The Anti-Racism Team is very grateful to all those who completed our survey several months ago. For those who are interested in viewing summary results, there is a link at the bottom of this post. We are taking the results very seriously, and are using your responses and comments to help shape our work for the coming year.
We are also grateful for the many positive responses we have received to the worship service recently conducted by the team, with Jessie Whitehead’s message “Embracing Racial Equality- Why It Matters.” The mission of the Anti-Racism Team is to assist USNH in the development of its identity as an anti-racist congregation by leading our spiritual community to a deeper understanding of racism, and to expand its role in actively addressing the challenges of racism at personal, institutional and societal levels. We want to be sure that our community is a welcoming and comfortable space for all those who may be attracted to the spiritual principles of Unitarian Universalism.
In response to several comments we received on the survey, we would like to clarify the term “white privilege,” sometimes referred to as “white skin privilege.” This does not mean that light-skinned people can skate through life with no barriers, particularly economic barriers. Rather it refers to certain societal privileges and ease granted, which go largely unperceived because they are simply the “what’s so” for those of us so privileged. It has a lot to do with recognizing that there are issues and situations we simply never have to encounter. Realizing our white skin privilege can bring an awareness, or at least an acknowledgment, that “white” people are generally not subject to the subtle and not-so-subtle slights, judgments, misunderstandings, suspicions, rejections and exclusions that people of color routinely encounter in all aspects of living in the larger white-dominant culture. Our team feels it is part of our mission to invite and encourage our community to be awake and aware on this subject.
The anti-racism team would like to encourage the involvement of all in the USNH community who are interested in supporting this work. Our meetings are normally on the third Tuesday of each month, and are open to anyone in the congregation. Please let us know if you may be interested in being part of the team, or otherwise supporting our efforts. We will have a “meet and greet” table after both services on Sunday, June 10, or you can let us know of your interest by contacting one of the current co-chairs, Patricia Duff (email@example.com) and Tisa Wenger (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Racial and cultural diversity will, I pray, come to Unitarian Universalism. But it will come as we become known as a faith community that strives to live our open hearted theology, and a faith community that is willing to be an ally in the struggle for justice.
—William G. Sinkford, President, Unitarian Universalist Association, General Assembly Fort Worth, TX (June 2005)