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.

Solitary Confinement is Torture – Help End It In New Jersey

Sponsored by The Undoing Racism and Legislative Ministry Committees of UUCM and  Blue Wave NJ, join us for a Panel Discussion with State Senator Raymond Lesniak, Bonnie Kerness of AFSC Prison Watch, and Ojore Lutalo, former inmate and artist. on Sunday, June 12th, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM in the Peierls Room (luncheon served at 1 pm). Please click here for a flyer.  For more info and to RSVP, contact Diane Finn.


 As I See It: A Monthly Take on Race in America from Members of the Undoing Racism Committee

The goal of the Undoing Racism Committee is to work with our congregation and the wider community to develop an understanding of racism in our culture. Our objectives are to provide a safe place to explore the relationship between white privilege and systemic racial oppression, to put a critical lens on history and current events, to deepen our understanding of racial oppression and to serve as a resource in developing anti-racist identities and multi-cultural perspectives. To that end, URC has launched  Conversations on Black Lives Matter, a four part conversation for UUCM and concerned community members to come together to better understand the BLM movement and how we can support it.

The ongoing struggle for racial justice in our country is a multi-faceted struggle that is rooted in history, culture, economic policy, politics and violence. These words were expressed in a recent article by Maggie Joralemon, founding member of URC and the recent co-facilitator of the Conversation on BLM, titled “White Privilege.” The point is that racism is less about one’s personal attitude toward people of color and more about the pervasive, systemic and deeply rooted advantages that white skin conveys in our society. The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB)) frequently shocks white people of good will when they proclaim them to be racists. Members of our own congregation have been repelled by this notion and have vowed to never attend another workshop!

What the People’s Institute is trying to impress upon us is that racism is an institution that perpetuates itself because it benefits many in very perverse ways. But are these so called benefits worth the price we are paying as human beings? We invite you to join the next Conversation on Black Lives Matter on Sunday, April 21st, when our topic will be Mass Incarceration & Police Terror.

If you would like any information on the Undoing Racism Committee or info on our upcoming events, please send me an email at r.doggett@comcast.net.

Becky Doggett
Chair, The Undoing Racism Committee

When we Meet:

  • The URC meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 7:30 PM.

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