The UUCCI Racial Justice Team mission:
To educate and energize the congregation to work against racism.
Our Racial Justice work is rooted in our UU principles:
First Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
- Every person is valued regardless of race.
Second Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
- We seek to hear and believe the stories people of color share of the way they experience the world and our congregation
Third Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.
- Racial justice work demands both owning our racial history and forgiveness in order to become our best selves.
Sixth Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
- There can be no peace without racial justice.
We seek to raise awareness that….
- Racial injustice was caused and perpetrated by white people. Therefore, the responsibility for undoing racism should be borne by white society
- White privilege is the unearned benefits white people enjoy that go unnoticed and are taken for granted by white society
- The deep trauma of slavery and ongoing racial injustice is experienced by people of color every day and will not be erased by good intentions alone. We must promote education and work to change systems that perpetuate racism.
UUCCI’s Racial Justice Work Past and Present
Our story began in 2014 with an adult book read, The New Jim Crow. Not long after, a Black Lives Matter group formed in Columbus, followed by a SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice). The UUA is focused on racial justice making it a prominent theme at recent General Assemblies, committing substantial resources to a Black Lives UU, and actively opposing anti supremacist activity in Charlottesville, Virginia. Coupled with increasing media attention, many congregants became interested in forming a racial justice team.
The work is often not comfortable as we must admit past mistakes, learn hard truths, and move forward toward a more just future. As a result, the work helps us to live more fully into our UU Principles.
We have hosted book reads including The New Jim Crow, Selma Awakening, So You Want to Talk About Race, and Between the World and Me. The Color of Fear and Last Chance for Eden are two films we have shown. A service on the history of UUA racial tensions in the 1960’s was held in 2015 and another service in 2019 highlighting lessons learned from the UUA Beloved Conversations workshops. We have supported Black Lives Matter by hosting their White Supremacy Teach In and MLK Jr. Day presentations. Early SURJ meetings were held at UUCCI. In reaction to incidents in 2016 in local schools, we organized an anti-bullying rally “On the Side of Love. “ We have promoted Undoing Racism and White Fragility training, Beloved Conversations, and made financial contributions to Black Lives UU, the African American Scholarship Fund as well as supporting NAACP events.
While the Racial Justice Team has created many opportunities for education and action, there is much work to do.
The Racial Justice Team meets monthly to organize events and live into its mission. We welcome any members or friends of the congregation interested in racial justice to become involved. Involvement can mean participating in a book read, film or attending an event or being an active organizer.