At the UUCC Annual Meeting on June 7, 2020, UUCC members voted overwhelmingly to adopt the following resolution:
We, the members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia, Maryland, covenant to affirm and promote the building of a diverse, multicultural Beloved Community where BIPOC*, LGBTQ+**, and other marginalized communities find respite from racism and other oppressions. We commit to educating ourselves and to taking actions that dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves, our institutions, and the broader community working in accordance with each person’s unique abilities and approaches.
* BIPOC = Black, Indigenous, People of Color
** LGBTQ+ = lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning + other sexualities and non-binary genders
To ensure this work is carried forward in an effective, thoughtful, and coordinated manner, the UUCC Board of Trustees decided on August 11 that it will form an ad hoc committee charged with developing and recommending a framework for action to carry this resolution forward. The Board also decided to invite congregants to volunteer for the committee, with a view deciding on the committee’s composition and final purpose and charge in September. The Board further decided to publish a draft “purpose and charge” (below) to inform prospective committee members about the Board’s intentions for the committee.
Draft Committee Purpose and Charge
Purpose: To examine ways UUCC congregants and groups already work to educate themselves and to take actions aimed at dismantling racism and other oppressions, identify areas that appear ripe for further engagement, and recommend ways that congregants might engage individually and collectively to deepen their understandings and advance anti-racism/anti-oppression efforts for themselves, our institutions, and the broader community.
Committee Charge (through June 2021)
- Action inventory and opportunity analysis. Engage with UUCC constituent groups to understand the nature and extent of our existing anti-racism/anti-oppression efforts and to identify potential opportunities where further UUCC engagement may be useful to advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in our community..
- Recommendations. Develop recommendations on potential tools, processes, resources, and/or other activities that UUCC congregants might use to deepen their understandings, strengthen commitments, advance anti-racism/anti-oppression work, and promote justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Other activities. Subject to the committee’s recommendations and Board guidance (where necessary), spearhead the organization, coordination, and facilitation of other activities that further the purposes set forth above.
- Communications. Advise the Board periodically regarding the committee’s activities, emerging observations, and/or recommendations/questions warranting further Board guidance. Communicate with the congregation at the discretion of the committee’s Chair.
- Process Consistency. In carrying out its work and to be consistent with the goal of building a diverse, multi-cultural Beloved Community, strive to act compassionately, constructively, and in accordance with UU principles and UUCC’s congregational covenant.