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.



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 in America from Members of the Undoing Racism Committee

From Valerie Wilson Wesley, Member of the Undoing Racism Committee

 My father was a decorated Tuskegee airman and a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Racial discrimination kept him from buying a home but he never lost faith in this country.  I don’t want my grandson to follow in his great grandfather’s footsteps. We are descendants from the place this president called the “shithole” of the world.  The tiki-torch carriers in Charlottesville last August looked remarkably like the 30,000 KKK members who filled the streets of DC in the twenties. I doubt if my father would risk his life again if he knew those hate-filled faces from his childhood would haunt that of his great grandson ninety-two years later.

America is a peculiar patchwork quilt of pieces that don’t fit.  We can’t acknowledge the horrors of African enslavement and its lingering impact on our present history and the diminishment of our national character.  We don’t see the crushing, persistent poverty that cripples families of every ethnicity. We ignore the stark disparity of resources between rich kids and poor ones.   

I’m proud of the two projects to which the Undoing Racism Committee has committed itself.   We want to publicize The Amistad Commission (www.nj.gov/education/amistad/resources/), an essential resource for parents and teachers that became law in 2002 but was ignored by the Christie administration.  It calls on schools to incorporate African-American history into the social studies curriculum and give all children a fuller, truer sense of American history.  

We’re also committed to the Poor People’s Campaign—A National Campaign for Moral Revival to–once again–confront the lingering poverty of so many Americans.  We can’t allow a craven political party and ignorant president to take the country so low. We can fight by opening our eyes, broadening our minds, deepening our hearts.   

Please join us in these efforts.  Email us at uucmurc@gmail.com and let us know if you are interested in the Amistad Commission subcommittee.  We suggest folks interested in the Poor Peoples’ Campaign to sign up at: https://poorpeoplescampaign.org/ to get direct information, and URC will be organizing direct action as the campaign unfolds.

The Undoing Racism Committee invites you to their next meeting on Sunday, February 18, 2018 from 12:15 to 1:45 PM in the Alliance Room. Planning will include the March 18 Jazz Lunch and Program, Poor People’s Campaign next steps, and Amistad Commission subcommittee. We welcome your participation and activism.  If you cannot attend and want to know how to get involved, email URC Chair Jane Gaertner (uucmurc@gmail.com).

Please note the date of Sunday, March 18, 2018 from 12:30 to 2:30 PM in Fletcher Hall for the Undoing Racism Committee’s March Program in Honor of Women’s History Month: “Beyond Isolation: Creating Safe Spaces for Women and Girls.” Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, Founder, GrassROOTS Community Foundation, and Professor of Sociology, John Jay College will be our guest speaker and Ami Brabson will be performing. There will be a luncheon with interweaving music and messages about what individuals and institutions can do to reduce poverty and violence for women and girls.