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Be The Change! Youth Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Project

Many youth sit on the floor participating in a workshop.

Be The Change! gives Unitarian Universalist (UU) youth a starting place for discussions about the role of race, identity and justice in living out their faith. The core of the project is a six-session, nine-hour training program that can be used by groups of different sizes. The project also includes additional activities, further links and resources, and an online community to support groups engaging with the project.

The Project

Background

Youth are coming of age in an America that is increasingly diverse. Though much progress has been made in addressing the historic injustices of racism, racial disparities are still found in education, housing, the courts system, job opportunities and nearly every other corner of American life, impacting us all in the ugly divisions and inequalities racism creates. It can be difficult to know where to start in dealing with problems so big, so grounding discussions in UU values and principles is essential. Be The Change! was developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) as a way to help youth begin resisting racism in ourselves, our faith communities and broader world.

Unitarian Universalist youth have often been at the forefront of our struggle with anti-racism, stretching back decades of national and local involvement. Anti-racism and multiculturalism were held up as a core part of youth ministry in the 2007 Consultation on Youth Ministry, the 2009 Youth Ministry Working Group Report and the 2009 Mosaic Project Report on serving youth and young adults of color. Be The Change! is envisioned as the next step in this legacy, as the UUA strives to hold itself accountable to these voices and needs. It is being imagined as one of a series of supports or “tent poles” of the UUA’s support for all ages to engage in anti-racism, multiculturalism and building the beloved community.

Unitarian Universalists (UUs) Speak for Themselves Raziq Brown tells us why working to end racism is a core part of his UU faith. This video is part of Activity 2 in Session 2, “Why Should UUs Talk About Race?” See the whole activity on page 5 of Session 2.

A Trip To The Grocery Store Watch Joy DeGruy recount an incident of discrimination, in this clip from Cracking the Codes. This video is part of Activity 3 in Session 4, “Open to Differences: The Change Starts with Me.” See the whole activity on page 7 of Session 3.

Ladder of Reasoning Hear about stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination as explained by Jeremy and Annie. This video is part of Activity 3 in Session 4, “Open to Differences: The Change Starts with Me.” See the whole activity on page 7 of Session 3.

Four “I”s of Racism Racism in America is way complicated! Watch Jeremy and Kayla break it down and ask yourself how you’ve seen racism work through each of the four I’s. This video is part of Activity 1 with Session 5, “Can We Live with Racism?” Session 5 (PDF).