As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all people as a core principle of our faith. Yet the dignity and worth of Black lives is under direct threat in every community from disproportionate infections from COVID-19, from police violence, from economic insecurity and collective trauma. The devaluing of black lives is not new – it has been ingrained in our country’s history for over 400 years. The Unitarian Universalist Association has committed to dismantling white supremacy and patriarchy inside our faith and in the wider world, which has included supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, working expand sanctuary and decriminalize Black and brown, immigrant and Indigenous communities, flanking movement organizing to end the oppressive systems of policing, mass incarceration and detention, and now calling on UU’s to pursue alternatives to contacting the police support the wider push to defund the police and invest in Black communities. And yet there is still so much more to do.
Our commitment to investing in Black communities is both within and beyond Unitarian Universalism. Within our faith, it has been a great joy to fulfill the UUA’s $5 million commitment to Black Lives UU, a commitment supported by thousands of congregations and individual donors, to invest in BLUU’s radical reimagining of Unitarian Universalism rooted in Black experience and wisdom. The UUA’s collaboration with BLUU has continued, such as through the End Money Bail campaigns through our Love Resists partnership.
Today, we are thrilled to partner with BLUU on their Havens and Harbors initiative to develop local nodes of Black communities within Unitarian Universalism. These groups will be woven into our system from the beginning. Harbors will receive covenanting community status within the UUA, and our staff will help support the congregations that host Harbors and Havens. Our partnership in growing Havens and Harbors, and the partnership of UU host congregations, is both an act of reparation and a commitment to a shared future.
As Unitarian Universalists, we are compelled to work for justice, equity, compassion and liberation inside and outside our faith. It is a blessing to witness and support the emergence of this next chapter of Black UU leadership. We call on all UUs to work to develop faith communities in all forms that are healing and affirming to Black people.