Widening the Circle of Concern, the Committee on Institutional Change (COIC) Report
Access the report on the UUA’s website here. It is available in many other forms below.
The Widening the Circle of Concern Working Group is a group of USG leaders who began engaging the report in February 2021 with monthly meetings on 1st Wednesday evenings at 7pm. We plan to spend several months on each chapter. If you would like to attend Working Group meetings, please email WideningTheCircle@usguu.org for the Zoom link and the preparatory materials.
There will be a monthly Q&A with Board members immediately after the worship service, on second or third Sundays, in the main worship room, if you want to join, please stay there rather than going to the breakout group.
The report is available for purchase as a book from the UUA Bookstore and there are few copies in the name tag foyer at USG, an e-book from Amazon, for free on the UUA website, as a pdf, a Word doc and an audio reading.
Our engagement of the report at USG will be guided by the UUA’s Study/Action Guide (pdf) and Word document (the font is bigger) which outlines 11 sessions for a group to break down the various components and recommendations of the original report. The guide recommends Running the meetings using these 8 Guidelines for Equity and Inclusion. More info about the guide below.
Individual Chapters, Notes and Discussion Guides:
Introduction through the Trends section, slightly edited for ease of reading.
Avatars These are composite stories to represent the experiences of the many people the Commission interviewed. They may be helpful in understanding the need for this work.
The issue of microaggressions comes up frequently in our discussions. A microaggression is a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority. This video shows how microaggressions are small but they stack up. Like mosquito bites:
This is the work of the 8th Principle which USG adopted in May 2019: “We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse, multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
The report provides recommendations on how we can make changes to our congregation and denomination using an anti-oppression lens. The Study/Action Guide provides framing and helpful hints on how our community can actively participate in transformative liberation. The authors write: “Widening the Circle is joyful change work that’s deeply rooted in our shared UU theology. We hope that engaging this guide offers our community an opportunity for meaningful connection during this time of isolation.”