Angelo John Lewis recently interviewed Rev. Kim for the Diversity and Spirituality Network. Listen here
A Universalist Unitarian Minister Talks About White Privilege and the Church’s Recent Racial Controversy
The summer of 2017 was a turbulent time in the Universalist Unitarian world. A racially oriented hiring controversy — when a white man was hired over a Latina woman for a church leadership post — caused many church members to question whether the church was living up to its espoused progressive values. One of these church members was Reverend Kimberly “Kim” Wildszewski, the pastor of a UU church in Titusville, New Jersey. Her church in a small way lived out a microcosm of what the national church was going through, causing Wildszewski to engage with her parishioners about the nature of white privilege, and why it’s important for whites in particular to engage in conversations about race that are sometimes uncomfortable. Wildszewski, who literally grew up during the formation of the modern UU church, shares her reflections on the church’s controversy, why she’s proud about how the church engaged with the issue, and her insights on being a member of both a privileged and a non-privileged group. She also shares the difference between how she’s received in the UU world and how she as a young lesbian is sometimes received in interfaith circles. Her identity is not an issue in UU clerical circles, she explained, while other clerics are less accepting.