UU Church West has a long history of taking stands on important issues:
Black Lives Matter is a national movement working to address systemic racism, including the many ways in which Black people are deprived of basic human rights and left powerless at the hands of the state. Milwaukee is cited in many media surveys as one of the worst places in the country for African-Americans to reside due in part to the high student achievement gap between black and white students, the state’s notoriety as having the highest rate of black male incarceration, the fact that four-out-of-five black children in Milwaukee live in poverty, and a very high degree of black/white social segregation. It’s clear that the BLM movement is more than a civil rights issue, it is a human rights issue and speaks to UUs in particular as we espouse the first UU principle of the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
We’re certainly not alone in making the decision about supporting BLM. At the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly earlier this year, the delegates from congregations nationwide voted to adopt an Action of Immediate Witness in support of BLM which encourages UU congregations to learn about racism and related oppressions, organize to create change, and “take initiative in collaboration with local and national organizations fighting for racial justice against the harsh racist practices to which many black people are exposed.” UU congregations across the country are taking many different public actions, including boldly posting signs and banners on their building or grounds. In the Milwaukee area alone, First Unitarian Society, Lake Country UU Church and United UU in Waukesha have all posted signs or banners. Here at UUCW, we have made Black Lives Matter buttons available, and Rev. Suzelle Lynch and a core group of church members and friends have been involved in learning, protests or planning with Milwaukee’s Coalition for Justice, and the local chapter of Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ).
If you use Facebook, we also encourage you to “like” the Black Lives Matter to Wisconsin UUs page. This page is the beginning of a greater Milwaukee-area collaboration of five different UU congregations, and many articles, events, and resources are posted there by Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Ann Heidkamp, our Social Action Council Chair, and others.