‘Conversations for Liberation’ helps UUs address antiracism conflicts

Staff Writer

10/9/19

UU World Magazine Winter 2019

In September, the UUA and the leaders of four Unitarian Universalist professional organizations and three organizations of people with historically marginalized identities called on UUs to join “conversations for liberation” before the end of 2019. The UUA is offering resources and a discussion guide to help congregations and other groups address conflicts arising around the call to dismantle white supremacy in our faith movement and is asking groups to share discussion highlights.

“False divisions like ‘political correctness’ versus ‘inclusive speech,’ or the question of whether to focus critiques inward in our communities versus outward toward the world, distract from the core calling of our faith to move toward equity and compassion in every way,” the letter introducing the initiative says.

A small group discussion guide for a 75-minute session is available at uua.org/conversations. It builds on questions UUA Co-Moderators Mr. Barb Greve and Elandria Williams introduced at the 2019 General Assembly (see “The Power of We,” Fall 2019). The UUA invites feedback from session leaders through December 20 and will release a report on the responses. A map on UUA.org will show where discussions have already happened.

The UUA was joined in issuing the call for “Conversations for Liberation” by the leaders of the UU Ministers Association, the Liberal Religious Educators Association, the Association for UU Music Ministries, the Association of UU Administrators, Allies for Racial Equity, Diverse and Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries, and Transgender UU Religious Professionals Together.

In their letter, the UU leaders affirmed three core commitments grounded in UU values: “First, we recommit ourselves to the aspiration of a fully inclusive and anti-oppressive community. . . . Second, we recenter the truth telling that comes from voices at the margins of our faith community. . . . Third, we reaffirm that we must lead from the covenant of care that binds us.”

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