Undoing Racism Committee

We are a long-standing committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair whose goal is to work with our congregation and the wider community to develop, strengthen and act upon anti-racist, multicultural perspectives through worship services, educational programs, lectures, book & film discussions, other cultural events, and community involvement.

The goal of the Undoing Racism Committee is to give UUCM members and friends the opportunity to act on their commitments to racial justice. We work closely with the UU Legislative Ministry of NJ and seek guidance from the UU Association. Through self-examination and learning, we are able to act with more direction and impact.

Jane Gaertner serves as chair. For information, contact uucmurc@gmail.com.



The Undoing Racism Committee invites you to join their planning “Retreat” on Saturday, June 23, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM in the Peierls Room.  Join us with your ideas and energy to review our year of activism and plan for 2018-19 year. Rsvp to this link or Jane Gaertner at uucmurc@gmail.com.  A potluck lunch is planned.

Thank you to all participants who came and supported UUCM & URC at the Montclair African American Heritage Parade yesterday.  It was a glorious morning and we thank everyone who supported this wonderful community and coalition building event.  It was great to have Rev. Scott and Rev. Anya in their ministerial garb. 

For more info, please email uucmurc@gmail.com

When we Meet:

  • The URC meets on the third Sunday each month following the second service or after the single service when scheduled.

As I See It
A Monthly Take on Race by Shannon Gattens, UUCM Member

As a racial justice activist, my work often intersects with our Undoing Racism Committee (URC). I sit on the West Orange Human Relations Commission, have attended Ant-Racist Alliance workshops, and co-founded a discussion series on race in West Orange called Provocative Discussions. At one of these events called “Talking to Children About Race,” two panelists mentioned the New Jersey Amistad Commission. Its mandate is “to promote a wider implementation of educational awareness programs regarding the African slave trade, slavery in America, and the many contributions Africans have made to American society.” I became curious about how the mandate is implemented in our West Orange Schools. After several communications with the BOE and the district Social Studies chair, it was apparent that it had been adopted inconsistently and was poorly supported.

When I saw the URC’s most recent event with Stephanie James Harris, PhD, Executive Director of the NJ Amistad Commission, I knew I had to attend. I wanted to learn how I could push for more thoughtful, meaningful implementation of the curriculum. The discussion left me feeling informed and empowered.  I feel even more committed than ever in holding our BOE accountable for following the legislation more intentionally.

In the newest edition of UU World, I noted “Wakanda or Watts” by Adam Lawrence Dyer. Dyer talks about the ideological African oasis called Wakanda in the recent movie “Black Panther.” He highlights the fact that Unitarian Universalism falls short when it comes to highlighting heroic black historical figures including Egbert Ethelred Brown, Revs. Joseph Jordan and Thomas Wise. He feels that we are at a crossroads; a tipping point. Right then, I realized that we have a lot of work to do right here in our spiritual home. For homework, look up these black UU heroes, remember them, talk about them and teach about them.