Many Paths, One Journey
Our Unitarian Universalist Principles call us to affirm
- The inherent worth and dignity of each person
- Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
Yet we live in a world in which oppressive structures prevent us from living out these Principles. Although legal segregation in America ended with the passage of civil rights laws in the 1960's, many primary institutions and systems of our nation including business, health care, criminal justice, media, etc., were little affected by these laws.
In addressing the racism that exists in these institutions and systems, including the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), its districts, and congregations, many programs at our General Assemblies from 1992 until 1997 addressed these issues, and members of congregations across the continent discussed how racism operates in our congregations and communities. Some of the observations of this era still hold true today:
- Many Unitarian Universalists provided important leadership in integrating our religious community.
- In our congregations white culture is considered to be the norm and People of Color are expected to assimilate into this white culture.
- The focus of much of our justice work is on the victims of racism and not the oppressors that benefit from racism.
- We need to put greater focus on the power and privilege that white people have in our racist society.
A report developed over five years by the UUA Racial and Cultural Diversity Task Force entitled “Journey Towards Wholeness—The Next Step: From Racial and Cultural Diversity to Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racist Multiculturalism” led to an almost unanimous vote by the 3,000 General Assembly delegates in Phoenix, AZ, in June 1997 to a Resolution Toward an Anti-Racist Unitarian Universalist Association to carry forward the vision outlined in the report.
The Journey Toward Wholeness (JTW) is shaped by the anti-oppression work that is done by Unitarian Universalists in our congregations, districts, denominational structures, and organizations; it is embodied in how we work for justice in the world; and The Journey Toward Wholeness is deeply spiritual work.