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 Community, “Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit” of kinship.

Beloved Community means that when we say “we,” it includes everyone.

Beloved Community presumes diversity. When we presume homogeneity, we make assumptions about who is present, and whether people are “like us” or not. Beloved Community doesn’t make those assumptions.

Beloved Community calls us to be like-hearted, not like-minded.

And, finally, Beloved Community is difficult. Avoiding conflict to “get along” prevents Beloved Community. Beloved Community exists when our relationships are strong enough to withstand disagreement. We even risk hurting each other and feeling hurt ourselves. We trust that we can remain in our covenanted relationship as we work through our disagreements, conflict, and potential hurt. That’s practicing Beloved Community.