Call and Response: Journeys in UU Lifespan Faith Development

The Courage to Hold Up a Mirror

By Jessica York

Dear Keepers of the Faith,

It takes a lot of courage to witness to injustice. Some of our brave colleagues, notably Aisha Hauser and Christina Rivera, have held up a mirror before the UUA and named what they see. I do not think it is necessary for us to agree on what the mirror shows, but I hope we will not shy away from the mirror.

Chalice based on the Paint Branch UU chalice

It takes a lot of courage to demand accountability. I also believe it takes a lot of love. If we did not love this faith, we would not care: We could easily walk away when the community is in turmoil. If we did not love each other—madly, deeply, passionately—we would not care: We would never challenge each other to be our best selves.

To some, these examinations of UUA hiring practices as they pertain to race and ethnicity feel like a crisis. To many, especially many people of color, it’s not news, but more of the usual. Wherever you find yourself, I hope your Unitarian Universalist faith feels close enough to you that you can reach out and touch it for the strength it can provide you. I hope you have a community where you can process what you are feeling. If you don’t, find one. Because this is long-haul work. We did not create this system, but we can determine what it becomes. It is the work our faith calls us to do. And I say “Hallelujah” to that.

Next Steps!

The events alluded to in this blog post are reported in the March 27, 2017 UU World article, "Critics decry ‘white supremacy’ in UUA hiring practices."

Take care of yourself. Pray, meditate, exercise, laugh with friends, draw pictures with children. Ask for support if you need it and provide support to each other.

About the Author

Jessica York

Jessica York is the Director of Congregational Life at the Unitarian Universalist Association. During her fifteen plus years as a religious educator she has served on the Liberal Religious Educators Association’s Integrity Team, the MidSouth District’s RE Committee, and the...


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