Anti-Bias & Anti-Racism
Race Prejudice + the misuse of power by systems and institutions = Racism
I was fortunate to attend a training in Anti-Bias, Anti-Racism education recently. As we offer religious education for all ages at People’s Church, it is important for us to recognize that this currently occurs within the framework of white supremacy culture.
With all of our efforts to sow seeds of peace, love, justice and compassion, our institution is still steeped in white supremacy cultural values.
In order to begin recognizing the water in which we are swimming, we need to recognize and interrupt racism and bias whenever possible.
Of course the first step is to remove the veils from our own eyes. Since it is impossible to be raised in this culture and not be influenced by the dominant norms and values which surround us, we need to begin by recognizing and challenging our own biases.
Many of us at People’s Church come here because we already reject many of the dominant societal values of over-consumption, hierarchical thinking, homophobia, sexism, classism and environmental destruction.
By continuing to learn and grow, we can create more opportunities to interrupt all of the ‘isms’ when we see them, including racism, ableism, ageism, etc. This is the way we can transform our congregation into an anti-racist institution.
I just finished a five-week webinar series re-examining our UU history through an anti-racist lens. It was fascinating to see where in history the Unitarians and Universalists were progressive and the places where our forbearers were woefully ignorant. Of course, as UUs our faith is made up of individuals, thus our primary sphere of influence is within ourselves and our congregations.
Expanding our awareness through approaching that which we do not understand with an attitude of curiosity and humility is a helpful approach to facilitate change.
Throughout history, many UUs fought for abolition, women’s suffrage, gay rights, trans rights, etc. while many others were much slower to accept and affirm those who didn’t fit into the dominant paradigm which was designed to benefit white, cis, hetero, wealthy men.
The need to support our trans and non-binary friends and relatives is at the forefront today. We have so much opportunity to practice being radically welcoming within our congregation in this realm. If someone’s personal pronouns change, please try to remember and use the new pronouns. If someone uses “they/them” rather than “he or she,” please don’t express your frustration over incorrect English grammar.
Folks need to be unabashedly affirmed and accepted within our congregation that claims to be Welcoming. The rest of the world can be much less kind. If we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of ALL, let us actually practice these values as much as possible.
Children learn more from what they see than from what they hear. Let us model the Beloved Community as much as possible at People’s Church.
With expanded awareness and efforts, may we move toward more justice and equity in all our understandings and relations!
Blessed Be, Diane Melvin, Religious Education Director
High School Youth Sleepover & Worship Planning
Saturday, March 7 at 3:00 pm
Join Reverend Rachel for a fun church sleepover and worship planning session. All participants are invited to lead Sunday morning’s worship together on March 8.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Due to this event, Sunday’s regularly scheduled youth group will not occur.
CONservation Middle School Election CON
April 3-5, 2020 at People’s Church
All 6-8th-graders are invited to participate in this fun weekend UU youth conference. Meet other youth from around the region and together enjoy games, workshops, youth worship, great food and much Fun!
Register now at https://forms.gle/mpeAAokxRQ4tYhoT8