Appendix II: Recommendations in Table Form
Appendix II: Recommendations
UUA Governance & Management

Theology

Recommendation

Re-engaging with our theological legacy and its use today will both ground our efforts to welcome all who are drawn to our faith and provide resources for resilience for Unitarian Universalists in these difficult times.

  • Action: Center the theological work of Black scholars, Indigenous scholars, and scholars of color, both professional and lay, whose knowledge is resonant for our times.
  • Action: Provide more resources for lay leaders who wish to engage in theological conversation.
  • Action: Equip our theological schools to engage in the work of continued education.
  • Action: Form collaboration between our theological schools, Association of congregations, and professional associations to develop resources for professionally applicable theological training.

Recommendation

Reinterpretation of our theological legacies in these times should be liberatory and articulate our commitment to affirming and welcoming those who have been marginalized in our larger society and within our communities and organizations.

  • Action: Resource multigenerational efforts within Black/Indigenous/people of color communities to develop rituals of healing and other worship materials to be used in congregations, regions, and national gatherings.
  • Action: Direct resources toward UU theological schools and scholars engaged in theological exploration focused on an understanding of the need for the affirmation and protection of all.
  • Action: Provide ministers, religious educators, and other religious professionals with access to continuing education that helps them take in and teach new theological concepts.

Recommendation

Acknowledgment of anti-oppression work as a theological mandate is essential. We need to resurrect, research, document, and teach the words of Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, women, and others who have been largely lost though their presence has been with us throughout history. These constitute a valuable tool for our times.

  • Action: Further incorporate and reclaim accounts of Universalist, Unitarian, and Unitarian Universalist leaders of color and Indigenous descent in Tapestry of Faith resources to serve a more diverse children and youth population.
  • Action: Encourage collaboration between the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries, and Liberal Religious Educators Association on a virtual library of resources for liberatory worship anchored in cross-cultural competency.
  • Action: Develop standards for ethical cross-cultural uses of worship materials from other traditions, and those previously developed by the Council for Cross-Cultural Engagement should be updated and discussed by religious professional associations.

Recommendation

Education about the covenantal nature of our faith will allow communities to support and nurture one another as the overall US climate becomes more hostile to and disinterested in a life of faith.

  • Action: Provide support from regions to prioritize developing congregational covenants tied to mission and goals and including aspirations for equity, inclusion, and diversity.
  • Action: Spread promising practices around addressing disruptive people and microaggressions as a barrier to covenantal community.
  • Action: Develop resources for training on engagement with, rather than avoidance of, conflict as a part of change and transformation.

Governance

Recommendation

The Board of Trustees and the president of the Association should articulate clear goals, plans, and measures toward a liberatory Unitarian Universalism for our times.

  • Action: Review the regional system to see which regions are working well and address those that are not, as this structure is critical to efforts to spread best practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Action: Complete the Article II review as mandated by the UUA bylaws with the call for diversity, equity, and inclusion as a lens used.
  • Action: Adopt an implementation plan toward the areas of this report with annual targets and outcomes through 2025, with an annual review of progress toward these goals, with these goals reported at General Assembly and to the congregations.
  • Action: Articulate the tools for power analysis that enable leaders to understand and rebalance power at all levels of Unitarian Universalism. Build on the existing work of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Board of Trustees and develop a methodology that can be used at all levels of Unitarian Universalism.

Recommendation

Governance within the Association needs streamlining, as outdated and duplicative structures exist. The unnecessary complexity of the current Unitarian Universalist governance structures is biased toward the more privileged, who have the time and resources for extensive volunteerism.

