The Eighth Principle
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.
Racial justice. Now is the time (and past time) to address inequities in ourselves and our institutions. The proposed 8th Principle is being adopted by more and more congregations in our region.
The wording of the 8th Principle above reflects the proposal by Black Lives of UU to the UUA. When we vote on adopting the 8th Principle for our own congregation, the wording will be slightly different to reflect that we do not have “member congregations”. Come to our events to discuss the 8th Principle:
- We are holding our next open discussion group on Saturday, Mar 20 for anyone to attend.
- The 8th Principal will also be presented to the congregation at the Social Justice Forum on Sunday, April 11.
- The vote will be held on at the annual congregational meeting on May 23rd.
Many informal conversations are happening now at coffee hour, in committee meetings, and so on. The 8th Principle Task Force has also been running articles in the monthly Advance and adding short statements to the weekly email announcements and even sometimes appearing in the Sunday worship service. Make sure your friends are informed!
On this page:
- Will adopting an 8th Principle solve anything?
- Steps leading up to the 2020 formation of UUCLB’s 8th Principle Task Force.
- Where can I learn more about this topic?
Messages from the 8thP Task Force from the Advance, now on separate pages:
- December Advance — reports on the open discussion held by all interested attendees on Nov 21.
- February Advance — “And after celebration and rest, it’s healthy to return to the work of moral repair.”
Will adopting an 8th Principle solve anything?
This question does not have a simple yes or no answer. The 8th Principle is one of the tools we hope to add to our spiritual toolbox. That’s why we (the 8th Principle Task Force) are inviting all members/friends of the congregation into conversation about ways to dismantle white supremacy and to promote racial justice, equity, and inclusion. (See also the section below about where you can read more about this spiritual toolbox.)
Steps leading up to the 2020 formation of UUCLB’s 8th Principle Task Force
With our strongly committed Racial Justice community, we already aligned in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. In a congregational meeting on May 1st 2016 we voted unanimously to adopt “A Resolution in Support of the Black Lives Matter Movement”. We also voted in favor of displaying a large “Black Lives Matter and Black Trans Lives Matter” banner on the outside of our building/campus to further show our support.
Our next step as a congregation is to hear and respond to the call from Black Lives UU to adopt the 8th Principle.
Where can I learn more about this topic?
If you need a refresher on the current 7 Principles of Unitarian Universalism, they’re here.
Widening the Circle of Concern: Learning & Practicing in Our Communities – read it for free here, or listen to it for free here, or purchase it from the UUA’s bookstore. We are also organizing Widening the Circle study groups — check the weekly email announcements!
The official website of the proposed 8th Principle can be found at 8th Principle UU, has more information. The website states:
In April of 2017 The Black Lives of Unitarian Universalist issued the following: 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. The proposed 8th Principle was written by Bruce Pollack-Johnson and Paula Cole Jones. Since 2013, some Unitarian Universalists residing in the former Joseph Priestley District (now part of the Central East Region) have been advocating for the adoption of an 8th principle within the faith. In the same year, this matter was presented at the General Assembly Planning Committee retreat by Paula Cole Jones and later discussed by the members of the Council for Cross Cultural Engagement.
Read more about Paula Cole Jones.
To pray without apology: What would have happened if Martin Luther King Jr. had cast his lot with the Unitarian Universalists? A reflection on race and theology. “How much do we mean it when we talk about inclusion, about becoming an anti-racist religious community, when we are not willing to acknowledge, incorporate, or engage the historic theological realities alive among many people of color? […] Are we prepared to know what informs the survival strategies used by people on the margins? Are we prepared to accept that even when there are people of color within comfortable economic levels—as opposed to those poor uneducated people who don’t know any better than to praise God—there may be not only a theological but cultural understanding of the divine that travels with them into our sanctuaries?”
Nasreen, Mimi, Miguel, and Lee.