DRUUMM was founded out of a vision for racial justice, self-determination and guiding a radical, healing, and faith transformation. Established out of several POC UU organizing efforts during the intensive period of institutional self reflection of that led to the 1997 Journey Towards Wholeness Resolution, DRUUMM has grown to be an intergenerational, multiracial POC lay and professional, volunteer-led community.
As a community minister and lifelong UU (and mixed race Chinese, among other identities), I have a lot of spiritual, political and emotional respect and admiration for any effort of fellow UU People of Color to create ministry. I wish to recognize and honor the establishment of BLUU, and continue to extend my full support for their critical work, care and contributions to Unitarian Universalism.
We have made it a DRUUMM priority to be building relationship and creating ways to partner with BLUU. We’ve aimed to do what we can to amplify and support, and appreciate the mutuality with Black Lives of UUOrganizing Committee.
I want to lift up the hard work to build BLUU, their public voice, and the historic gathering in New Orleans. I want to add my voice to commend the organizers and make visible DRUUMMs support.
We have discussed and found consensus among the Steering Committee that DRUUMM has grown to be a hub, not an umbrella for UU communities of color. We have a track record of supporting, linking and partnering with other UU POC efforts. As an unstaffed organization, we do our best to be a resource.
I want to encourage our members and ally friends to take time to understand the complexities of engaging meaningfully with UU communities of color, remembering there is no monolith, and that we have been historically pitted against one another by institutions that seek to undermine our inherent worth and dignity.
While DRUUMM is still formally divested and disconnected from the UUA infrastructure, an issue we have named with the former, current and future UUA Presidents and staff, we know our mission is to find a new way, including restoring old ways of relationship and accountability.
We look forward to joining with BLUU where and when we can to challenge the roots of racism in our UU culture and institutions, including anti-Blackness, bringing an intersectional approach to ministry and organizing.
Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons