The UUS:E Policy Board will host a congregation-wide conversation on Black Lives Matter on Sunday, April 17th at 1:00 PM in the chapel.
All are welcome and encouraged to attend!
Background: At its February and March meetings, the Policy Board considered a request from the UUS:E Social Justice/ Anti-Oppression Committee (SJ/AO) to place a Black Lives Matter road-sign on our property along West Vernon St. SJ/AO had previously held congregational conversations on this question and also invited feedback from members and friends following Sunday services in January. While SJ/AO found clear support for placing a road sign on our property, there was not unanimous support. Concerns raised about placing a sign included 1) the risk of vandalism and 2) the notion that UUS:E members and friends support many causes and we don’t want to privilege one cause over the others.
The Policy Board determined that placing a road sign on our property constitutes a “congregational statement” and thus, based on our policies, requires the congregation to pass a resolution at a called meeting. While the agenda for the May 21st UUS:E Annual Meeting has not yet been set, it is highly likely that the Policy Board will ask the congregation to vote on whether or not UUS:E officially supports the Black Lives Matter movement. Given this, the Policy Board would like to hear comments from members and friends. This is the purpose of the April 17th Black Lives Matter Conversation.
Many Unitarian Universalist congregations have entered into such conversations about Black Lives Matter. Many have placed signs on their property. This is due in part to the fact that African American Unitarian Universalists participating in protests in Ferguson, MO, along with the Back Lives of Unitarian Universalism Organizing Collective have asked Unitarian Universalist congregations to place banners and signs in order to show solidarity with America’s new racial justice movement.
For further reading, see:
Alicia Garza’s “A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.”
Read the 2015 Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly’s statement on Black Lives Matter.
Read about Black Lives Matter signs being vandalized.
See Rev. Josh’s 2015 sermon #BlackLivesMatter.
See Rev. Josh’s 2016 sermon, “Perhaps Struggle is All We Have.”