  • Action: Reexamine the current governance structure and identify changes that will allow a more agile and flexible structure that can meet the challenges of a rapidly changing religious landscape. The review should include a reexamination of the recommendations around the roles of the president and the moderator that were contained in the 1993 report by the Commission on Governance, chaired by Rev. Dr. Wayne Arnason.
  • Action: Form an alliance of UU organizations, including professional associations and affiliated groups, committed to creating equitable, inclusive, and diverse practices to allow learning, collaboration, and development of a common set of standards.
  • Action: Establish covenantal agreements with affiliate organizations that also understand the need for accountability, adaptability, collaboration, faith grounding, and continued education toward equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Action: Repurpose the resources of the JTWTC toward the anti-oppression goals of this report. (The JTWTC should not be disbanded until a new structure is approved.)
  • Action: Provide an expanded opportunity for youth and young adult leadership development and programming at the Associational level, with a grounding in equity, inclusion, and diversity and responsive to the challenges these generations face today.

Recommendation

Misconceptions about the nature of our congregational polity should be addressed as they are used to empower individual ministers and lay leaders to maintain a stagnant and exclusionary status quo.

  • Action: Promote a more accurate understanding about what congregational polity is, especially its covenantal nature and its relationship with our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of people and their ability to participate in decision making through a values frame.
  • Action: Audit leadership experiences, including online spaces tooled for accessibility across income levels, and make strategies for equity, inclusion, and diversity a part of these, as well as accurate information about the covenantal nature of congregational polity. Make practical education in anti-oppression work part of all UUA regional gatherings.
  • Action: Incorporate principles of covenant into anti-oppression work across all UU organizations.

Congregations and Communities

Recommendation

Covenant and commitment, not comfort, should be the binding fabrics of UU congregations and other communities.

  • Action: Prioritize workshops on covenants of right relationship and curate models of covenants for congregations and communities of different sizes and demographic profiles.
  • Action: Equip leadership development efforts at the Associational or regional level with information on how to facilitate needed conflict and how to promote racial equity.

Recommendation

The UUA Board and the president and administration should continue to prioritize efforts to create communications channels and strengthen regions, clusters, and other structures in which congregations can live into true congregational polity, the lack of which has exacerbated conflicts and created unnecessary distractions from mission.

  • Action: Continue to develop new channels for communication with congregational leaders, including enhanced or regular virtual convenings for those interested in learning best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Action: Work to make regional gatherings and structures possible and to regularize them across the country so that there is some consistency and they can be used to provide a common framework for anti-oppression work and other needed changes.
  • Action: Send an annual communication to all congregations about the number of congregations, with membership data, including the number of congregations with fewer than thirty people, as this is the number of people required to charter a congregation today. Also include the number of intentional and alternative communities serving those historically unable to thrive in our mainstream congregations, such as people of color, LGBTQ people, and young adults.

Recommendation

The UUA Board should look at the best way to provide ongoing active governance for congregations as the current General Assembly system is too costly and cumbersome for many to participate, as this disproportionately affects people of color.

  • Action: Make caucusing for people of color standard, and offer administrative support at regional and cluster events to allow more space, contact, and support for those who are often “the only one” at the congregational level.
  • Action: Fully implement the regional system, making space for clusters of congregations interested in equity to form.
  • Action: Convene General Assembly as a biennial gathering and on the off years, set and keep a schedule of regional meetings, with these meetings occurring at least biennially and perhaps more frequently by teleconference.
  • Action: Ensure that regional/ district staff are fully trained and demonstrate multicultural, antiracist, and anti-oppression competency to act as a resource for congregations and lay leaders in their antiracism work. Continuing education work in anti-oppression techniques should also be required.
  • Action: Explore providing delegate status to members of alternate covenantal communities serving those less welcomed by current congregational cultures.

Recommendation

Development of a common frame of anti-oppression training and multicultural competency is needed for all regional staff, those trained to advocate for UU professionals during times of conflict, and regional boards and entities to help prevent injury and wrongdoing.

