There has been a lot to process in the Unitarian Universalist world over the past few weeks.
I want to take a moment to focus on the calling in that beloveds in our faith have lifted up regarding the persistence of white supremacist culture in our institutional structure as the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Today, April 4th, marks the day the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed in Memphis, TN – silenced when he had begun to connect the dots between poverty and racism and militarism in our country and to organize to disrupt those interdependent systems of oppression.
With deepest respect to all who serve in the service of Unitarian Universalism, it is beyond the time for us to connect the dots within our institution. It matters who get paid for their service, who gets benefits, who can afford to access positional power (in our very volunteer-based leadership model).
If our institution mirrors the hiring patterns of other institutions – with a hierarchy of Whiteness employed in positions with most wealth/benefits/status and People of Color employed in positions of least wealth/little-to-no benefits/little-to-no status – then we are not honoring our faithful call to embodying the prophetic vision of beloved community. We are shoring up white supremacist culture.
Friends, let us turn toward each other in this time and collectively acknowledge how power is arranged in our institutions of faith. And then let us work together to undo racism, to resist systemic oppression, to change the power arrangement in our own faith. This is not simply a question of diversity. This is about power. This is about love. This is about co-creating the now and not yet beloved community. Let us be about this together.