Aren’t our UU Seven Principles enough? For me, the answer is no. We Unitarian Universalists have been talking about and committing ourselves to becoming a multicultural, anti-racist, anti-oppressive movement for years. But progress has been incredibly slow. The culture and practices in most of our congregations, including UUCT, are still very white-centered despite our aspirations to move beyond that reality.
At this crucial time in our country and in the world, the 8th Principle calls us to build Beloved Community and holds us accountable to take the actions to do so: We covenant to affirm and promote journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural BelovedCommunity by our actions that accountably dismantle racismandotheroppressionsinourselvesandourinstitutions.
And what is Beloved Community? Per the 8th Principle project, it is when people of diverse racial,ethnic, educational, class, gender, abilities, sexual orientationbackgrounds/identities come together in an interdependentrelationship of love, mutual respect, and care that seeks torealizejusticewithinthecommunityandinthebroaderworld. Our current seven principles lack this vision of inclusive community and the commitment to accountable action.
As of mid-July 2021, 117 UU congregations had adopted the 8th Principle and embarked on the work of building Beloved Community. This bottom-up movement among congregations is a change from the top-down, anti-racism, anti-oppression commitments made by our association in the past. Over the next few months, UUCT’s Allies for Racial Equity Group (ARE@UUCT) will be engaging our congregation in a conversation about joining the 8th Principle movement.