  • Action: Begin a “Promising Practices” program to recognize congregations that have made progress in becoming more equitable, inclusive, and diverse.
  • Action: Identify and curate anti-oppression resources that are appropriate for congregations of different sizes, geographies, etc.
  • Action: Create methods of interaction between congregations to promote sharing of learning and promising models for equity, inclusion, and diversity work as well as models for accountable justice work. Ensure that all regional staff are trained in this work to be able to seed best practices.

Hospitality and Inclusion

Recommendation

New structures to provide leadership education to UU leaders are needed and should include multicultural hospitality practices as foundational.

  • Action: Include scholarship funds in congregational budgets to allow leaders of color, Indigenous leaders, and other leaders under-represented in the congregation to attend affinity groups and national meetings where they will be able to connect with others who share their identity and Unitarian

    Universalist faith.

  • Action: Curate and amplify best practices for training ushers and greeters, board members, worship assistants, and other lay leaders in intercultural competency.
  • Action: Contract with the identity-based groups such as DRUUMM, TRUUsT, and EqUUal Access to develop a new certification program for congregations ready and willing to take on the work of being diverse, inclusive, and equitable. Such a process could make sure there is congregational dialogue about these issues as educational experiences to help create a common vocabulary and analysis of what is needed.

Recommendation

Convening for volunteer leaders at the regional and cluster level should be emphasized to allow support for marginalized groups, including people of color.

  • Action: Develop a curriculum for multimedia presentation that provides resources to document contributions of people of color and Indigenous people to Unitarian Universalism and also traces the history of the involvement of these marginalized people who have contributed to Unitarian Universalism since its earliest decades on this continent. Building upon and also tracing the histories found in the writings of Rev. Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed and others, these resources should be in an accessible format that allows for easy delivery to congregations.
  • Action: Provide support for DRUUMM to continue the work they have begun to connect people of color caucuses and encourage caucusing at the congregational level. A list of all congregations who are engaged in caucusing and who have ongoing people of color or other identity caucuses should be maintained by the UUA as another way to communicate with vital populations within and across our congregations.

Recommendation

Providing resources to promote young adult and youth convenings that include support and caucusing for those with marginalized leadership is essential.

  • Action: Provide funding for an annual convening of youth and young adults of color across Unitarian Universalism that builds on and expands the reach of the Thrive program, including virtual gatherings to provide ongoing support.
  • Action: Invest in concurrent convenings of white youth and young adults interested in sharpening their skills at supporting and co-journeying with youth and young adults who are of color or Indigenous.
  • Action: Include funding for youth and young adults, Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, disabled people, transgender people, and others of limited financial means to attend Associational events in congregational budgets as this will allow them more contact with people who share their identity.

Living Our Values in the World

Recommendation

A liberatory faith will remember the mandate from our theological legacy: to privilege those most affected in our justice work, which should follow the voices of those most at risk.

  • Action: Study income inequality and racial history in areas served by Unitarian Universalist communities as well as the impacts of injustice on Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities.
  • Action: Expand accountable service-learning and action-education trips to allow real-life contact with difference and a hands-on experience of inequalities as this kind of action learning reflects generational learning norms. Screen justice trips to ensure that they are not tourism but rather actual service-learning experiences with an action-reflection model that includes preparation in anti-oppression practices for every trip that will cross cultural barriers and boundaries. Encourage legacy trips such as the Living Legacy tours and border trips.
  • Action: Develop and apply antiracism and anti-oppression approaches for Unitarian Universalist justice organizations, including state advocacy networks. This will allow for accountable partnerships at the international, national, and state levels.
  • Action: Consult with identity-based groups on justice issues that affect their demographics disproportionately. This will allow the UUA and other UU communities to be in accountable relationships with Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities. Ground accountability in organizations rather than individuals.

Recommendation

Through its regional structures, the UUA should promote education for those who would accompany and co-journey with Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities and their leaders and groups to ensure more competency in this area.

  • Action: Identify and spread partnerships that illustrate how to be allied across lines of race and class so that this can become a standard practice in Unitarian Universalist justice work.

