Supporting Religious Professionals of Color In Our Congregations and Covenanted Communities
Your Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Board of Trustees wants to make sure you know what we are discussing at our Board meetings. At the April 2018 Board meeting, among other conversations, we had a robust discussion on the issues and challenges facing religious professionals of color. Religious professionals of color struggle regularly to be recognized, accepted, supported, and respected. These difficulties are of great concern, and our partners from our People of Color communities provided suggestions that we strongly endorse and offer to your congregation and, together with UUA staff, we will consider these in the context of the Association’s role and operations:
- Consider plans for restitution for religious professionals of color, including ways to offer paid 3-month sabbaticals. Time away serves as a respite.
- Resource and offer pastoral care and support specifically for religious professionals of color and lay leaders of color in our congregations.
- Provide financial support to congregational leaders and religious professionals of color to attend professional development gatherings. Paid days off to attend these should be considered, with full support including transportation, food, and registration as the norm. Careful planning and budgeting can allow this to happen.
- Avoid non-disclosure agreements when professionals are leaving a congregation or covenanted community. These agreements breed secrecy, mistrust, and unnecessary controversy.