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 the 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 Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), MICAH (Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope), UBLAC (Uplifting Black Liberation and Community), and SOPHIA (Stewards of Prophetic, Hopeful, Intentional Action).
In October 2020, the congregation voted to support the addition of an 8th Principle to the current UUA Principles 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.” That vote also included the continued commitment made in January 2016 to support Black Lives Matter by engaging in an ongoing 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 (ARTT) was formed in February of 2021 by the UUCW’s Board of Trustees. The mission of ARTT is to assess the congregational practices and structures and provide recommendations to the UUCW Board of Trustees with the purpose of building an intentionally anti-racist community that is more inclusive, equitable, and diverse. ARTT strongly endorses formal anti-racism/anti-oppression training for Board and congregational leadership positions.
BLM2WUU (Black Lives Matter To Wisconsin UUs)
MICAH (Milwaukee Intercity Congregations Allied for Hope)
SOPHIA (Stewards of Prophetic, Hopeful, Intentional Action)
SURJ (Showing up for Racial Justice)
UBLAC (Uplifting Black Liberation and Community)
DRUUMM (Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries)
BLUU (Black Lives Unitarian Universalists)
Jubilee training with Paula Cole Jones
In September 2021 Anti-Racism Transformation Team created a booklist of recommended anti-racism books and resources from members of our team as well as Ibram Kendi’s book list. Topics range from civil rights, mass incarceration, education, housing, Jim Crow laws, white supremacy, and voting. We also included podcasts, poetry, fiction by Black authors, children and young adult books. This list is not exhaustive and we will be updating it as we discover other resources, especially with intersections with anti-oppression. View the full list HERE.