Toward the Beloved Community: A Report of the Interim Co-Presidents, June 5, 2017
The Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA) Interim Co-Presidents, the Revs. Sofía Betancourt and William Sinkford and Dr. Leon Spencer, shared the following report on Interim Hiring Procedures:
We turn our attention in this update to the Interim Hiring Procedures for UUA staff that we have been working hard to prepare. After legal review and considerable discussion with staff, key volunteers and our institutional partners, we have approved these new approaches.
The procedures themselves center on shifting the focus of our attention from intention to outcome, on establishing numerical goals which can form the basis of accountability for all hiring managers, and setting expectations that the experience of persons of color/indigenous persons is of important value for staff members in our religious community.
Recognizing that the culture of white supremacy is a culture of power, the goals for persons of color in decision-making roles is higher than the goal overall for the staff. Imagine the UUA staff with 40% of those in decision-making roles persons of color/indigenous persons, and 30% for the staff overall (now less than 20%).
Recognizing that hiring is only a beginning, the Human Resources staff welcomes its role in supporting these procedures and sustaining a work environment in which a racially and culturally diverse workforce can flourish, not flounder.
New procedures and new goals are important. But it is the will to follow them and resist the often urgent demand for exceptions that will determine their success. These procedures have been reviewed with all three candidates for the UUA Presidency. One of them will have the responsibility of moving us toward these goals.
The good news is that this approach and similar approaches have been successful for others and therefore can be successful for us.
The approval of these procedures is one milestone in our interim service. We hope that the Commission on Institutional Change will look more broadly and deeply at our staff culture as we begin to understand and to dismantle the culture of white supremacy not only at the staff level but throughout Unitarian Universalism.
What would your congregation look like and operate like if you adopted similar goals? What would the Unitarian Universalist organizations in which you participate look like if they embraced the changes that are being called for? We are called to look at the life of our religious community with new lenses. There is hope in the vision that can emerge.