This past week, DRUUMM leadership has, with a heavy heart, been reflecting on the UUA’s Journey Towards Wholeness in light of the hiring practices being discussed. We lift up the leadership of Women of Color, in particular Christina Rivera who was directly affected, and Aisha Hauser who have broken silence and named patterns and practices that reinforce White supremacy. We believe that the UUA needs to re-establish structures of accountability to address racism, and to center the leadership of UU Communities of Color as part of the future of our faith.
We are angry, disappointed, and not surprised. We have deep respect and admiration for Christina and now others who are speaking out and telling their story. Breaking silence and sharing our stories is consistent with our UU values, and a core part of transformational work. We are grateful to the UU People of Color and White folks who are sharing their experiences. Too often, UU People of Color are silenced and invisibilized, often masked in policy and practice. This is one of the ways racism is perpetuated. We are threatened explicitly and implicitly with loss of opportunity, damaging our careers or worse.
As a collective of UU People of Color, DRUUMM strives to be a hub for our communities, to support our faith, develop leadership, and help shape and lead for racial justice. Our primary goal is to center the Journey Towards Wholeness anti-racism/anti-oppression/multiculturalism transformational work, including in our hiring practices. We are in a spiritual moment of deep reflection, and are heartened by the responses emerging from leaders and organizations like Black Lives of UU, the UUMA, the UUA Youth & Young Adult Ministries Office, and more. These demonstrate the commitment and engagement envisioned by the Journey Towards Wholeness. We seek to affirm, complement and build on these.
We join in expressing disappointment in our UUA leadership, in how they have held this moment. This comes after years of rolling back efforts to address systemic racism and cut investments in self-determining UU People of Color communities. These have removed structures of accountability and relationship that are essential to providing direction and evaluation for the Journey Towards Wholeness Resolution. We have been here before time and time again. UU should be angry at the denial of experiences, coded racial/gender language and tone-policing. We need a clear plan to move forward the Journey Towards Wholeness, and the ability for stakeholders to develop and support our strategy. We applaud the public statements from the three candidates for the UUA Presidency who bring hope for our struggle.
Racism runs deep in Unitarian Universalist tradition, and although we’ve named it actively since the 1960s, as a predominately (98%+) White denomination, we must be intentional and strategic in order to transform the ways racism impacts us at the individual, institutional and cultural level. DRUUMM offers the following calls to action:
* Sign our Call for Renewal and join DRUUMM in re-affirming our commitment to the Journey Towards Wholeness.
* Support DRUUMM’s Global Majorities Collective, a new UU People of Color project to imagine and create new cultural, theological and liturgical resources that centers the UU People of Color experience, inspires, heals, and contributes to our living tradition. We welcome donations, and invite UU People of Color to participate by contacting Rev. Marisol Caballero [firstname.lastname@example.org].
* Direct White UU’s to join Allies for Racial Equity, and engage locally in racial justice work through groups like SURJ and their congregation’s or region’s trainings.
* Participate in the BLUU Worship that is open to all people of color tonight, March 30th at 9:00 p.m. EST.
* Join the #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn movement on April 30th or May 7th led by Christina Rivera, Kenny Wiley, and other religious professionals. For more information, check BlackLivesUU.com or email religious educator Kenny Wiley at KWiley@blacklivesuu.com
Let us move forward in faith and truth,
DRUUMM Steering Committee