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This program is designed for congregational teams of three or more because “knotty” conversations benefit from group inquiry and effort. While having conversations with yourself can be beneficial, it’s harder to work out the knots alone.

PRESENTERS: New England Region UUA Staff Team and Rev. Michael Crumpler, UUA LGBTQ and Multicultural Programs Director

Knotty Conversations for Dismantling White Supremacy, a program originally developed for congregations in New England, is now accessible nationwide as an online program through the UU Leadership Institute.

Enroll today if you and your teammates are navigating the challenges of dismantling white supremacy in your congregation. Topics covered include:

  • Cultural Appropriation
  • Calling Out, Calling In, and Staying Together
  • Dealing with Shame, Fragility, and Denial
  • Following the Leadership of People of Color
  • Allies, Accomplices, Collective Liberation

This program gives participants an opportunity to consider and discuss these issues from different angles and perspectives, to try on some new ideas, to ask some hard questions of themselves and/or each other, and to share some of the concerns these issues raise for them as they work for transformation in their congregations.

As the name implies, this course is designed to be taken by partners or teams who will work it together in conversation. For the optimum experience, form a team with others in your congregation and take it together. Go at the pace that works for your group — 7 days, 7 weeks, 7 months. You can also take it on your own if that’s your only option. (More about group registration here.)

Each module in the course has 4 parts:

  1. Preparation: some resources for you to watch, read, and/or listen on your own time at your own pace. These resources set up the module topic and help you prepare for your team meetings.
  2. Framing: Resources from your presenters to guide the discussion and frame the specific conversation of the module, including some stories of how these issues show up in real life.
  3. Your Turn: Conversation is the most important part of this course! Gather your team for conversations guided by the questions and other resources we have provided. Most conversations include a combination of sharing in rounds and more general discussion. You will meet at least 7 times and depending on the size of your group, for about 60-90 minutes.
  4. Going Deeper: An optional compilation of additional resources to go deeper into a particular subject.

We call these “knotty conversations” because each focuses on hard topics. The purpose of each session is to raise questions that come up when we commit ourselves to dismantling racist systems. There are no easy answers. There are no answers everyone would agree on. The resources we offer are meant to prime the pump for your conversations with yourself and with each other. Your work together is not to arrive at a “final understanding” of any of these topics but to explore together and grow your collective capacity for engaging complex issues with each other.

We are grateful that through the UU Institute we can offer the training as an online experience making it accessible to more people and more congregations.

Gather your team and sign up soon!

NOTE: While these “Knotty Conversations” are primarily designed to support white people to address white supremacy culture in Unitarian Universalism, we welcome and celebrate the participation of people of color. We recognize that Black, Indigenous, and other people of color have a unique position and perspective in navigating whiteness. We encourage teams with white participants to purposefully center the wisdom and lived experience of your BIPOC teammates. 

* Please review the FAQ re: group registration to learn more about getting your team registered together.

** For those who have taken Claiming Our Spiritual Leadership, please know this is less of a curriculum than that course and more a guide for conversations.

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