8th Principle to Article II, Principles and Purposes, Section C-2.1 (Adopted)

WHEREAS, the Interim Co-Presidents’ Report and the Report of the Board of Trustees both address the issues of white supremacy and intersecting forms of oppression; and

WHEREAS, the delegates of the 2017 General Assembly believes that such issues are sufficiently important to be specifically addressed in the UUA Bylaws Principles and Purposes.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the delegates to the 2017 General Assembly call for the Board to appoint a study commission to discuss adding an 8th Principle that may be as stated below:

“We the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by building a diverse, multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”

CSW Alerts

Statement of Conscience

Escalating Economic Inequality passed as amended (PDF), with minor typographical fixes during General Session IV.

Bylaw Amendments

Consider Bylaw Amendment Article II, Section C-2.1. Principles, Line 12, changing person to being

This proposed bylaw amendment was tabled indefinitely during General Session IV.

Amendment Article II, Section C-2.1.1 Principles, Line 26, Changing “men and women” to “people”

This proposed bylaw amendment passed with a four-fifths vote during General Session IV.


The originally proposed language (people) received the most support in the straw poll - over 90 percent gave it a 5 or 4 - the highest ratings.

The first amendment would have substituted 'persons' for 'women and men.' This was moderately popular but received less than 50 percent 5 or 4.

The second amendment would have substituted 'voices' for 'women and men.' This received mostly fists for no support.

The third amendment would have substituted 'people and individual human beings ' for 'women and men.' This received responses similar to the second amendment above.

The fourth amendment would have substituted 'Expressions and deeds of prophetic people who' for 'Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which.' Support for this was scattered throughout the categories for onsite delegates, but 65 percent of offsite delegates gave it the lowest possible rating.

The fifth amendment would have substituted 'human beings' for 'women and men.' This received mostly fists from the onsite delegates, and two thirds of offsite delegates gave it the lowest rating.

The sixth amendment would substitute 'Prophetic words and deeds' for 'Words and deeds of prophetic women and men.' This proposal received mostly 5s and fists (the two extremes) from onsite delegates with a handful scattered in between. 53 percent of offsite delegates gave it a one or two (the lowest possible ratings), 24 percent have it the highest rating of 5, with the balance scattered between.

There were roughly equal numbers of onsite and offsite delegates.