The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward. –Ijoema Oluo
How do Unitarian Universalists work towards ending racism? We start with ourselves because for us, ending racism is soul work. Through readings, discussions, workshops, training programs, healing practices, teach-ins, service, and public witnessing, ERC attempts to help identify and fight racism in ourselves and in our communities. We offer many resources below and linked.
NCTE African American Read-In at USG 2024
Join the Ending Racism Committee in the African American Read-In. You can read any book by an African American author: fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, young adult, children’s, during the month of February. We have many choices in our library, the online catalog is here: https://www.librarycat.org/lib/USGERCLIB And/or you can visit our Library Cart every Sunday during Fellowship Hour.
Please send the title and author of the book you read to email@example.com by March 1 so that we can report to the NCTE. If you would like to send a few lines of your experience of the book, that would be great. And please consider joining us for a potluck lunch after the service on March 3 to share about what everyone read.
USG has participated in the Read-In for several years. Established in 1990 by the National Council of English Teachers Black Caucus, the National African American Read-In has developed from being a solely instructional event to a celebration of the lively contributions and essential role African American literature, art, and artists play in American society. Well over 5.9 million people throughout the globe have taken part in this campaign.
Check out books from the ERC Library! The Ending Racism Committee Library collection of over 100 books is now available for searching and browsing, visit our ONLINE CATALOG. If you see something you’d like to borrow, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to fill out a quick form, and we’ll check it out to you and make arrangements to get you the book(s). We have a book cart available for browsing on Sundays after the service.
If you are interested in materials from Black Lives UU and possible meetings to discuss them, please email email@example.com.
ERC Recommends: Action
The first step in anti-racist action is education. Please see below for our many educational resources. Next comes making sure everyone in your life knows you are committed to anti-racism: your partner, your children, your extended family, your friends, your colleagues, your neighbors, your legislators. Work to elect lawmakers with an anti-racist agenda, support Black-led organizations and Black-owned businesses. If you click ERC Recommends Action above, we have offered some resources with specifics and encourage you to choose the one(s) that resonate and commit to actions that you can do in a way that you can sustain. This is life long work.
ERC Recommends: Education
There are so many ways to educate yourself about racism, we offer a selection here.
The 8th Principle: “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.”
USG passed the 8th Principle in June, 2019. The UUA’s Commission on Institutional Change Report called Widening the Circle of Concern which was the result of three years of work following the 2017 acknowledgment of white supremacy in hiring at the UUA, can guide us in doing the work of the 8th Principle. You can find a link to more information about USG’s process and many different ways to access the report on the Widening the Circle of Concern page on this website.
Visit the Ending Racism 150th Anniversary Video Project page at this link to view interviews with current and former USG members or read curated transcripts.
ERC vision and mission statements
Vision: ERC envisions a society in which racial justice and equality are the reality for all.
Mission: ERC works toward dismantling racism in all its forms; individual, institutional, and systemic; through self-examination, education, advocacy, public witness, and service.
The Ending Racism Committee (ERC) has been active since 2002 at USG and has been committed to raising awareness among its own members and in the congregation. Members feel that ERC work is necessary, supportive, positive, empowering. Contact Co-Chair Carla Campbell for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.