Allies for Racial Equity Mission is to
ARE Steering Committee's Mission is to
What resources and strategies have been helpful in engaging your congregation? Have you encountered resistance as you’ve tried to engage your congregation in the conversation? What additional resources would you find helpful in your congregational work? Join the conversations about congregational involvement with the Movement for Black Lives and Black Lives Matter with ARE's Fall Webinar Series!
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What's New at ARE?
Allies for Racial Equity joins in the expressions of sadness and anger that have been made in response to the most recent unveiling of white supremacy culture in our Association. We know we have been here before – that the disappointment and pain expressed by the People of Color among us is not new. Despite having taken steps toward reconciliation and wholeness, we know we have not done enough.
In the midst of the disappointments we are experiencing, we are so grateful to DRUUMM, our accountability partner, for staying in the conversation. We’re grateful to BLUU for their leadership. We’re especially grateful to Christina Rivera and Aisha Hauser for speaking out and calling our Association to a much-needed account for the impacts of the oppressive culture in which we’re steeped.
Our faith tradition is one that is ever-evolving – opening and widening as knowledge and experience are gained and reflected upon. We’ve followed this path in our theology and our polity, as well as our worship and our justice toolkits. The one area in which we have consistently shied away is in our adherence to the characteristics of white supremacy culture. As a predominantly white organization that claims to be working toward being anti-racist and anti-oppressive, we need to learn to stop looking away, and face it directly. We need to see ourselves in the patterns that continue to oppress and silence the People of Color in our midst and in our leadership. As white people, we are acculturated to see right through the mirror of white supremacy. Until we really look into that mirror, so generously held up to us yet again, our work will remain outward-facing and limited.
The ARE Steering Committee gathered in Oakland, CA in October 2016, prior to our Bay Area Conference to re-commit to reducing our own replication of white supremacist behaviors, begin restructuring organizationally, and increase our delivery on Accountability to DRUUMM. As we continue this ongoing work “in our own house,” these recent developments have served to strengthen our resolve to consider even more deeply how white supremacy norms cloud our vision, and keep us from realizing the Beloved Community into which Unitarian Universalism calls us.
To the UUA Leadership Council, we are encouraged by your letter. We recognize that efforts to heal these wounds have been initiated before, and yet here we are, still tripping over the same issues. We offer ARE’s support as you engage in the self-examination and review of processes to which you have committed, and as our Board takes action to fill the gap left by President Morales’ resignation.
Now more than ever, we white people must stay at the table. Transformational work is hard. It requires that we acknowledge the consequences of our actions, and our inaction. It requires that we look deeply at ourselves, our assumptions, and their impact. It requires humility, compassion, persistence, and courage. And it requires us to stay in relationship with each other and with our siblings of color. We’ve been heartened by the sharp increase in the number of visits to the ARE Discussion Group on Facebook, and we welcome the many new people who are taking part in this conversation. To support white UUs and to continue the dialogue, ARE will be hosting a Zoom chat on Wednesday at 8:00 pm EDT (5 pm PDT).
Join us! #BuildingANewWay
In faith and blessed unrest,
Allies for Racial Equity Steering Committee
Ken Wagner, President
Jan Taddeo, Past President
Lori Stone Sirtosky
If you have not yet read and signed on to support the Movement for Black Lives’ Vision for Black Lives policy platform, which ARE endorses, we encourage you to do so. We look forward to being in conversation with you to see how we can better respond to this powerful call to action, both together and individually, inside and outside our UU faith communities.
We are truly privileged to be in this struggle together, and look forward to connecting with you soon!
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