Black Lives Matter
In the Fall of 2015, a new Racial Justice Task Force was created at UUCMC due to our concerns regarding the systemic injustice suffered by people of color. We observe police brutality going unchecked, mass incarceration, the school to prison pipeline, the degradation of voting rights, human rights violations of immigrants and refugees, and the targeting of Muslims as symptoms of deep seated racial injustice. Through this initiative, we are committing to open our hearts and minds to a deeper understanding of the ways that black lives are too often disrespected and to affirm and promote that Black Lives really do Matter. As Unitarian Universalists, we strive for justice, equity and compassion in human relations, and we view the violation of these principles as a call to action to create justice for all. You can read our Statement of Conscience on Racial Justice.
In June 2015, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations approved an Action of Immediate Witness calling our congregations to organize to create racial justice, to create learning spaces to transform ourselves and the world. That statement concludes: “No matter who you are, black lives matter, and a system of fair, transformative, and restorative justice that is accountable to communities is something to which each of us has a right. Unitarian Universalists and our greater society have the power to make this happen. Let’s do this!”
In September 2016, UUCMC held a Black Lives Matter Community Rally in front of our building. Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst said, “The intent of the rally is to have a diversity of voices to speak to why this is an important time to be stepping up and working on racial justice.”
Some helpful talking points:
- To proclaim that Black Lives Matter is not to say that other lives do not. In this congregation, we celebrate the inherent value of every life. Each life matters but not all lives are equally at risk.
- Black Lives Matter is an attempt to spotlight and interrupt persistent patterns of institutional racism which leave persons of color on the margins, more vulnerable, with less protection.
- The dream of Beloved Community and the American Dream of equality and justice for all calls us to affirm that Black Lives Matter and that the cause of justice will not be achieved while such differences persist.
- Black Lives Matter is a movement started to end the violence against black bodies in America.
- Black Lives Matter is an international activist movement, originating in the African American community that campaigns against violence towards black people.
- Black Lives Matter does not mean black lives matter more, it means black lives matter too.
- Black Lives Matter is invested in ending the viewing of black bodies with fear, and black skin as a weapon.
- Black Lives Matter is working to finally end the white supremacy that is embedded in all aspects of our society.
How Can You Get Involved?
Wear a Black Lives Matter button and engage in conversations about why Black lives matter to you.
Join us for our task force meetings. Dates and times vary month to month to accommodate as many people as possible. For information on the next meeting email Aimee Vanduyne.
Suggested reading list:
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation by Derald Wing Sue
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander