Opportunities to Support Racial Justice
As Unitarians, we are all outraged following the inhumane murder of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25, 2020. We recognize that his murder stems from centuries of racial violence against innocent, unarmed Black men, women, and children in this country to uphold systems of white supremacy, and also that this violence stretches back to the founding of this country here in Virginia with the genocide of Indigenous Nations inhabiting this land.
Unfortunately, this violence too frequently continues to be perpetuated in policies and practices that inflict undue suffering and harm to communities of color. We know now is the time for people of faith and good will to stand up and speak out. If this describes you, following are some racial justice organizations that will help you get better informed and provide volunteer and witnessing opportunities:
- Support Black-Owned Businesses whenever possible
- Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP)
- Current petition to sign against Racism
- Series of weekly virtual discussions currently focusing on racial justice
- Investigating a possible legislative action to eliminate Money Bail in Virginia
- Campaign Zero
- Excellent information on 10 policy initiatives (8 that can’t wait) that would significantly change police/community interactions.
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) NoVA
- Goal is activating white people to work for racial justice in the Northern Virginia area.
- Seeking investigations of the deaths of Natasha McKenna (2015) and the firing of the Fairfax officers involved.
- Justice Forward Virginia
- Non-partisan political action committee (PAC) bringing attention to the urgent need for criminal justice reform
- Develops legislation and supports candidates who advocate for comprehensive reforms to Virginia’s criminal justice system
- Current series of webinars in the run-up to special session of the General Assembly
- The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL)
- M4BL seeks to reach millions, mobilize hundreds of thousands, and organize tens of thousands, so that Black political power is a force able to influence national and local agendas.
- Six long standing policy platforms with two new ones specific to what is happening in 2020:
- Demand that the rights of protestors be respected and protected and that there be no abuse of powers.
- Demand immediate relief for minority communities from the impacts of the pandemic.
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- The ACLU of Virginia is one of 54 local offices across the U.S. working with attorneys and activists in their communities to shape better policies and spread awareness about their states’ priority civil rights issues.
- People Power is the ACLU’s platform for grassroots action working with volunteers and supporters to defend civil liberties and civil rights…..many opportunities to volunteer.
- ACLU of Minnesota filed a lawsuit on behalf of journalists who were targeted and attacked by police for covering protests over the killing of George Floyd
- Black Lives Matter works to organize and mobilize in response to anti-Black violence and structural inequality.
- Black Visions Collective works to build movements from the ground up with an integrated model to create the conditions for long-term success and transformation.
- Color of Change leads campaigns that build real power for Black communities by helping people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us.
- La ColectiVA is an inclusive collaborative led by gente Latinx who are committed to upholding social justice and equity.
Study Issue: Racial Justice
Study Issue News!
Thank you for Joining the Racial Justice Committee for the 8th Principle Town Hall. If you missed it, you can view our 8th Principle Town Hall slides here.
There are also documentaries on the history in the UUA and the need to pass the 8th Principle now: Wilderness Journey: The Struggle for Black Empowerment and Racial Justice within the UUA 1967-1970 and How Strong is Our Faith With and Without the 8th Principle. It is recommended to watch Wilderness Journey before the sermon on the proposed 8th Principle.
Please join us for these upcoming events:
- Racial Justice Committee Meeting, April 6, 2021, 7:00 – 8:30 pm – (All are welcome). Contact [email protected] for link.
- Discussion of the Documentary 13th, April 25, 2021, 11:00 – 12:00 pm (coffee hour). Join members of the Racial Justice Committee for a coffee discussion of the Netflix documentary, 13th. The documentary traces the history of the U.S. prison system and its inextricable ties to maintaining racial inequities. Watch the 100-minute film before April 25th and join us for the discussion right after worship services on that day. If you do not have Netflix, you can also watch it for free on YouTube. Commonsense media recommends the documentary for adults and mature teens.
Advocate with your $$$$: Please support Black Owned Businesses with this list created by Mary Kringer. Also includes information about companies that have supported the Black Lives Matter movement. Check out the list of Bookstores across the US (all Black Owned) to purchase any of the books from Nancy Davis’ booklist:
In support of AUUC’s focus on Racial Justice this and into next church year, Nancy Davis compiled a bibliography of books, films and other media on racial justice issues, Black history, and trailblazers. This listing includes items for young children, upper elementary and middle school age, young adults, and adults: Racial Justice Resources Bibliography or https://tinyurl.com/4g3umrus. Please note there are multiple “sheets,” including summaries of many of the items listed on the first sheet. To help grow and expand this bibliography, please share titles that you’ve read or viewed related to racial justice with Nancy at [email protected].
Additional Resources for Further Study
- Why we need to diversify our reading material: A list of 24 books by Black authors
- The Children’s Diversity and Justice Library Books on Beloved Community
RACISM & HISTORY OF RACISM (KIDS):
- Let’s Talk about Race by Julius Lester (Ages K-2)
- The Boy Who Asked Why by Bhimrao Ambedkar, about the struggle for equality in India (Grades 2-4)
- Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi (Middle School Age and up), a “not-history” book about the constructs of race and racism. Note: A younger version is coming out in 2021.
- Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Harris (Grades 4-7)
- We Rise, We Resist, We Raise our Voices a collection of fifty diverse authors, edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson (Grades 3-7).
RACISM & HISTORY OF RACISM (ADULTS):
- Enslaved.org a searchable database about slavery
- In Between by Mark Morrison-Reed, a personal account of growing up Black during the Civil Rights era
- The New York Times 1619 Podcast hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, examines the long shadow of American slavery.
- Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
- Talking About Race a website by the National Museum of African American History and Culture