BLACK LIVES MATTER and ANTI-RACISM
at Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Our siblings who are Black, Indigenous, and/or Persons of Color have been brutalized since the very inception ofthe North American colonies. The Declaration of Independence is lofty and beautiful, but its promises must be extended and fulfilled. Many believe that the Civil Rights movement eliminated injustice. In reality, it mostly drove racism underground. With our increasing interconnection through technology, it’s now obvious that systemic abuses and deadly violence are widespread. This has led to the Black Lives Matter movement. Finally, there is a national dialogue catching the attention of people who have not had to live with—or even been exposed to—this daily reality.
We Unitarian Universalists truly believe in our first moral principle: the inherent worth and dignity of all persons. In the past, we have been troubled to witness police brutality against our black and brown neighbors, but we now realize we have not taken sufficient action to remove the roots of this problem. We have not made the dismantling of systemic racist structures a priority. We no longer want to be silent, inactive, or unintentionally complicit.
On June 28, 2020, we at Mission Peak held a special congregational meeting to discuss anti-racism. We voted unanimously “to make Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression education and action a priority for the coming year,” and to fly a Black Lives Matter banner and put BLM information on our website.
ACTIONS ALREADY TAKEN
A number of our congregants have taken part in local Black Lives Matter demonstrations since the police killing of George Floyd, an innocent Black man, on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis.
We at Mission Peak have had book reading and discussion groups on a number of texts over the last several years:
Me and White Supremacy by Llayla Saad
White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
Daring Democracy by Frances Lappé and Adam Eichen
The Third Reconstruction by Rev. William Barber
Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Rosanne Dubnar-Ortiz
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Guest speakers have been invited, and we have taken offerings for their work:
Poor People’s Campaign
Rev. Ranwa Hammamy, Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of California
Predictions, Prophecies, and Promises
The poet and author J. Mase III spoke to us about his experience as a Black transgender person and his book, And Then I Got Fired.
Not least, our interim minister Rev. Jo Green has been a guiding light in this work through her challenging sermons and classroom discussions.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
A COMMITMENT to continuing education and ACTION against racism and oppression.
A TOP PRIORITY of discovering racist ideas in ourselves and dismantling racist structures in society.
A COMMITMENT TO CONTINUE anti-racism and anti-oppression workshops and book readings.
A PLAN TO SEEK PARTNERS AND IDEAS from other faith communities and organizations, such as Black Lives Matter, The Poor Peoples’ Campaign, and Showing Up For Racial Justice. Other programs within our own Unitarian Universalist denomination are Allies for Racial Equity (ARE) and Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU). We recognize that Black, Indigenous and People of Color are the center of this movement: we simply offer to learn and support in every way we can.
May THE SPIRIT OF LOVE guide us in this sacred work of transformative healing and help reunite the human family.
Being Black, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color has its own, distinct challenges and perils. But being a woman of color—and/or ALSO being on the LGBTQ+ spectrum—increases exposure to injustice, danger, and even death. Unitarian Universalism has long championed both women and LGBTQ+ inclusion, lifting these persons up into full ordination and denominational leadership. Here we hope you feel safe and welcomed, and you are invited to participate fully.