Report from Mosaic Makers 2017
This report is from Dr. Janice Marie Johnson, UUA Multicultural Ministries and Leadership Director and convener of Mosaic Makers conference.
In October 2017, my Multicultural Ministries colleagues and I hosted the third Mosaic Makers: Leading Vital Multicultural Congregations conference at First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego in San Diego, California. All of us there wrestled with how to create and nurture truly inclusive, multicultural congregations as well as centering the voices of people of color.
I’m delighted to share a brief report and video of our keynotes.
The Mosaic Makers Conference is a dynamic gathering and learning community for teams from congregations deeply engaged in the work of building intentional multicultural community. These congregations, as identified by UUA national and regional staff, gather together in spiritual community for two and a half days of worship, experiential learning, and community building around the theme of strengthening the fabric of UU multicultural ministries. The conference focuses on affirming four areas: worship, community life, leadership, and justice ministry. Watch Rev. Susan-Frederick-Gray's opening comments to the conference.
As we know, multicultural ministry is not a solo act. This is not a job that the staff or volunteers can do apart from each other. Multicultural Ministry is shared ministry/team leadership. Commitment is needed from staff and lay leaders. You can learn more about Mosaic Makers on our fact sheet (PDF).
Last November, I had the privilege of attending the Mosaic Makers Conference at the First UU Church of San Diego. The beauty of San Diego was eclipse by the beauty of UU leaders from member congregations gathered together to worship, listen, learn, and collaborate on how we can build a multicultural, antiracist Unitarian Universalism. The milieu of 2017 was ripe for such a powerful discourse as our faith was fueled by the imperative to dismantle white supremacy within and resist white supremacy without. We learned that many of us of the global majority have yet to find a spiritual home in the only faith we’ve ever known. Mosaic Makers seemed like a pilgrimage of faith as Dr. Takiyah Amin called us to reflect on the oppressive lived-experience of people of color in UU congregations. Please watch her powerful videotaped reflection.
—Rev. Michael Crumpler, LGBTQ and Intercultural Programs Manager, UUA
Given the intractable nature of our complicity with whiteness, I hope my feedback centers on constructive critique that does not fail to say thank you. Thank you for sustaining this important work, with all the love, humility, and abiding dedication you all make evident.
—KP Hong from Unity Church-Unitarian, St. Paul, MN
The Mosaic functions on various levels: national, regional, district, and cluster. If you want to learn more about this wonderful community, please reach out to Dr. Janice Marie Johnson at jmjohnson [at] uua [dot] org.