Dismantling White Supremacy
Dismantle White Supremacy
Social Justice

Watch Brittany Packnett's 2018 Ware Lecture, given at our last General Assembly, and explore a study guide created by the UUA Commission on Institutional Change.

We Must Dismantle White Supremacy 

White supremacy affects everyone. As Unitarian Universalists, we must fight white supremacy individually and together if we hold hope for Beloved Community. There is work to do in congregations and there is personal work to do. 

White supremacy is the idea that white people are better and more deserving of wealth, power, and privilege than people of color. White supremacy pervades our culture, institutions, and relationships. It is a self-perpetuating system that continues to fuel colonialism, exploitation, oppressions, inequities, and brutalities that people of color experience.

 Use the resources below to:

  • Expose the impact of white supremacy
  • Engage in study and change
  • Enter partnerships for action  

Expose the Impact of White Supremacy

Communicate with others about the harm caused to people and communities of color by different expressions of white supremacy (systemic, overt, microaggressive). 

A culture of white supremacy perpetuates itself by marginalizing people of color. Seek ways to amplify and incorporate the voices of people of color in all aspects of congregational life. Centering voices of people of color helps to destabilize white supremacy as the dominant cultural norm in a UU setting and beyond. Use these collections to share the voices of Unitarian Universalists of color:

Engage in Study and Change

Predominantly white institutions, including UU communities, without reflection and self-correction tend to maintain systems that privilege and center white individuals. To spark change, make space in the community for self-reflection, study, and conversations about race. 

Many white people have not thought much about their own race and participate in maintaining white supremacy culture without full awareness. Encourage white members of the faith community to read and discuss White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (who is white), the 2018 New York Times bestseller from the UUA's Beacon Press. Download a White Fragility study guide for UU groups. Other inspiring reads to ground and inspire change include How to Be Less Stupid About Race by Crystal M. Fleming (who identifies as a queer black millennial) and So You Want to Talk about Race, another bestseller, by Ijeoma Olua.

Engage a leadership team to read Salsa, Soul, and Spirit by Juana Bordas and learn ways to build multicultural sensibility into congregational governance and life. Follow further suggestions on this web page to become a more multiculturally adept UU congregation. 

Launch antiracism religious education programming:

Do a UUA Common Read to examine the roles systemic racism and white supremacy ideology play in contemporary justice issues and find paths toward change.

Enter Partnerships for Action

Consider personal practices to start dismantling white supremacy today. See the Greenpeace five-point plan, "5 Things You Can Do to Confront White Supremacy Right Now."

Follow the lead of organizations and initiatives led by and primarily serving people of color to engage with justice issues. Give time to service projects and money to their funding priorities. 

National UU groups that provide gatherings, webinars, and other resources around dismantling white supremacy include:

  • Allies for Racial Equity (ARE). ARE began in 2005 as the White Anti-Racist Allies Caucus of DRUUMM, a UU People of Color Organization. ARE seeks to build "an anti-racist movement among white Unitarian Universalists in ways that are accountable to communities of color." 
  • Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU). The BLUU Organizing Collective works to expand the power and capacity of Black UUs within Unitarian Universalism, provide support, information, and resources for Black Unitarian Universalists, and advance justice-making and liberation through a UU faith.

Get clear on the ways your faith compels your activism. "Do you have to be an activist to be a UU?" Read how six leaders in Unitarian Universalism answer this question.

For more information contact socialjustice@uua.org.

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