Fulfilling the 8th Principle
On May 23, 2021, the congregation affirmed an 8th Principle, “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.” The language of this principle, in contrast the other seven principles, compels us to take action, not merely posit a belief.
At UUCLB, the Racial Justice Team has assumed responsibility, under the umbrella of the Social Justice Council, to fulfill the commitment stated in the principle by guiding our actions. If you want to join with the Racial Justice Team, we meet on the second Wednesday of the month. You may also send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Moving Forward with our 8th Principle work guided by UUCLB’s Racial Justice Team
The Racial Justice Team has already sponsored three major activities designed to fulfill our commitment to the 8th Principle
Our first activity was a congregational workshop in February 2022, Building a Culture of Inclusion featuring Paula Cole Jones, a co-author of the the 8th Principle and the leading voice on its adoption and fulfillment among Unitarian Universalist congregations. (Note: Before the start of General Assembly 2022, more than 200 congregations had adopted the 8th Principle and many others were considering.) More than forty people in the congregation attended the four-hour workshop to much acclaim. Ms. Cole Jones, who has been working for decades with UU congregations, presented material and facilitated self-reflection by attendees. Attendees also gathered in virtual small groups to answer questions posed by Paula. Click Here for handouts from the workshop. Click Here for results of group work during workshop.
Seizing on the anticipated enthusiasm to “accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions,” the Racial Justice Team enrolled almost fifty people (including many folx who could not attend the February workshop) into five study/action groups that met five times during the months of March, April, May and June. Each group of 7-10 people explored the same five topics from the Widening the Circle of Concern report, Theology, Governance, Congregations and Communities, Hospitality and Inclusion, and Living Our Values. The facilitators of the groups prepared a summary of the participants answers to questions posed in the study guide. Here are the unedited notes for the five groups and five topics.
Out latest activity was a congregation gathering in June 2022 to present the work of the five study-action groups and to build short- and long-term action plans. Admittedly we did not achieve our hope of leaving the gathering with a detailed comprehensive plan, but we did come away many ideas, hopes, and actions that folx want to see. Watch A Video of the Proceedings Here
On August 27, the Racial Justice Team will be presenting a proposed short- and long-term action plan at the Board of Trustees retreat.