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@googlegroups.com


When we Meet:

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

Published in the Montclair Times
June 14, 2012


Generation Tech: Who We Are —

Sponsored by the Undoing Racism Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Montclair with the generous support of a grant from the Montclair Women’s Fund, we held a workshop for high school students to challenge racial and gender stereotypes and prejudices in pop culture on Saturday, April 4, 2009 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair.

This workshop helped high school students living in Essex County recognize and combat racial and gender stereotypes in their school and personal lives. The highly interactive event involved analyzing music, movie clips, and videos to gain an understanding of how history and culture impact the attitudes that are prevalent in present day America. Following the great success of last year’s more narrowly focused workshop, Dax-Devlon Ross returned to facilitate this expanded version.

We had 25 youth from Montclair, Newark, Caldwell, Bloomfield, and surrounding towns. There was a great diversity of ethnicity and race, and about 70% young girls. Thank you all for your support!!


Some URC Initiatives:

  •  Anti-racism Training. Since 1992, the URC has partnered with The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond in New Orleans to sponsor transformative training for our congregation and wider community on the core principles and consequences of racism and white privilege
  • Affordable Housing. URC support of affordable housing in Montclair for more than a decade has included participation in the Montclair Affordable Housing Coalition and the task force on rent regulation, fundraising for the Emergency Assistance Fund, and organized efforts to pass the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance (IZO).
  • Katrina Family Partnering. Working through the People’s Institute, the URC has work to provide ongoing contact and crucial elements of support
  • Lecture Series. Historical highlights of these widely attended educational events include:Film Series. Through screening, discussion, and analysis, participants explore the ways that race has been portrayed by filmmakers in American cinema and examine the larger influence of these images
    • “Our Place in the World” – Larry Hamm, People’s Organization for Progress
    • “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome” – Joy DeGruy Leary, Portland State University
    • “Moving Toward Peacemaking” – Dick Burr, NAACP Legal Defense Fund
    • “The Challenge of Katrina” – David Billings, People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond
    • Dance for Justice. For many years, the URC has hosted this annual community event, which draws participants from throughout Essex County and is a major fundraiser for our educational programs

Montclair African American Heritage Day Parade 2012