After the the pain, anger and hurt of the Black Empowerment Controversy in the late 1960s, it was over a decade before the Unitarian Universalist Association restarted any efforts toward anti-racism. The story is complicated, and has been well-documented in the 2009 book The Arc of the Universe is Long: Unitarian Universalists, Anti-Racism and the Journey from Calgary by Leslie Takahashi, Chip Roush and Leon Spencer. The book–parts of which are companion reading for this training– includes over 600 pages of stories, interviews and other details of the history.
In February of 2020, Rev. Mel Hoover, Dr. Leon Spencer, and Lutricia Callair, LCSW gathered for a series of conversations about their anti-racism work in Unitarian Universalism. Their stories give voice to their faith in UU theology, the desire to build beloved community, and the depth of commitment toward collective liberation.
This training will deepen your congregation’s understanding about this history and will raise your awareness and appreciation of our ancestors, elders, and descendents who have been calling us to an 8th principle: 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.
We recommend that you take this training with others in your congregation and use the discussion questions to prompt your own commitment to this transformative work.