Racial Justice at All Souls
All Souls Church subscribes to eight Principles. Seven are agreements made by all congregations as part of joining the Unitarian Universalist Association. A growing number of congregations are adopting an 8th Principle, included below, which All Souls did in December 2017. In these principles, we covenant to affirm and promote:
… 8) journeying towards 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.
Numerous groups at All Souls Church carry out racial justice work in various forms.
There are two Board-Charted groups with time-limited goals:
The Transformation Team: In April 2018, the Board established an ad hoc committee called the Transformation Team to advise and assist the Board on potential staffing, accountability, and governance changes with the intention of aligning the institutional framework of the Church with this goal. Transformation Team Terms of Reference.
The Security Committee is an ad hoc committee of Board, Staff, and lay leaders tasked (in April 2020) with researching, engaging the congregation, and making recommendations on the church’s security policies. Informational packet on the Security Committee.
There is one ongoing, lay-led group focused on internal education and training:
The 8th Principle Task Force focuses on bringing the Jubilee Anti-Racism Training (and Jubilee Kids) to All Souls, and hosting the monthly ADORE (A Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity) sessions that focus on major race-related topics. Visit the church calendar to see upcoming events.
Nearly every other group in the social justice ministry focuses on race/racism in some way. Several have it as central to their mission, including:
- Racial Justice Action is a new group dedicated to working externally and directly on racial justice issues, starting with defunding the police. Sign-Up here to join.
- The Beckner Advancement Fund Committee seeks to “ support the leadership and experiences of impacted communities as a means to achieve systemic change.” in addressing “structural racism and oppression.”
- The Migrant Solidarity Team is dedicated to making our community, city, and country a safe and welcoming place for all people, regardless of immigration status.
- The Reeb Project for Voting Rights is dedicated to increasing voter participation and ending voter suppression, particularly in communities with historically low voter participation and in partnership with organizations that center the leadership of people of color.
- The Green Souls, Housing Ministry, and Reproductive Justice Initiative also bring a racial justice lens to their work.