A message from UUCW Board of Trustees member Greg Kohnert

At a recent Board of Trustees meeting, Rev Suzelle suggested this report could be an additional resource for our new Anti-Racism Transformation Team. It’s all that and a whole lot more! Available as a $16 hard-copy, to read online, or a free PDF download from the UUA.org website, I found it educational, inspirational, intimidating, and meaningful on many levels. Additionally, it provides great context and historical background for the challenges we face in addressing systemic racism, white supremacy and the oppression of people of color and other marginalized groups.

A quote from the chapter titled, “Hospitality and Inclusion” from Ibram X. Kendi’s book, How Not to be a Racist, is notable: “The opposite of racist isn’t ‘not racist’. It is ‘antiracist’. What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an antiracist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an antiracist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist’.

We are talking about transformation.  This work of generations is the “institutional change that redeems the essential promise and ideals of Unitarian Universalism”. Wow, you say!  Wait, there’s more. Below are the online summary statements from a few select chapters:

Trends: The world is different than it was a decade ago. Or even five years ago. The question is, how will our “living tradition” keep up with the times? What choices will we make – or fail to make – and how will that affect the relevancy and survival of our faith?

Governance: When we talk about governance, we are talking about power. When we talk about power combined with prejudice, we are talking about oppression.

Congregation and Communities: Many of our congregation’s inability to address issues of inclusion, equity, and diversity, contributes to dwindling membership and participation.

Living Our Values in the World: The work of becoming more equitable, inclusive, and diverse within our congregations is justice work.

Educating for Liberation: Unconscious bias, left unaddressed, creates personal, interpersonal, and organizational practices that privilege some and oppress others.

For more information, contact Greg Kohnert.