The 8th Principle
Allies for Racial Equity (ARE@UUCT) is a group of people who hold white privilege, actively learning how the social constructs of race and racism distort authentic beloved community. This group is currently working to ready the congregation to adopt the 8th principle of Unitarian Universalism, a pledge to dismantle systemic racism and oppressions.
What is Beloved Community?
The 8th Principle Project states that:
Beloved Community happens when people of diverse racial, ethnic, educational, class, gender, abilities, 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.
Why is the 8th principle being adopted by congregations instead of by the UUA?
A commission is currently conducting a scheduled review of Article II of the UUA Bylaws, which includes the 7 Principles. The Article II Study Commission is considering the 8th Principle, among other revisions.
But the process takes time. The commission began in 2020, and a final vote on any recommendations won’t take place until General Assembly in 2024.
The fundamental work of anti-racism and anti-oppression is needed now. Over 100 congregations agree and have adopted the 8th Principle in response.
The members of these congregations are in covenant with each other to become truly inclusive communities. This grassroots movement to adopt the 8th Principle raises awareness among member congregations and demonstrates congregational support for the adoption of an 8th Principle by the UUA.
8th Principle Reflections
Until recently, I didn’t know that there was a difference between racial equality and racial equity. Until two years ago, I didn’t know that referring to people from the Far East as Orientals was pejorative. Until last year, I thought that the Indian boarding schools benefited them. But now I know. Allies for Racial Equity
My last Meridian Article introduced the Principles as adopted in the 1960s. The first major revision was in the mid 1980s. It is striking to read the original 6. They reflect their time. The language is male-centered and Judeo-Christian is the only religious tradition. The members of the UU Women’s Federation [UUWF] took issue. There
After working with congregations on multiculturalism for over 15 years, Paula Cole Jones, UU Central East Regional Director of Racial & Social Justice, realized that a person can believe they are being a “good UU” and following the 7 Principles without thinking about or dealing with racism and other oppressions at the systemic level. Evidence: Most
I first heard about the proposed 8th Principle almost two years ago. My initial reaction was: “Wow, that’s a lot to say and remember!” “We covenant to affirm and promote journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves
After the Civil War Black women like Ida B. Wells adopted “respectability” centered in clothing, coiffures and careers. They gladly shed the attire and pursuits foisted on their mothers when held in slavery. But, being a lady didn’t truly change their status, as Ida learned when she was forcibly ejected from the “Ladies Car” and
The 8th Principle begins with the words: We covenant to affirm and promote journeying toward spiritual wholeness… Why evoke a journey? Doing what the 8th principle commits us to doing, working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community, is something that will take time and many steps to accomplish. As with any journey, there may be bumps in