Category: 8th Principle Q&A

Why do we need an 8th Principle, and why now?

The most compelling reason for the 8th Principle is that members of color have asked the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to adopt it, as our commitment to the long-term work of dismantling racism and other oppressions. The UUA charged the Article II Commission with the review of our faith’s purpose, principles, and sources, including consideration

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How was the 8th Principle developed?

The 8th principle was originally the brainchild of Paula Cole Jones, a lifelong member of All Souls UU Church, Washington, DC.  As she worked with congregations on racial and social justice, she noticed that a “good UU” could follow the seven principles without thinking directly about racial justice.  In 2013, Jones, an African American former

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What process will UUCT use to adopt the 8th Principle?

At the annual congregational meeting in May, UUCT will vote on a resolution to adopt the wording of the 8th Principle. “We, the members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tallahassee, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle

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Why are we voting on this specific wording?

African American leadership and allies in the UUA wrote the 8th Principle; Black Lives of UU (BLUU) and Diverse Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries (DRUUM) endorsed the 8th Principle, as written. Out of respect for its originators, we feel that our energies are best focused on understanding the wisdom and intention of this principle, rather than

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What is “Beloved Community?”

From the Unitarian-Universalist Association:  Beloved Community happens when people of diverse racial, ethnic, educational, class, gender, sexual orientation backgrounds/identities come together in an interdependent relationship of love, mutual respect, and care that seeks to realize justice within the community and in the broader world. For the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in a Beloved

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How will we be accountable for our actions?

An antiracist, anti-oppressive congregation is a learning community. Our progress will follow a cycle of reflection — action — evaluation. The questions we ask and the answers we give will be our measures for accountability. Our work will be partial and ongoing as racism and oppressions are deeply embedded in our history, our community, and

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What oppressions are included in “other oppressions?”

Any and all oppressions that result in people being treated as less valuable than others are included. Oppressions that hold up a false standard of white-male-abled persons as “normal” or “better than” are included. A partial list can include sexism, heterosexism, cissexism and ableism. Classism is included, too, because income, education, and housing are all

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How do we balance the urgency of racism with that of climate change?

The two issues intersect. Effects of global climate change are disproportionately affecting communities of color. Historically, authorities treated minority neighborhoods as less valuable; as a result, they are more vulnerable to flooding, storm damage, and increasing temperatures. The residents may also be less resilient due to economic disparity and health conditions. Actions against climate change

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If we adopt the 8th Principle, what about UUCT (as an institution) will change?

The 8th Principles asks us to understand how racism and other oppressions affect us as individuals and as a congregation. It challenges us to consistently build relationships of mutual trust and responsibility across lines of difference. Together, we will examine white-centered practices in our congregational life including structure, leadership, and worship. We will change these

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