UUCW’s commitment to racial justice dates back to the Civil Rights Movement. In 1965, the Rev. Chris Raible, UUCW’s first minister, responded to the call from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to come march in Selma, Alabama. In 1967, UUCW was host to a public forum during Milwaukee’s Open Housing movement with the NAACP Youth Commandos and Father James Groppi – when no other suburban church would open its doors to the group.
In January, 2016, the congregation voted to publicly support the Black Lives Matter movement, partly in response to an Action of Immediate Witness voted in by delegates to the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly which urged 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.” We have formed a Black Lives Matter collaboration with four local UU congregations (BLM2WUU) and continue to work for racial justice and to be aware of and change the policies and practices in our congregations and beyond that uplift whites and push African Americans down. We partner with and support other groups in this work, including the local chapter of Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), MICAH (Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope), UBLAC (Uplifting Black Liberation and Community) and Common Ground.