Diversity and Equity Exploration Team

The current national consciousness about race has caused many of us to question ourselves about our own personal understanding and responsibilities when it comes to racism. Some members at First Parish have been meeting in various capacities over the past year to gain knowledge about white supremacy culture.  We explored how individuals and as a congregation can contribute to a more just society.  It is understandable that many may feel uncomfortable in thinking about this topic. However, the rewards of learning that will lead to more freedoms for all is well worth the discomfort!

Out of this work, a new effort called the Diversity & Equity Exploration Team has formed at First Parish.  The mission of this team is to provide opportunities to all members to embark on their own personal racial justice journeys. We will offer resources and outlets for members to explore and discuss their views.  Examples include movie, book and podcast recommendations, followed by discussions, introspective sharing of personal stories in small groups with trained facilitators and opportunities for local multicultural civic engagement, just to name a few.

We would like to encourage as many people as possible to participate in these journeys.  One important reason, in addition to your own personal growth, is we hope that First Parish Framingham will explore and vote on the incorporation of the UUA 8th principle at the end of the next church year (June 2022).  The addition of the 8th Principle has been requested by the UU BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community and it is something being currently considered among many UU congregations across the country.  It would be ideal if all First Parish voters next June are well informed when they cast their vote.  For more information about the UUA 8th principle and its background please follow these links:

https://www.8thprincipleuu.org/

https://www.8thprincipleuu.org/background

Next year there will be numerous opportunities to understand and explore this important principle.  We wanted share the news about our new team and this important direction now, so we can provide you with a few suggestions to engage in over the summer, on your own time.  The summer suggestions will be communicated to you in the next couple of weeks.  When we return in the fall, additional information and opportunities will also be available.  We welcome questions, suggestions and general thoughts.  Please know our intention is to always be welcoming, loving and non-judgmental.

With peace to all,

The Diversity & Equity Exploration Team

Lauren Fawell
Carol Lawton
Susan Moody
Sara Morrison Neil
Denise Moorehead
Elizabeth Murphy, Ministerial Intern
Julie Porter
Leslie Simpson
Rev. Aaron Stockwell

We are open to new members and hope that this team will include a variety of perspectives.

Events and Resources

January – June 2021 Anti-Racism Reflection and Practice
Coordinated by Susan Moody and Sara Morrison Neil, Church Administrator and Membership Coordinator

“Getting Out” Podcast from Southern Poverty Law Center

Preface, “Widening the Circle of Concern,” UUA Commission on Institutional Change (2020)

How the South Won The Civil War, Heather Cox Richardson
“Reality Crisis,” New York Times (2021)

 

September-October 2020  Being White in a Racist World

Led by Ken Wagner, Rev. Aaron Stockwell and Sara Morrison Neil

Four week module covering racial identity, the spectrum of forms that racism takes, white privilege, and white supremacy system.
Some of the readings discussed were:

Reading Racism Right to Left

With Friends Like These

Unpacking The White Privilege Knapsack

What_Is_White_Supremacy_Martinez

Ijeoma Oluo – I am drowning in whiteness

Despair is Not a Strategy

 

July-August 2020  Black Lives Matters Discussions

Led by Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris and Ken Wagner

Readings included

Psychological Effects of Privilege” and “Psychological Effects of Racism” from The Great White Elephant by Robins Parker  and Pamela Smith Chambers
“The Distress of the Privileged” by Unitarian Universalist writer/blogger Doug Muder

Anti-Racism Resources

A Collection of anti-racism resources for people at different stages of racial awareness

Resources for land acknowledgement: https://usdac.us/nativeland

Books

  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • White Fragility – Why it’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  • Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The Third Reconstruction by Rev Dr. William J Barber
  • Waking up White by Debby Irving
  • Soul Work; Anti-Racist Theologies in Dialogue by Marjorie Bowens Wheatley and Nancy Palmer Jones
  • White Like Me by Tim Wise
  • Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama by Tim Wise
  • Witnessing Whiteness by Shelley Tochluk
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D.
  • Sundown Towns by James Loewen
  • Race Matters by Cornell West
  • Debating Race by Michael Eric Dyson
  • Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster by Michael Eric Dyson
  • Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Paul Kivel
  • Towards Collective Liberation by Chris Crass
  • Racism Without Racists – Color Blind Racism by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
  • When Affirmative Action Was White by Ira Katznelson

 

Websites and Facebook

Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM)

Website:                      http://druumm.onefireplace.org/

Facebook:                    https://www.facebook.com/DRUUMM?fref=ts

Allies for Racial Equity Websitehttp://alliesforracialequity.wildapricot.org/

Facebook:       https://www.facebook.com/uuallies/timeline

Race Forward Website –                     http://raceforward.org/

Facebook:                    https://www.facebook.com/RaceForward/

UU’s Resisting New Jim Crow and Mass Incarceration

Website:          http://www.uua.org/multiculturalism/ga/200393.shtml

Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/groups/uusresistingnewjimcrow/

Black Lives Matter: Website:          http://blacklivesmatter.com/

Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/BlackLivesMatter?fref=ts

SURJ: Showing Up for Racial Justice | White People

Website:          http://www.showingupforracialjustice.org

Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/ShowingUpForRacialJusticesurj

Tim Wise             Website:                      http://www.timwise.org/

Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tim-Wise/140254320968?fref=ts

Beyond Diversity Resource Center:     http://beyonddiversity.org/

Anti-Racist Cookbook and Great White Elephant

Paul Kivel Articles:       http://www.paulkivel.com/

 

News and Current Events Online:

 

Blogs, “Edgy” Web Sites