Update from the PWR Multicultural Team

By Eric Bliss

Friends across the PWR,

In the last three years, a group of 2/3 People of Color and 1/3 white accomplices have been working in all four districts of the region to support youth of color and others representing marginalized voices. This group was called the PWR Multicultural Team.

During their tenure, members of the Team have produced webinarsworkshopscaucusing resources, and made in-person visits to youth communities to companion and coach.

Now the Team is on hiatus. Most of the current leadership have aged out or moved on and it is going through a transition period to assess the ability our youth communities to tackle this work on their own. The Team has observed that many of the practices recommended by its leadership have been integrated into youth community positions, youth board practices, and/or congregational workshops. And, the resources the Team has created are still readily available.

In 2015 at the Youth Ministry Revival in Portland, OR, a group of POC youth challenged PWR to create space for caucusing/identity work at all subsequent events. The Multicultural Team is re-issuing that challenge. The Team is asking our PWR youth boards, con communities, and congregations to commit to:

  • Deconstructing white supremacy in UU spaces
  • Effective, intersectional caucusing at immersion gatherings
  • Get proximate
  • Make a conscious effort to include many identities in leadership (district boards, con staff), with an emphasis on racial diversity (without tokenizing)
  • Reach out to other communities in our region, share resources and collaborate on ideas.
  • Refer youth to programs like Thrive and Goldmine - leadership opportunities where students can further their intercultural skills and strengthen identity

The work continues. Will you join us?

With deepest respect...

Eric Bliss,
PWR Youth Specialist

About the Author

Eric Bliss

Eric Bliss, Pacific Western Region Youth and Emerging Adult Ministry Specialist, is a native of Knoxville, TN, where he grew up attending both Westside Unitarian Universalist and Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Churches.


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