How do we dismantle racism in our church?

fists in a circle, some palm up, some palm down

Allies for Racial Equity is a UUCT advocacy group whose mission calls us to “confront and dismantle racism and racial inequality in ways that are accountable.”  How can we do this? I don’t pretend to give a complete answer. I can list some of the actions of other UU churches, along with a few of my own thoughts.

In support of the 8th principal other UU churches have:

  • Offered learning opportunities like anti-bias workshops and training. Example: UUCT offering the “Building a Culture of Inclusion” workshop with Paula Cole Jones.
  • Encouraged the support of local minority businesses.
  • Audited their church by-laws, policies, and practices, committee by committee, for implicit racial bias.
  • Audited their church by-laws, policies, and practices, committee by committee, for implicit racial bias.
  • Audited their church by-laws, policies, and practices, committee by committee, for implicit racial bias.
  • Provided financial support for participation in regional and national UU affinity groups for members who are Black, indigenous, Latinx, Asian and other peoples of color.
  • Developed relationships with local social justice groups led by members of the affected communities. Example: UUCT’s work with the Capital Area Justice Ministry.
  • Supported cultural institutions that honor and celebrate marginalized histories and talents. Example: The John G. Riley Center & Museum, which explores local African American history and culture.
  • Created worship services that reflect and acknowledge a diversity of voices and sources. Example: Inviting people from marginalized identities to create a service about a topic of importance to them.

All these efforts won’t completely dismantle racism and other oppressions in our congregation, but we will be co-creating an environment where we face up to white centeredness, confront it and change it. Our congregation will do what we can and learn from our efforts, one mistake at a time. We can create a welcoming space that embraces difference in love.

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Parker Collins
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