How Racism Impacts UU’s and Our Congregation Study Group

Rev. Barnaby will lead a 5-session class every other Thursday starting from Oct. 14. Our main text will be the UU Association’s Widening the Circle Report, an in-depth study issued in 2020 looking at how racism shows up within Unitarian Universalism. The report also focuses on what Black, Indigenous, and other UU’s identifying of People of Color want to see from the rest of us in response. Rev. Barnaby will provide readings from the report before the sessions.  The one-hour sessions run from 5:15-6:15 pm and are preceded at 5 pm with a check-in for those who would like to share in that form of Fellowship as we light a chalice. This will be a highly participatory workshop-style class in which we will minister to each other.  We’ll start with Zoom and decide whether one or more of the later sessions could be in person. Contact revbarnby@cvuus.org to sign up.

Widening the Circle of Concern Workshop Overview

What we will work on in this course:

  • Learning about the ongoing impact of racism on Unitarian Universalism;
  • Identifying ways of thinking, rules and policies, customs and rituals that might have harmful impacts on BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) CVUUS members and visitors without most of us realizing it;
  • Identifying ways of thinking, rules and policies, customs and rituals that we have reason to believe will work to dismantle racism in our denomination, congregation, and the wider community.
  • Reaching a common understanding of what we mean when using words that crop up frequently in anti-racism work (A few examples: centering, accountability, micro-aggression; unconscious bias; whiteness).

What we can hope to take away in addition to specific knowledge and action items generated by the work described above:

  • Skills and perspective to help us identify the ongoing impact of racism in other institutions with which we interact in some way;
  • Skills and perspective to help us identify the ongoing impact of racism on our families, friendships, and other private collective relationships;
  • Skills and perspective to help us scrutinize the ongoing impact of racism on ourselves individually;
  • Increased understanding of how racism intersects with other forms of oppression and non-human threats such as climate change;
  • Hope, faith, and joy in our capacity to lovingly engage the biggest challenges of our lives.
  • Deeper connections to those who have joined us in this work.

The Six Workshop Meetings will Begin on Zoom with the possibility of adding the option of in-person gathering at CVUUS if Covid conditions permit as we progress.

Workshop Dates: Starting Thursday Oct. 14 and then every other Thursday with the exception of the 5th class, which will move from Thanksgiving (Nov. 25) to the following Thursday (Dec. 2).

Workshop Times: Chalice Lighting and fellowship starts at 5 pm. Class work runs from 5:15-6:15 pm.

Homework: Substantial homework will be recommended for those who have the time and desire to dive deeper on this material. There will be a goal of spotlighting work that should take about an hour that everyone taking the workshop should aspire to doing.