Racial Justice Ministry
The mission of the Racial Justice Ministry is to:
raise awareness and understanding of an engagement with race and racism. This includes our individual and collective opportunities to achieve racial justice.
We are also guided by the UU 8th Principle, which asks us 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.
Click HERE to view 6 slides with a summary of our mission, vision, goals for 2022-2023 goals, activities, and proposed programs.
BUUFers are invited to join in Anti-Racism Learning Circles starting in March and hosted by the First Unitarian Church of Portland, Advancing Racial Justice Action Group (ARJAG). All sessions are on Zoom so you can participate from anywhere.
LEARNING CIRCLES are small discussion cohorts based on a book or podcast. Each cohort (typically 4-12 participants) gathers for a series of facilitated Zoom discussions. Advance registration is required and participants are asked to attend all sessions in order to build bonds of trust and insight. Each learning circle includes “homework” to be completed before each session.
Three LEARNING CIRCLES are offered:
- Seeing White. This is based on an award-winning podcast series about our real history – the one none of us were taught in school – plus supplementary videos & articles; 11 weekly Zoom sessions, 90m each, from March 13 to May 22, 2023.
- The Land That Has Never Been Yet. This is podcast series is about democracy and whether we have ever really had one (the sequel to the Seeing White series), plus supplementary videos & articles; 10 Zoom weekly sessions, 90m each, from March 14 to May 30, 2023.
- How We Win the Civil War: Securing a Multiracial Democracy and Ending White Supremacy For Good. This is based on a book by Steve Phillips in which the author warns that the Confederates never stopped fighting the Civil War.; 7 weekly Zoom sessions, 90m each, from March 22 to May 17, 2023.
For full descriptions, including dates and time, and to register go to: LEARNING CIRCLE REGISTRATION
Each item is a link to a short, interesting article.
- How Neighborhoods Used Restrictive Housing Covenants to Block Nonwhite Families, Evans, 2022. Read how racially restrictive covenants began after the Great Migration of the early 20th century and continue to the present. Article posted 2/27/2023.
- From Jan 6 to Tyre Nichols, American Life is Still Defined by Caste, Wilkerson, 2023. Read how the author uses “caste” to understand recent events including book bans, abortion restrictions, the 1/6 insurrection, and police killings of you Black people. Article posted 2/27/2023.
- Who’s Afraid of Black History, Gates 2023. Read the author’s thoughts about the “long tradition of bitter, politically suspect battles” about 3 important periods in US history: the Civil War, Reconstruction and the “redemption” that followed. Article posted 2/18/2023.
- All Rise: A Response to Racial Injustice, Marsalis, 2020. Read about the author’s view of the “cacophony of crazy” and the critical need for all of us to reject injustice with consistent and “relentless individual action.”
- Indian Country’s Right to say No, Martin, 2021. Read about the “basic right to consultation” that tribal nations should have – the right held by any sovereign nation. Article posted 1/17/2023.
More quick reads can be found HERE.
People to know
Each of the following names is a link to a short biography, with additional resources, of someone who has made our world a better place.
- DOLORES HUERTA. labor activist and community organizer. Posted 3/6/2023.
- ETHEL LOIS PAYNE: Journalist. Posted 2/18/2023.
- FANNIE LOU HAMER: Voting rights and economic rights activist. Posted 12/11/2022.
- JAUNE QUICK-TO-SEE SMITH: Visual artist, arts advocate, art educator. Posted 11/28/2022.
- CHARLES HARRISON: Industrial designer. Posted 11/22/2022.
Click HERE for the complete collection of people to know.
Events in US history
Each of the following items is a link to information about an event that is both relatively unknown and noteworthy because of its impact, then and now, on the history of the US.
- CHICAGO 1919 / RED SUMMER. Posted 11/4/2022.
- TULSA 1921. Posted 9/12//2022.
Words and phrases
Each of the following terms is a link to information about a word or phrase about race and racial justice that is common in print materials, videos, and discussions.
Racial Justice Ministry Programs
The Racial Justice Ministry offers a variety of programs intended to help anyone learn more about racism and become more engaged with racial justice activities. These programs are briefly described below.
Racial Justice Education
During the fall of 2019 and winter of 2020, the RJM held monthly in-person programs using videos and group discussions to increase awareness and understanding of topics related to race and racism. The programs were discontinued during March of 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic but will resume during the fall of 2020 using Zoom. Handout materials from each of the past programs can be found at Monthly program materials. RJ Education also posts links to short suggested videos with suggested questions or activities. Posted videos can be found at Suggested videos of the month
Wake Up Coffee Circle
Every Wednesday, 9:00-10:30 AM Wednesdays via Zoom. These unstructured conversations are open to all interested individuals and offer opportunities to talk about recent events or whatever else might be on our minds, related to racial justice, and to support one another. Drop in any time, stay as long as you want. Information about the Coffee Circle, including the Zoom link can be found in each week’s BUUF “Weekly Gazette.”
Racial Justice Community Google Group
The Racial Justice Community is a group of BUUF and community members who share information, announcements, resources and support as we work toward racial justice. To join the group simply send your name and email address to email@example.com and ask to join.
The purpose of this website is to provide a variety of resources on race and racism. We invite you to be a regular visitor to the website. If we can make this website more