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

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On November 3, 2016, Undoing Racism Committee hosted  a program/book signing with Rev. David Billings of People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond on his new book:  “Deep Denial:  The Persistence of White Supremacy in United States History and Life ” at which 85 guests attended.   URC hosted and co-sponsored with Antiracist Alliance of No Jersey (ARA-NoJ) and European Dissent, New Jersey (ED- NJ).   Pictured:  Margery Freeman, trainer and organizer, PISAB; Jeff Hitchcock, ARA-NoJ and ED-NJ;  Rev. David Billings, antiracist trainer and organizer,  PISAB; Bonnie Cushing, ARA-NoJ and ED-NJ; Jane Gaertner, Chair, URC. 

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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

January 2017

Retrospectively, #BlackLivesMatter began through social media. It was founded by three black women, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tomiti as a “wake up call” as a stand for justice against the shooting deaths of unarmed young black men and women such as Travon Martin, Michael Brown, and Rekia Boyd by police officers without equal due process. We must stand together against inequalities in order for “All Lives to Matter.”

Presently, the #BlackLivesMatter campaign has expanded from the stationary pages on a website into a movement in the streets. It is successful because the movement is uniting black and white students who believe they are doing the right thing. That means we can have faith in the future. It has also gained the support of civic organizations and religious communities such as our own Unitarian-Universalists and many others. Many visibly display #BlackLivesMatter banners. Most of us support the movement for having the courage, intelligence, and humanistic consciousness to stand up against unjust police shootings and the lack of police accountability.

However, recently I hear people criticizing #BlackLivesMatter. Our president-elect Trump has criticized this movement, believing that “all lives matter.” But based on Trump’s rhetoric calling for a ban on Muslims and immigrants, his remarks about the disabled, women, and overweight Americans, and his vow to get rid of child welfare – I don’t believe his “all lives matter” stance will carry any weight under his administration.

The young members of #BlackLivesMatter are courageous and noble young men and women and we should support them in their quest for justice. In my view, slogans like “All Lives Matter” are based in snobbery, hatred of skin color, ignorance, and greed. These are the basic elements of systematic racism and sexism designed to control working class people. They are the instruments used to divide us and keep us from being in harmony, and to prevent us from standing together for decent jobs with a living wage, paid sick leave, housing, healthcare, childcare, and a just and fair criminal justice system with equal due process.  When we as a people acquire these quality of life needs for everyone, “All Lives Will Matter.”

Please join the Undoing Racism Committee for Conversations on Racism on Sunday, January 22, 2017 after the second service.  Amen.

Maretta Short
The Undoing Racism Committee