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Should we ask People of Color (POC) to lead our TeachIn?The #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn is not the time to ask POC congregants to teach about White Supremacy. We recommend that if you have a POC facilitator it be either an outside paid facilitator or a religious professional who has VOLUNTEERED to take on this task. In the materials we make clear that UU POC should be provided space and resources to caucus on their own to discuss this topic in whatever way feels meaningful to them. Please ASK, LISTEN and then SUPPORT what they need for the TeachIn.
Who runs the #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn?One hallmark of White Supremacy culture is the need to credit individuals, to uphold the myth of "individual exceptionalism". Another is that, frequently, the collaborative working style of people of color leaves POC without the type of "individual" credit for their work that our dominant culture recognizes. One of the most beautiful aspects to develop out of the TeachIn team was the unspoken determination of the team to credit the three POC leaders with the work of the entire team. Literally dozens of religious educators, lay leaders and other religious professionals spent hours currating and/or developing the resources for the TeachIns. And yet whenever they were asked they directed credit to Aisha, Christina and Kenny. And while the three team leaders did the majority of the facilitating of the TeachIn there is no way on earth it could have happened without the contributions of the whole. So here is a list of just some of those who contributed to the TeachIns. Certain that we've missed names we invite you to please let Chris know to add your name. We are all in this together! Aisha Ansano Aisha Hauser Bart Frost Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism Christina Rivera Jennica Davis-Hockett Jessica Laike Kari Kopnick Kenny Wiley Lauren Wyeth Leslie Mac Linda Middleton-Hill Meagan Henry Robin Slaw Safety Pin Box Sarah Gonzalez Starr Austin Tim Atkins Tracy Breneman
Why did the #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn happen?On March 28, 2017 a small group of religious educators met at the invitation of Kenny Wiley, Christina Rivera and Aisha Hauser. The topic of the call was to discuss how we collectively, as religuous educators, could provide leadership and direction in the White Supremacy controversy that was threatening the very fabric of Unitarian Universalism.* In that one hour Zoom call the #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn was born. What was remarkable about the call was the facility with which religious educators: 1 - identified the need for a ministerial response 2 - centered the POC leadership in the group 3 - embraced naming white supremacy as the issue 4 - were willing to put their own personal resources to work for our mutual liberation This amazing group of volunteer religious professionals then went on to lead the largest participation of UU congregations in any single denominational effort. Over 600 congregations signed on to hold a #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn on either April 30 or May 7, 2017. Yes, that's right, in under 30 days this group leaned into their faith and collaboratively created/currated materials for worship as well as nursery, childrens, youth and adult programming. For more about the success of the #WhiteSupremacyTeachIn check our News page. *For more information on what spurred this call to action, head to UUWorld.org and click the article “Critics decry white supremacy in hiring practices.” and the About Us page.
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