On December 20, 2020, an important vote took place in Louisville, KY. In recognition that the name of the congregation should reflect their values rather than a man whose actions were antithetical to the same, members of Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church voted to change their name to All Peoples, A Unitarian Universalist Congregation. The mission and principles of the church remain unchanged.
In a press release the congregation noted:
“Through conversations with allies and accountability partners, the congregation began to understand that by operating under this name, they were perpetrating harm against African American people. ‘All Peoples’ denotes every racial, ethnic, religious, gender, age or other category of humankind imaginable. When Thomas Jefferson referred to the 'people' in the line from his Declaration, he meant only one kind of person: white, male, Christian, property owners of American allegiance and West European ancestry. By adopting 'All Peoples,' we can transcend Jefferson's world view and signify our commitment to universal fellowship and genuine inclusion. Changing our name does better communicate that intention, but perhaps even more important are the lessons we've learned along the way about letting go of the old, fostering empathy, trusting each other, and embracing a better version of ourselves.”
This change represents a year long process where the congregation first voted to change their name, and then after six months of consideration, voted on their new name. Congratulations to All Peoples for their work to explore their history and story and dismantle systemic white supremacy culture where they found it.