UUA and VIUF Are Fighting Systemic Racism

“What struck me most about those who rioted was how long they waited. The restraint they showed. Not the spontaneity, the restraint. They waited ansd waited for justice and it didn’t come. Nobody talks about that.” – Toni Morrison

Dom Davis, founder of Community Passageways, asked “Where is the Church in This Time of Peril?“ (his VIUF sermon 10/25 will be available on our website). Community Passageways Website, Dom’s  phone number is 206-751-225. On 11/8, Alexi Jones from Prison Policy Institute educated VIUF on “Mass Incarceration”.  The Seattle organization she recommends for people interested in supporting justice reform in Washington is – https://columbialegal.org/issues/criminal-justice-reform/. They do a lot of impact litigation in prisons to improve conditions. Her personal email address is: .

In partial reply to Dom, at the June national conference (General Assembly) the Unitarian Universalists passed an Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) that states: “BECAUSE Unitarian Universalist congregations covenant to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person and promote justice, equity and compassion in human relations, we proclaim loudly, Black Lives Matter!;…

THEREFORE, we commit to making our congregations and communities authentically multicultural, multiracial, anti-oppressive spaces that dismantle anti-Blackness; resisting a culture of perfectionism, and repairing our mistakes; and given that building the Beloved Community in an ongoing and ever evolving process, we commit to staying in this work for the long haul.”

SOURCE for the full AIW

VIUF Response re: Systemic Racism:

  1. VIUF donations to Community Passageway (our monthly nonprofit) totaled over $800.
  2. VIUF is putting a banner on Lewis Hall that states: STOP systemic racism. When we asked permission to display this banner, the Burton Community Church asked to participate and share the cost, so their name was added.
  3. Members of our Board participated in a 3-session training offered by UUA which highlighted the Widening the Circle: Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change.  One of the actions that we would like to pursue is this discussion series. Additionally, our Board President Robbie is going to convene a study group on the report with the help of Rev. Linda Hart from Tahoma UUC and is asking for those interested to contact her via email: .
  4. In January, on Monday nights from 6:30-7:30, VIUF is sponsoring a discussion group, Systemic Racism: Uncover Your Biases. TED talks will be shown followed by group discussion. Co-facilitators are Tanya Roberts, VIUF  & Cathy DeSmet, SURJ

    Michelle Obama’s words of wisdom: Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us – Black, white, everyone – no matter how well meaning we think we might be, to do the honest uncomfortable work of  rooting it out.  It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets.

    Submitted by Robbie Rohr and Tanya Roberts