The Ending Racism Committee (ERC) has open membership year round. Do you want to talk about race in America or how to explore how race and racism affects you? We invite you to come to a meeting.

We meet the first Sunday of the month (though the meeting is cancelled for March) from 12-2pm at the Unitarian Society of Germantown, in the Sullivan Chapel. New members are always welcome! We have a team of three co-chairs. Each co-chair will lead a sub-group: Service led by Judith Dederick (jgdederick@gmail.com); Public Witness led by Barbara Dowdall (gtnbassoon@aol.com); and Education led by Parvathy Menon (parvathyvmenon@gmail.com). We express our gratitude to Kay Weiser for her many years of service as Chair. ERC also thanks Connie Simon for her support and guidance.To join or for more information, please contact one of the co-chairs.

White Privilege readings and conversations

Ideally all white people spend some of their time examining their privilege and reflecting on ways to give it up. This is a very deep personal process that is essential to becoming a truly equal society. With the goal of helping the white people of USG on this journey, we will be offering a variety of resources and a monthly time to share experiences with and feelings about this process.

We have chosen for this winter and spring to read Let’s Talk: White Privilege, a curriculum from the United Church of Christ. Please read to educate yourself and keep the conversation going if only in your head. We all need to participate if things are going to change.

Here are the sections, we are reading the Cash Value of Whiteness for March.

This remaining sessions are TBA. They will be facilitated by Eli Scearce, Gail Mershon, Sandy Campbell and Treva Burger and is an Adult Spiritual Development class offered  in the education arm of the Ending Racism Committee.

How do members feel about ERC work: necessary, supportive, empowering, positive, rewarding and important, spiritually nourishing, and inspiring.

The Ending Racism Committee has a membership list of about 20 people with 13 active members. Committee chairs generally serve a three-year term. Meetings begin with a reflection and discussion followed by a full agenda.

Historically ERC has a long-standing commitment of raising awareness in the congregation and ourselves. Combined, our membership has served well over 75 years with two founding members still active on the committee! Our mission statement helps to articulate our beliefs and the challenges we continue to face as a congregation and as individuals.

Socially, we enjoy each other’s company. It is not uncommon for ERC to plan spontaneous get togethers at each other’s home. Come September ERC hosts the annual Fall Open House to welcome the congregation, friends, and new members to learn more about what we do.

Ending racism for Unitarian Universalists is soul work. How do we work at ending racism? We start with ourselves. Through book readings, White Privilege studies and Jubilee workshops sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Joseph Priestly District, we are offered training programs to help identify racism in ourselves and in American society. In our church pews two brochures designed by past chair, Amy Anu-Birge, are displayed as educational tools to raise awareness and help us reflection on the topic of white privilege.

Jubilee Anti-Racism Training is a program that brings together neighboring UU churches to work specifically on anti-oppression and white privilege issues. This training continues to be the single most effective training available to members of our congregation. Currently we are working on the problem of Mass Incarceration which has profound racial consequences. This activity offers community outreach to other religious, racial and social groups, including UUPLAN, a statewide Unitarian racial justice organization.

Regularly we present book discussions and films which have proven to be positive ways for us to gather and discuss issues of race.

Here is a link to an implicit bias quiz. It can be disturbing to discover you biases, but helpful in changing them.

Here is a sample of how ERC members feel about their work on the committee

  • Older and wiser. I have become an enthusiastic supporter of affirmative action designed to level the playing field. I have become much more aware of my inner biases.More confident and less uncomfortable.
  • I feel more positive about USG.
  • It’s one of the many meetings I love coming to! I really appreciate the meaningful relationship and safety of being with similarly active people. I’ve explored personal identity and my own racism among the people I trust…..
  • they helped me to recognize my strides ahead and the personal and societal work left to do.
  • I have developed close groups of friends and soul mates. I am proud to be a leader of anti-racism work in our church community.

Please continue to check this website for the latest in programming and consider joining us at our next meeting.

Please continue to check this website for the latest in programming and consider joining us at our next meeting, the first Monday of most months at 9 a.m.

ERC Statement of Conscience on Criminal Justice in the United States, Dec. 14, 2014

Read our mission statement.

July 24, 2016 Service at USG: “Why Black Lives Matter”