Recommendation

Develop more theological resources to center our justice work in our faith and make clear the interconnection between action in the world and spiritual development.

  • Action: Articulate the faith basis for our justice work both within our communities and to the larger world. If we can engage our theological schools and other theologians in doing this, it will offset the tendency to approach justice efforts from a paternalistic basis.
  • Action: Support theological schools that articulate a Unitarian Universalist liberation theology that calls for accountability and reparations, deepening our approaches to inequities.

Recommendation

As people of faith, our call to collective justice work, through accountable partnerships, is our salvific path.

  • Action: Amplify models of effective and accountable partnerships with organizations led by people of color as well as other marginalized leaders as part of the Promising Practices Congregation recognition at each General Assembly.
  • Action: Learn from and take note of the work of organizations led by Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color on the issue of climate change, as these communities have been (and are now) feeling the effects of these issues for generations.
  • Action: Deepen and strengthen connections with Black, Indigenous, and people of color–led organizations in the area of immigration.
  • Action: Encourage donations to organizations led by people of color and Indigenous people who are working on justice issues critical to our faith beliefs at the congregational level.

Religious Professionals

Recommendation

We need to reduce the barriers to entry for those who seek to serve as religious professionals. This is true for all people, but these barriers are especially damaging for Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, and other marginalized people, who tend to have fewer financial resources due to historic and continuing patterns of discrimination.

  • Action: Create alternative paths to religious leadership, including certification in spiritual direction, ministerial apprenticeship, and scholarship funding for credentialing in non-ministerial professions.
  • Action: Allow for ordination at the Associational level rather than only in congregations, to honor the diversity of ministries that exist but may not be easily supported at the congregational level.
  • Action: Continue the practice of reporting on diversity and inclusion in hiring at the UUA, and an annual report on the demographic data of employment at the congregational level, collected as part of the annual certification process, should be made to the Board of Trustees and the General Assembly each year as a benchmark for the willingness of congregations to engage directly with these issues in a national context that is increasingly diverse.
  • Action: Maintain a database of all religious professionals who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color, and consider maintaining it for other identity groups struggling within our professions. Track time for completion of certification, pay levels, and length of tenure.

Recommendation

Improving the quality of livelihood for religious professionals who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color should be an ongoing goal, recognizing the particular demands of serving a predominantly white Association and its congregations and communities.

  • Action: Continue the investment in gatherings and professional development for religious professionals who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Consider ways to maintain these by job type online every quarter as a way to provide more effective support.
  • Action: Provide resources for those who struggle with the impacts of emotional and spiritual harm as a result of serving as religious professionals in Unitarian Universalist settings.
  • Action: Codify that all interim ministers will have anti-oppression training based in experience and not just literature review and that multicultural competency will be part of accreditation as an interim minister. (For example, invest in strengthening the UUMA’s Committee for Antiracism, Anti-oppression, and Multiculturalism.)
  • Action: Implement the UUA Conflict Transformation Team, which can intervene when issues of racism or other forms of oppression are part of the narrative. This team needs to be consistently trained and available throughout the country now as religious professionals of color continue to face traumatic situations without needed support.
  • Action: Refine and use consistent hiring and firing processes for UUA staff and promote models to recommend them to congregations seeking to hire religious professionals of color. Offer resources to ministers and other religious professionals of color when conflicts arise at the congregational level as well.
  • Action: Identify resources to treat the trauma associated with encountering racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia as religious professionals who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
  • Action: Re-examine the compensation guidelines to look at the differential between ministry and other professional positions. While recognizing the higher costs of obtaining a master’s in divinity, compared to other forms of credentialing for religious professionals, and differences in authority and responsibility, huge differentials should be addressed in this era of income inequality.
  • Action: Maintain a list of congregations that have had unsuccessful ministries with religious professionals who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color or ministers with other identities marginalized among us. Identify congregations that allow lay leaders or religious professionals to misconduct repeatedly in a transparent fashion and as part of the search process and make this information available to those in search.
  • Action: Continue the development of a Common Code of Ethics for all religious professionals and conduct training for congregational boards, personnel committees, and other leaders to spread understanding of best practices.

