At the June congregational meeting we will be voting on whether we should affirm and hence adopt the proposed 8th principle.
An 8th principle was drafted by Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) and reads:
We covenant to affirm and promote:
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.
This vote is an important step in our movement and progress as a church in recognizing the importance of racial justice issues in our church and in the larger society (see timeline below).
- One of the creators of the proposed 8th principle said her many years on working with UU congregations around deep multiculturalism and building a Beloved Community revealed that a person can be a “good UU without thinking about or dealing with racism and other oppressions at the systemic level.” There has been a cycle of verbally committing to racial justice issues and then de-prioritizing or not financially supporting initiatives which most recently played out with the UUA Commission on Institutional Change
- Our existing seven principles imply the 8th but do not explicitly hold us accountable for addressing racial oppressions directly, especially at the systemic level. There is an element of colorblindness with the existing seven principles which does not intentionally interrupt biased systems or decenter whiteness
- Part of being an ally as a predominantly white congregation is to use one’s power and voice to lift up the voices of marginalized groups
- Black Lives of UU is asking for endorsement of the 8th principle at the congregational level now while it continues to be explored at the denominational level
- The praxis document states “praxis demands that we do not wait until we are perfectly comfortable or perfectly ready to do something” but rather that we enter in an ongoing cycle of acting boldly, reflecting and learning from actions, and then acting again based on our learning.
If you are interested in discussing this more come to the final 8th principle discussion circle on Monday, May 21st at 7 pm.
Nathalie Edmond, Co-Chair, Racial Justice Initiative