Reparations = Repair Nation

Reparations are the act or process of making amends for a wrong. 

Committed as a congregation to Undoing Racism, to increasing inclusion and ensuring equity, and having voted at our 2021 Annual Meeting to affirm and promote the 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism which commits us to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions, we as a congregation will focus our justice action on the umbrella goal of Reparations. Committed to making the work of justice accessible our Social Justice Coordinating Team will ensure that there are multiple avenues for our whole community to educate itself and pursue the work of reparations. What follows are immediate steps you can take to participate in this work. This page will be updated regularly. Please check back to see new avenues for engagement and education. 

Action: 

Are you called to “Say the Word” and work for Reparations? Please click on this survey and register your interest.

Add your signature TODAY to this petition calling for Unitarian Universalists to address reparations in New Jersey. 

Email your elected officials with one click Then drop the Social Justice Coordinating Team an email to let us know that you have participated in this advocacy. Our goal is 100 participants in this advocacy from our congregation. 

Connect with and act with our Electoral Justice Team who understand free and fair elections as a means to democratic accountability, and the repair of a system that has since it’s inception disenfranchised black citizens and citizens of color. Contact Teresa DeSousa – socialjustice@uumontclair.org

Engage in the UUFaithActionNJ Reparations Common Read and then sign up to participate in discussions or to lead a discussion on one of the chapters. Upcoming Common Read meetings will be for 6 sessions from 7:00 to 8:30 pm on February 23, March 9, March 23, April 6, April 27, and May 11, 2022.

Advocate for your town, city, or county pass a Reparations Task Force Act resolution similar to the one passed by Montclair (link to attached pdf), Trenton, Newark, Essex County, and other municipalities throughout New Jersey have passed. Contact Rev. Anya at revanya@uumontclair.org she can provide you with a sample letter and resolution.  

Advocate for the Preservation of the Howe House: The Howe HouseOne of Montclair’s earliest homes, also known as the “Freed Slave House” has been declared a historic property locally, but not yet by the state of New Jersey. The state declaration would provide the greatest means of restoration and respect for this remnant of a complicated history – a history of New Jersey’s slavery and a singular act of reparation. Called to advocate for the preservation of this property? Contact our Social Justice Coordinating Team: socialjustice@uumontclair.org

Education: 

Thank you to all who participated in our Reparations Education Event led by our Undoing Racism Education Team on Wednesday March 2, 2022. You can watch the event here.

A Win on the Road to Reparations in Montclair – With gratitude for the advocacy from this congregation Rev. Anya and the Social Justice Coordinating Team, share that on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, at the Montclair Town Council Meeting, the Town Council passed this resolution calling for a NJ Reparations Task Force following advocacy from our congregation and town. With this resolution, Montclair joins Trenton and Newark in endorsing the enactment of assembly bill A938/S386, the “New Jersey Reparations Task Force Act.” Each town or city that affirms the necessity for this work will put more pressure on our state legislature to bring forward and then pass this bill – calling for a Reparations Task Force for NJ. Do you want to advocate to see that your town or city council passes a similar resolution? Contact Rev. Anya at revanya@uumontclair.org. