At the Annual Meeting we will vote on a resolution concerning the future of the sesquicentennial quilt.
Quilt Resolution proposed by MOT:
Whereas the Inclusivity Team has received feedback from youth, guests, rental customers, Black and People of Color visitors and members of our congregation that the Sesquicentennial Quilt hanging in the old sanctuary is not inclusive;
Whereas the Sesquicentennial Quilt may create unintended, harmful impressions for some regarding race, gender, and hetero-family norms – and is therefore no longer well aligned with Albany UU’s mission to be a welcoming and inclusive congregation, and;
Whereas the Ministry and Operations Team has conducted individual conversations with two of the original quilters and other interested members, revisited lessons learned from changing the name of Emerson Hall to Community Hall upon learning of racist writings of Emerson and conducted an open question and answer session with congregational members interested in the legacy and future of the quilt;
Therefore, be it resolved that Albany UU accepts the recommendations of the Inclusivity Team and the Ministry and Operations Team to take down and preserve the Sesquicentennial Quilt, and convene a task force to propose a future for the quilt and the space it currently occupies subject to approval by the congregation.
The Inclusivity Team brought to the attention of the Board impressions communicated to it about negative impacts some were having of the quilt regarding race, gender, and hetero-family norms. The Board unanimously approved a motion to:
“Authorize Inclusivity Team in conjunction with the MOT to bring awareness and dialogue and discernment about the placement of the sesquicentennial quilt to the congregation, ultimately culminating in a decision by the congregation.”
Resulting conversations have been facilitated among many congregational groups as to whether the quilt can represent Albany UU’s mission to be a welcoming and inclusive conversation. Predictably, these were thoughtful dialogues about the vision and mission of Albany UU, the great care and love given in the creation of the quilt, and the legacy of this beloved artwork.
The resolution proposed by the Board will authorize steps to be taken to preserve the quilt, since all have acknowledged that it is in need of repair. And it will authorize the creation of a diverse task force, representing multiple stakeholders, to propose a future for the quilt and for the space it has occupied in the Sanctuary. The congregation will subsequently vote on that proposal at a congregational meeting in the future.