Recently the UUCW Board of Trustees submitted a charge to the congregation to form an Anti-Racism Transformation Team. Great news WE DID IT!
The members of the Team met for the first time on Friday, February 19th. We are comprised of 8 members: Darthe Merrill Jennings, Helen Ambuel, Greg Kohnert, Stephanie Richardson, Suzanne Schalig, Karen Westover Zimmerman, Jeanne Jarecki, and Emily Achor.
What is this team going to do you ask? In reviewing the charge, we found it can be broken into 3 parts:
- Assess UUCW’s congregational practices and structure and provide any recommended changes to the Board.
- Support the addition of an 8th Principle calling for “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 and our institutions.”
- Commit to support Black Lives Matter by engaging in an on-going examination and dismantling of white supremacy culture within our congregation with the goal of becoming a more inclusive and welcoming congregation.
The Anti-Racism Transformation Team overwhelmingly recognizes the importance of all 3 parts, and as UU’s we were all eager to start out running. However, many questions arose, where, how and with whom do we start, what is our budget, how do we measure success, what will the congregation expect from us, and what will we expect from the congregation? As a first step, we’re reaching out to the UUA, other UU congregations that have Anti-Racism Teams, and other organizations we are acquainted with already doing this type of work. We hope to glean some best practices, find resources, and avoid mistakes that others have endured. We meet again in early March and are eager to share and hear each other’s discoveries. Stay tuned as we enter the path to learn how to function as an effective, relational, covenanted Anti-Racism Transformation Team.
Ultimately, this is work that we will all need to do together! These are just the first of many, many steps we will make along our collective journey. For additional information, please feel free to reach out to Jeanne Jarecki.