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.


 

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Next URC Meeting:  Sunday, September 17 following 11 am service in the Alliance Room.  Please join us!  There are many activities already in motion and we need your talent, time, and energy! Email uucmurc@gmail.com  to reach Jane Gaertner, Chair of Undoing Racism if you can attend.

Thank you to 16 UUCM members and several friends who came on June 3, 2017 to march and show support at the Montclair African Heritage Foundation parade.  We had a great time and were well received by everyone cheering us on!

 

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

September 2017

In mid-July, several events were held to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Newark rebellion.  Georgiana attended the March and Memorial for the men and women shot and killed during the rebellion. A Newark cab driver, John Smith, had been arrested for an alleged traffic violation. Cab drivers and Newark residents demonstrated outside the precinct and 5 days of fight back began. The reaction followed years of racist harassment and oppression, much like the events leading up to the Ferguson rebellion. Most deaths were caused by the police and National Guard cross-firing at each other. People testified as to how there were no roof snipers as reported, among other inconsistencies.  At the memorial, a woman read the ballistic record, citing the names of 27 killed, one as young as 10, another 73 years old.  

This Rebellion event was organized by the People’s Organization for Progress (POP), an independent, community based group that believes in community oversight of the police (and a group URC has partnered in the past).  The spokesperson referenced how racism has been used to divide and conquer the working class, reinforcing the necessity for black/white unity to forge the struggle.

Jane attended an intergenerational panel sponsored by the NJ Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ), a nonprofit fighting structural inequality. The panelists offered ideas and inspiration on moving Newark forward.  URC will support NJISJ’s Campaign to close two NJ youth ‘schools’ which some view as prisons.  We were proud to see UU’s well represented at the NJISJ rally at Jamesburg School for Boys and invite you to continue our coalition building and support local and larger efforts in social justice.  Join our efforts to support POP and NJISJ to address the school to prison pipeline and rising inequity.

Sincerely,
Georgiana Hart (Newark resident who attended Rutgers-Newark 1965-67)
Jane Gaertner (employee in Newark 1991-present and Chair, URC)