The spiritual theme we're reflecting on for February is "Widening the Circle." In 2017, a gathering of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color leaders was convened to discuss concerns, disappointments, challenges, and laments about the UUA and whether it would be possible to make progress in the ways we say we dream about for the UUA and Unitarian Universalism as a whole. The Commission on Institutional Change was established and charged by the UUA Board of Trustees "to conduct an audit of white privilege and the structure of power within Unitarian Universalism, and analyze structural racism and white supremacy culture within the UUA." A summary of some of their findings, as well as recommendations about moving forward, is in their report, Widening the Circle of Concern.
Although Unitarian Universalism, and the UUA as part of it, has much work to do in addressing and undoing white supremacy culture in our institutions and in ourselves, we also still have much work to do in terms of disability and accessibility, LGBTQIA+, youth, and even women, and all the institutional barriers that each group and those with intersecting identities experience.
While written specifically for the UUA, Widening the Circle of Concern offers direction for all of our shared faith, including our congregations. Members of this congregation have repeatedly expressed an interest in expanding the diversity of this congregation, to be more multigenerational and more multiracial and multiethnic, although little has been done to make institutional, relational, or other changes that would facilitate this possibility.
What might be some of the ways that you will commit to widening the circle of your understanding? Not what "someone should do," but what will you do? And what action will you take to nurture our congregation and community? I look forward to exploring these and other questions with you.
If you'd like to reach out: You can reach me through email at email@example.com,
In faith and service, Rev. Kristina Spaude
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