The Black Lives Matter Installation at UUA Headquarters is part of a series of rotating displays showing Unitarian Universalist (UU) heritage and vision.
About the Installation
Racial justice, particularly justice for black Americans, has been a strain of Unitarian Universalist history and struggle. Institutional racism, inequality and a culture of violence against people of color continue to this day, even as many people have helped change racist policies and systems in the past, including UUs during the Civil Rights Movement in Selma and elsewhere. UU involvement with the Black Lives Matter movement is a recent chapter in the longer arc of UUs who have wrestled with how to advance racial justice over the years. Many black UUs are leaders and participants in the Black Lives Matter movement. Many non-black UUs have taken action in collaboration with local black leaders.
The installation is meant to be a powerful visual statement in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Rather than point to UU connections, the istallation renders the #blacklivesmatter refrain in bold, simple neon. Visitors are asked to stop and reflect on how the image makes them feel, and to ask what Unitarian Universalist values call us to do in response to the broader Black Lives Matter movement. The installation echoes the congregations that hang similar banners to show their support. It also references the work of the activist Overpass Light Brigade, highlighting messages for justice and equality. Creative design is by C. ter Kuile.
“’Black Lives Matter’ is a movement trying to change the fact that Black lives are disproportionately, systematically, and intentionally targets of violence in the United States. The movement emphasizes the humanity, resilience, leadership and contributions of black people in America”—adapted from Alicia Garza, Co-Founder of #BlackLivesMatter with Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, from “A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement,” October 7, 2014
To join the conversation, you can share this page (links at the bottom of the page) or use the Twitter combination hashtag/tag #blacklivesmatter @UUA.
Black Lives Matter and Unitarian Universalists
- Read the statement passed by the UUA General Assembly in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Connect with the Standing on the Side of Love campaign's efforts for racial justice, including responses to events in Ferguson, Mo.
- Find social justice resources related to Black Lives Matter for ending racial profiling, police brutality, voting restrictions, and mass imprisonment of African Americans and other people of color in the United States (dubbed the “New Jim Crow” by civil rights advocate and scholar Dr. Michelle Alexander).
- See WorshipWeb Black Lives Matter collection of words, prayers and materials for ritual and reflection.
- Download curricula and training materials for learning about racial justice.
- Learn about UU congregations and individuals who support Black Lives Matter through articles in UU World magazine:
- "'Protests feed the urgency' for change"—October 2015
- "Black Lives Matter banners bring out conversation"—Summer 2015
- "UUs mark anniversary of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson"—Summer 2015