May 2018 Inclusivity Team Order of Service Insert.
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The 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism
“We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
BLUU Urges Adoption of 8th Principle in Unitarian Universalism
The Black Lives of UU (BLUU) Organizing Collective encourages all Unitarian Universalists to advocate for the formal adoption of an 8th Principle, articulating a commitment to the dismantling of white supremacy, within the stated principles of our faith.
Where Did This Come From?
During the 2017 General Assembly, the 8th Principle was voted as a resolution to go into committee form. The 8th Principle was developed in 2013, written by, and presented to the 2017 GA by Paula Cole Jones and Bruce Pollock Johnson.
Our existing 7 Principles imply this 8th Principle, but do not explicitly hold us accountable for addressing these oppressions directly, especially at the systemic level. UUism has great potential for building diverse multicultural Beloved Community as envisioned by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but it won’t happen without conscious awareness and effort on our part. Dismantling racism, white supremacy, and other oppressions requires work at the personal and institutional levels. The UU Principles were designed to be dynamic, not fixed. Unitarian Universalism is a religion that intentionally builds in the flexibility to acknowledge the importance of ongoing revealed truth. None of the other Principles mention love. By having “Beloved Community” in the 8th Principle, it brings our commitment to love higher in our consciousness. The 8th Principle is really just the beginning of action, rather than the ultimate goal. Let’s make our actions match our values. Let’s be a UU movement that feeds them. That would be spiritual wholeness.
What is Beloved Community?
Beloved Community happens when people of diverse racial, ethnic, educational, class, gender, sexual orientation, and backgrounds/identities come together in an interdependent relationship of love, mutual respect, and care that seeks to realize justice within the community and in the broader world.
What Does it Mean to be Accountable?
White UUs hold themselves accountable to communities of color, to make sure whites do what they say they will do. In practice, that can mean having a People of Color Caucus within congregations, districts, etc., to discern and express needs and concerns to the rest of the community. Black UUs hold each other accountable and help each other see and dismantle signs of internalized racism. We need an effective mechanism or structure to ensure this.
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