Main Content

Equity in Design and Being a Good Ancestor

By Nancy Combs-Morgan

Nancy Combs-Morgan

Nancy Combs-Morgan, Congregational Life Consultant, MidAmerica and Southern Regions

I was so inspired at our recent virtual MidAmerica Regional Assembly when Taquiena Boston, the UUA’s Special Advisor to the President for Inclusion, Equity, and Change, shared her wisdom about equity in design. I took away from her keynote that our efforts as Unitarian Universalists to achieve equity, justice, and compassion in our homes, our congregations, and in our greater world, will hopefully be realized if we consciously, with forethought of action, have equity in the design of our shared experiences. Equity in design necessitates that we purposefully demonstrate an awareness of the need to deinstitutionalize white supremacy.

As we have each month warmly recommended to our congregations resources and ideas for your shared endeavors to deinstitutionalize white supremacy, I thought in this time of social distancing, I would share a superb resource that you can do yourself: Layla F. Saad’s, Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor.

Layla F. Saad - author of Me and White Supremacy book

Layla F. Saad

Saad compiled this piece to be a self-guided workbook of reflection and antiracist consciousness-raising. A profound message from Saad’s work is a charge to be “good ancestors.” Yes, I do seek to be a good ancestor, but I must also name that there is a spirit-heavy open-endedness to many of the questions around antiracist culture change, especially when following the news. Tragically, this pandemic is impacting people of color in harsh and unfair ways, for some of the highest rates of COVID-19 are being experienced by people of color, and anti-racist violence seems to be a daily occurrence.

Yet, I implore you, do not get stuck in the mire of despair, for there are emerging greater truths and a new galvanization of efforts, much to do with how we design our experiences. Beyond that quicksand of despair, there is also renewal and clarity — clarity that we must be resolute in addressing inequities in our culture. When we stop naming the racism that is so predominate in our world, we have then fallen into complacency. So, let’s keep asking questions, considering achievable ways to move forward, and renewing our commitment to consciousness-raising.

About the Author

Nancy Combs-Morgan

Nancy Combs-Morgan has been immersed in Unitarian Universalist faith development for 22+ years, including 6 as a Director of Religious Education, and 16 years on UUA district and regional staff....

For more information contact