Recommendation

Lifelong learning is the standard for all religious professionals, and this learning should address generational and multicultural awareness.

  • Action: Develop a fund to support the development of resources for ongoing education on anti-oppression practices and learning modules as part of the continuing education required for all ministerial candidates and ministers to combat white supremacy culture, racism, and other systemic oppressions as well as for other religious professionals.
  • Action: Allocate resources to retool and update the Beyond Categorical Thinking program, which helps congregations assess their readiness for more diverse ministries. It has not been updated to reflect current issues and needed competencies.

Educating for Liberation

Recommendation

The Unitarian Universalist Association and other national UU organizations should prioritize the development of resources that allow Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, and other targeted groups to address the effects of today’s racism and other oppressions on their minds, bodies, and spirits.

  • Action: Continue to prioritize support for gatherings of lay leaders of color and religious professionals of color, including continued funding for the Finding Our Way Home gathering for religious professionals and regional and national DRUUMM events. Resource efforts to address physical, emotional, and spiritual injuries caused by systemic racism.
  • Action: Curate new online resources to address the impacts of systemic oppression and white supremacy culture. These resources, including worship resources, inSpirit meditation manuals, video archives, and other tools should be made available and funded to allow for easier distribution.
  • Action: Develop peer networks to collect and create trauma-informed resources for Black/Indigenous/people of color to address the spiritual issues of systemic oppression, to be used at the annual gathering of religious professionals of color and in online settings.

Recommendation

Resources and tools to ensure a variety of entry points into the spiritual work of embracing one’s own identity and the identity of others should be curated and, where not available, developed. Resources on healing religious wounds and productive conflict engagement are also needed as a core part of faith development.

  • Action: Offer resources to address the healing of religious wounds, which many Unitarian Universalists bring in from past religious experience and which sometimes restrict the deepening of our shared Unitarian Universalist faith.
  • Action: Include funds to purchase equity, inclusion, and diversity resources in congregational budgets, since many existing curricula are fee-based to allow the developers, often people of color, to be supported in this work.
  • Action: Develop training in inclusion, equity, and diversity for boards, nominating and membership committees, and other key leaders at the regional level, both in-person and virtually.
  • Action: Promote intergenerational partnerships within Black/Indigenous/people of color communities to provide mutual mentorship and support to address wounding because of systemic oppression.

Recommendation

A comprehensive path to understanding the work of equity, inclusion, and diversity should be developed and maintained as part of faith development.

  • Action: Increase the repositories of worship resources that center the voices of people of color as well as others marginalized within our Unitarian Universalist culture.
  • Action: Develop tools that allow congregations to hold conversations across generations about issues of inclusion, with the goal of recognizing the evolution in our Living Tradition and that spiritual developmental needs change over time.
  • Action: Begin a renewing certification program similar to the Welcoming Congregation program for congregations, emphasizing lifespan learning in diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-oppression similar to the Our Whole Lives curriculum.

Innovations and Risk-Taking

Recommendation

The Unitarian Universalist Association should fund, spread, and curate the ideas of those congregations working for many decades now to become more inclusive, equitable, and diverse and amplify this work at the General and District Assemblies.

  • Action: Work with funders to establish grant programs for those developing practices and technologies for inclusion.
  • Action: Provide learning circles and virtual learning circles for groups of white people interested in learning how to be accountable to Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color and co-journeying with them.

Recommendation

Assistance to congregations supporting circles or caucuses involving Black people, Indigenous people, or people of color as well as young adult groups within their local context should be prioritized.

