In the past few weeks, over 550 of 1000+ Unitarian Universalist congregations have joined the independently-organized UU White Supremacy Teach-In on April 30 - May 7, 2017. It is a chance to look critically within our faith communities - for the ways racism, sexism and white supremacy live. The UUA is supporting this grassroots effort to invite congregations to shift their Sunday programming, which is led by religious educators Aisha Hauser, Christina Rivera (member of our UUA Board of Trustees) and Kenny Wiley (senior editor at UU World). The UUA Board of Trustees also endorsed the Teach–In at their April 3 meeting.
The UUA, as an explicitly anti-racist and anti-white supremacist organization, is supporting the Teach-In by publicly amplifying the work of the event's organizers, as well as by directly participating in the Teach-In with a staff-only event on May 9. The UUA’s White Supremacy Teach-In will allow us to be in solidarity with the congregations and UU communities who have accepted the invitation to put aside business as usual and to interrogate the racial and power dynamics of our faith tradition.
During the UUA’s Teach-In, currently being designed by a cross-staff team, we will be able to focus on our experiences as staff members and the organizational difficulties of challenging dominant racial norms and identities in our institution. The Teach-In will be accessible online for offsite staff and will be designed with a sensitivity to the wide-ranging responsibilities and religious identities of our staff.
We acknowledge that the term white supremacy is controversial for some. We understand that there are other terms that describe racism, inequity, and oppression. But UUA senior leaders will continue to make “white supremacy" a part of our language as we work to be an explicitly anti-white supremacy organization. We are honoring the framing set by the Teach-In’s organizers and other Unitarian Universalists, especially UUs of color, who are engaged in this conversation.
We are proud of our congregations for engaging in these profound and painful conversations. We are deeply grateful to the #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn organizers for creating this opportunity.
Read about the UU White Supremacy Teach-In here. You'll find a curated set of resources and guidance from the event's organizers for:
- Worship planning
- Religious education activities for adults, youth, children and families
- Suggested readings and quotes
Additionally, the following related UUA resources may be useful:
- #BlackLivesMatter collection of quotes, prayers and readings from WorshipWeb (view additional worship collections on social justice topics here)
- Stories in Resistance and Transformation, drawn from the Tapestry of Faith adult curriculum "Resistance and Transformation" on UU social justice history
- Books and readings on anti-oppression and anti-racism available through inSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
Unitarian Universalist congregations joining the Teach-In are welcome to contact their regional UUA field staff for additional support. This is part of the UUA's ongoing commitment to racial justice, equity and inclusion. For more information on racial justice in the UUA, visit the pages on Racial Justice and Multicultural Ministry.