In the tumultuous world we are currently living in, it can be difficult for people of color to find their place in society without having to request permission to occupy space in certain environments. Whether we are walking down the streets of New York or walking through the doors of our beloved Fourth Universalist Society faith home, it can be challenging to move through the shared space without feeling censored or otherwise out of place. In an effort to make the Fourth Universalist Society a more welcoming place for all people of color, and thus creating a more robust and diverse community, the People of Color Affinity Group has been created.
Our vision is to cultivate a safe space that offers members and guests of the congregation who identify as POC the feeling of being truly represented in a way that they weren’t previously, as well as provide POC an outlet to have authentic and open conversations, to share their joys and sorrows as they feel so inclined, to affirm the unique experiences and identities of POC, and to create a support system that promotes empowerment and resilience.
The Plan of Action
The long-term goal is to promote diversity, ethics, love and support within the congregation while providing 4th U’s POC members a voice, create visibility and the representation they need. In the effort to see this into fruition, the Group plans to:
- Convene once per month so that POC may come together and recenter themselves
- Take turns presenting readings to the Group for reflection and discussion
- Facilitate cultural outings, such as potlucks, movie viewings, museum visits etc.
- Volunteering to be Worship Associate with the aim to boost visibility and recognition.
What We Are NOT
The Group is not a space to promote an “Anti-White People” mentality, segregation, or to perpetuate blanket generalizations or stereotypes.
“People of color need their own spaces…. We need places in which we can gather and be free from the mainstream stereotypes and marginalization that permeate every other societal space we occupy. We need spaces where we can be our authentic selves without white people’s judgment and insecurity muzzling that expression. We need spaces where we can simply be— where we can get off the treadmill of making white people comfortable and finally realize just how tired we are. ~ Kelsey Blackwell (2018)