  • Action: Amplify community practices building diverse, equitable, and inclusive spaces throughout General Assembly as “Promising Practices.”
  • Action: Develop a new annual award to be presented at General Assembly to individuals, congregations, or other groups or communities for innovation in counter-oppression work.
  • Action: Provide resources and a coaching program for congregations interested in retooling their forms of worship, leadership, and accountability. This can include small and shrinking congregations willing to redirect existing resources toward new groups such as young adults, LGBTQ people, or Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color.

Recommendation

Funding is needed to ensure that Black leaders, Indigenous leaders, leaders of color, and leaders from other marginalized groups with lower financial resources can be engaged and provide leadership into a more inclusive future. We need to continue to figure out ways to use the leadership, expertise, and life experience of Unitarian Universalists who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color or have other marginalized identities, as they are very valuable in designing faith-based experiences that speak to resilience and inclusion in an increasingly diverse context.

  • Action: Examine the ability of volunteer leaders in certain key positions—such as moderator, General Assembly Planning Committee members, and UUA Board of Trustees members—to recoup lost income on a needs basis and to pay for child care and other service-related expenses.
  • Action: Fund leaders who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color to develop new worship materials, including curation of music with guidelines for how to use music in a culturally competent manner.
  • Action: Revive a focus on cultural competency and cultural borrowing in all religious professional associations to counter the cultural appropriation that can come with efforts to become more equitable, inclusive, and diverse.
  • Action: Continue to prioritize resources about inclusion, equity, and diversity written by Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color in Unitarian Universalist publications, including

    Skinner House books.

  • Action: Provide funding in congregational budgets to allow leaders who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color; younger leaders; and those without means access to funds for child care, travel, and other expenses so they can participate in leadership and decision making in all aspects of our Association.

Recommendation

New settings and structures for worshiping and convening for Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, and youth and young adults should be funded, including new communities.

  • Action: Convene a learning group for people of color, youth and young adults, and other marginalized groups interested in experimenting with new ways of worshiping and convening that better suit their cultural norms.
  • Action: Provide learning circles and virtual learning circles for groups of white people interested in learning how to be accountable to Black people, 

    Indigenous people, and people of color and co-journeying with them. 

Restoration and Reparations

Recommendation

As an act of reparations, funding and administrative support for groups that allow Black/Indigenous/people of color and other marginalized groups to convene and gain the support necessary to worship and serve in predominantly white communities should remain a priority.

  • Action: Establish a position to provide increased ongoing administrative and travel support to DRUUMM, BLUU, TRUUsT, and EqUUal Access, the organizations currently representing many of the people whose identities are marginalized in Unitarian Universalism. This would allow the leadership of these groups to devote their time and effort to advocacy and programs that are necessary for their communities’ sustainabity and would ensure that important administrative functions, such as mailing lists, membership lists, and donation lists, are maintained for the long-term survival and growth of these vital organizations.
  • Action: Maintain a list of all congregations that are engaged in caucusing and that have ongoing people of color or other identity caucuses at the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations as another way to communicate with vital populations within our congregations.

Recommendation

Methods for encouraging and channeling productive conflict should be established and promoted to decrease harm.

  • Action: Develop and curate resources for skill building in dealing with conflict and require competency in these skills of all regional staff to promote engagement with conflict rather than shutting down conflict, which often continues oppression.
  • Action: Prioritize and report on the progress of the UUA’s Conflict Transformation Team and document it as a model for congregational teams.
  • Action: Ensure that those serving as mediators or good officers for all professional associations are educated about and skilled in conflict engagement.

Recommendation

Channels and procedures for identifying harm, making amends, and financial reparations should be established.

  • Action: Provide funds to Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color for travel to and registration for General Assembly, regional assemblies, and other key gatherings such as youth and young adult programs, as well as to members of other groups that face marginalization, and frame this as an act of congregational reparations.
  • Action: Develop the capacity to work with congregations with fewer than twenty-five members or that are closing their doors to accomplish redirecting their resources to the Association in some manner rather than making donations to their local community. Reserve these resources to fund next-generation communities and practices.
  • Action: Study the reparations movement, and examine implications for institutions at all levels of Unitarian Universalism.

Recommendation

Widespread practices of acknowledging Unitarian Universalism’s foundational complicity with racist practices, especially against Indigenous and Black people, are essential to understanding the need for continued support.

  • Action: Develop an Associational fund for scholarships and travel funds for people of color, Indigenous, and other marginalized groups, especially transgender and disabled people, and those living below their area’s median income to allow a greater diversity of people to be sustained while working toward credentialing as religious professionals and to provide support for a diversified religious leadership.
  • Action: Support religious educators of color pursuing credentialing with financial assistance to enable these invaluable role models to be present for families in an era when a higher percentage of children in our nation than ever are of color or multiracial.

Accountability and Resources

Recommendation

Accountability should be embedded in the structure of the Boards of the Association and other key organizations, including all affiliated and professional organizations.

  • Action: Include in the bylaws of the Unitarian 

    Universalist Association an explicit commitment to become anti-oppressive and equitable and to serve the full diversity of those who resonate with our theological tradition.

  • Action: Initiate a Board-driven process to develop such a statement and present it to the General Assembly of Congregations for inclusion in the bylaws of the UUA no later than 2022.
  • Action: Request that all Unitarian Universalist-related organizations examine their commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity work and include such a commitment in their bylaws.
  • Action: Using the example of congregations who have already adopted such statements, develop a sample statement for inclusion in congregational bylaws.

Recommendation

Ongoing monitoring is needed to ensure that work to counter bias and oppression is not interrupted again.

  • Action: Adopt goals by 2021, report progress on these goals at GA each year, and codify this requirement in the bylaws.
  • Action: Provide annual report to the General Assembly of Congregations by the UUA president on goals and progress toward those goals of equity, inclusion, and diversity.

Recommendation

The UUA should establish an ongoing independent body to identify systemic changes and monitor accountability on work toward equity, inclusion, and diversity. This body should be based on representatives of groups of oppressed people and should have direct representation on the Association Board.

  • Action: Establish an independent body through a vote at General Assembly to consist of one representative and one alternate from identity-based groups, including DRUUMM, BLUU, TRUUsT, and EqUUal Access if they are willing to participate. Membership for this panel should be reviewed every two years to include all relevant groups and to make sure the groups that are included have membership lists and at least one membership meeting a year. In addition, the Nominating Committee should appoint two at-large members and the UUA Board of Trustees should appoint one member who will represent the group on the Board. This representative should be confirmed by a vote of the new body focused on accountability and systemic change.
  • Action: Recognize accountable congregational partnerships for purposes of equity, inclusion, and diversity at the local congregational and community levels. Amplify practices that include long-term investments in relationships with and regular donations of financial resources to partners serving in communities that are under-resourced.
  • Action: Provide a report to the Association annually at GA on a set of metrics to be submitted no later than the 2021 GA. Metrics could include the percentage of UUA employees who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color, or who hold other marginalized identities, the percentage of the budget that is devoted to our work on an annual basis, the number of complaints received around racial concerns, and the number of new intentional communities that have been created to support the values of new generations.

Recommendation

Those responsible for managing and negotiating in times of change and conflict should have training in anti-oppression work.

  • Action: Identify best practices for inclusion, equity, and diversity for congregational nominating committees and make them available through all communications means and through leadership events.
  • Action: Include training in anti-oppression practices as a standard part of interim minister training because of the opportunity to address issues of systemic bias during interim times.
  • Action: Develop capacity within all good officer (and UUA regional staff) teams to lead and facilitate conversations around harm, injury, and conflict in anti-oppression practices.
  • Action: Curate models of how to audit for oppressive practices at the congregational level.

For more information contact administration@uua.org.

Like, Share, Print, or Bookmark