Banner Raising Ceremony!

The SJMC is thrilled to share with you that the Board has approved the raising of our Black Lives Matter banner on the facade of the church until the end of June 2018! The SJMC thanks all of you for offering us important feedback throughout this process. We are grateful. We will hold our banner raising ceremony at noon on Sunday, April 2nd in the front of our church. Please come join us. All are welcome!

Black Lives Matter Resolution

Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church

March 2017

WHEREAS, Unitarian Universalists strive for justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

WHEREAS, Unitarian Universalists have a goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

WHEREAS, our Unitarian Universalist principles call us as individuals and as a congregation to challenge injustice;

WHEREAS, the Black Lives Matter movement has gained powerful traction in conjunction with recent tragic events involving, in particular, police brutality and institutionalized racism that target the black community;

WHEREAS, people of all ages and races are killed by law enforcement, yet black people ages 20-24 are seven times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than any other group;

WHEREAS, mass incarceration fueled by for-profit prisons and racially biased police practices drive the disproportionate imprisonment of black and brown Americans;

WHEREAS, the school-to-prison pipeline is an urgent concern because 40% of students expelled from U.S. public schools are black and one out of three black men is incarcerated during his lifetime;

WHEREAS, the Unitarian Universalist Association’s 2015 General Assembly passed a resolution in support of the Back Lives Matter movement; and

WHEREAS, the ‘Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism’ organization and other Unitarian Universalist People of Color organizations and leaders have asked Unitarian Universalist congregations to support the Black Lives Matter movement and black-led racial justice organizations.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, the Board of the Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church, vote to raise our Black Lives Matter banner which states ‘All Lives Won’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter’ and display it on the facade of our church until the end of the church year in 2018. In doing so, we mean

To affirm our commitment to the inherent worth and dignity of every person;

To affirm our commitment to justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

To affirm our commitment to racial justice;

To affirm our commitment, as a predominantly white congregation to study and reflect on white privilege and our own complicity in institutionalized racism;

To raise the consciousness of the broader community, our Town government, and the leaders of our public schools on issues of racial justice and to encourage appropriate policy changes to address institutionalized racism in our community;

To remain mindful of the interconnected nature of racism and other systems of oppression that impact people based on class, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, age, culture, religion, and language.

Beyond the Banner

We want to raise the banner to show that our church stands on the side of racial justice because of our Unitarian Universalist principles. However, we see the banner as only the beginning. In the coming months, we plan to expand on this one action in multiple ways:

  • Facilitate a congregational reading group for Waking Up White by Debby Irving;
  • Host a screening of The Color of Fear, a documentary on interracial dialogue about racism with a discussion led by Ted Johnson, HUUC member and Brandeis professor of Conflict Resolution and Coexistence;
  • Reach out to the greater community and invite neighboring churches, schools, police, and governmental leaders to have a conversation about Black Lives Matter and the topic of Racial Justice;
  • Host a series of workshops offered by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). SURJ helps white communities move from consciousness raising about white privilege to activism;
  • Develop and maintain an enduring congregation-wide commitment to Racial Justice.

Additional Resources

Michelle Alexander “The Future of Race in America” TED TalkxColumbus

Bruce Western on Mass Incarceration

13th Official Documentary Trailer

The Talk: Race in America (PBS)

The Kalief Browder Story

For more information please contact SJMC Chair Steve Farough.