To our members, chapters, colleagues and friends,
As Unitarian Universalists of Pagan and Earth relating, centered, and honoring spiritual communities, we are deeply saddened, appalled, and angered at the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbury, and the countless men and women of color killed senselessly. We are angered by the violent tactics being used to abuse, threaten and oppress. We cannot idly stand by and be complicit any longer.
The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Inc. (CUUPS), stands with colleagues, members and friends committed to building communities of humane interaction, dialogue, and deep listening, and creating a world that is safe and free of hate. We stand as allies, advocates, and friends. We affirm and are in solidarity with those seeking justice and an end to violence against people of color. Our principles guide us to honor the inherent worth and dignity of every person and to be accepting of one another. Black Lives Matter. This is important. Period.
We call with a “strong voice” to end systematic patriarchal dehumanizing of and the prejudicial thinking of members of the human family on our beloved planet called Earth. We reaffirm our commitment to confronting oppressive systems, within our communities and ourselves, to fulfill the promise of our faith.
Our country was founded with a dream for freedom and liberty for all. The shock and horror of racism, and those who continue to perpetuate it, despite the desires of the majority of citizens, has been all too prevalent in our history. It chokes off that dream and diminishes the greatness we could have achieved throughout the ages. These are counter to our values, who we are as a nation and as stewards of all life on the planet.
Racism does not serve humanity, and it does not serve our planet. We ask our leaders and the world to put down the weapons of destruction and devastation, and pick up the mantles of affirmation, understanding, listening, peace and love. Enough is enough!
We urge the human family to return to the sacred sources that feed our deepest selves and remember that our black and brown siblings are beloved of the divine, woven into one tapestry called human being. Violence never resolves what divides us, it only begets violence. Attitudes of superiority of any kind, a psychological form of violence, serves only to belittle, oppress, and diminish not only our fellow travelers, but so too does it bring the same to ourselves and our legacies.
To our white friends, colleagues, and members. Educate yourselves and examine your own prejudices, opinions and thoughts. Stand back and be present, deeply listening for what is really needed and wanted. Learn how to protest, march, and speak up in ways that raise up the issues of racism. Follow the lead of Black leaders and organizers. Learn how to resist anti-Blackness. Get involved with community organizing. Learn alternatives to calling the authorities. Allow yourself to open fully to what it is to truly be a free nation for all. Open to transforming your own thinking and ways of being. To learn what works and for support go to “Stop Calling the Police and Start Eradicating Anti-Blackness” posted by the Unitarian Universalist Association’s website.
Life is precious and sacred. Connect hearts to the earth. Celebrate human differences. Cast away illusions and prejudice. Challenge powers of oppression. Tear down the walls of injustice. Bring healing and wholeness. Practice the deep, patient listening that bridges division and dispels hate. Find ways to interact with kindness, and speak gratitude.
Donate to Organizations Making a Difference
- Minnesota Freedom Fund: raises money for paying bail for low-income people who cannot otherwise afford it. Protestors in Minneapolis, are in need of this bail support in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
- The National Bail Fund Network: a directory of community bail funds. You can donate to a bail fund in a community nearest to you.
- Black Lives Matter: support the continuing fight to end state-sanctioned violence, liberate Black people, and end white supremacy forever.
Note: Bail is the set amount of money required to support the release of a person who has not yet faced trial and is presumed innocent from jail.
Learning Resources for White Colleagues, Chapters, Members, and Friends:
- Read “White Fragility” by Robin DeAngelo – discusses how to practice talking about race, something that White people rarely do.
- Read “The Color of Law” by Richard Rothstein – to learn about the explicitly anti-Black government policies that led to segregation.
- Read works, watch documentaries, and listen to podcasts by Black writers and producers – This list is not complete – there are many out there!
“How To Be An Anti-Racist” – by Ibram X Kendi
“The Fire Next Time” – by James Baldwin
“The Fire This Time” – edited by Jesmyn Ward
“Sister Outsider” or anything else – by Audre Lorde
“Between The World and Me” – by Ta-Nehesi Coates
“The New Jim Crow” – by Michelle Alexander
“13th” on Netflix – by Ava DuVernay
“Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemption” – by Bryan Stevenson
“They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s
Racial Justice Movement” – by Wesley Lowery
“So You Want To Talk About Race” – by Ijeoma Oluo
“Medical Apartheid” – by Harriet Washington
“This Bridge Called My Back” – by Rosario Morales
“Ain’t I A Woman” – or anything else by bell hooks
“Beloved” and “The Bluest Eye” – by Toni Morrison
“When They Call You A Terrorist” – by Patrisse Cullors
Support and Join Organizations Committed to Eradicating Racism
- Find a local chapter of SURJ- Showing Up for Racial Justice: which works to bring more majority white communities into movements for racial justice.
- Black Lives of UU: provides information, resources and support for Black Unitarian Universalists and works to expand the role & visibility of Black UUs within our faith.
- DRUUMM (Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries): a Unitarian Universalist People of Color Ministry and anti-racist collective bringing lay and religious professionals together to overcome racism through resistance and transform Unitarian Universalism through our multicultural experiences. We developed from several older ministries, namely the African American UU Ministries and Jubilee World anti-racism change trainings of UUs working to become anti-racist. Here is where you can access DRUUMM Resources.
- Allies for Racial Equity: disrupts oppression, uproots white supremacy, and plants seeds of justice. This is a ministry of faith which leads all who participate to spiritual growth and wholeness. We honor each other’s humanity and capacity for growth by offering ourselves and each other grace and accountability.
We thank you for your commitment to a stronger and more just world. This work is not easy and allows us all to do the deep, deep, spiritual work humanity needs. The payoff will be a stronger, more compassionate world. Join us as we do this work to create and craft the partnerships to create a future without division and oppression, for we are change agents.
The Board of Directors
Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Inc.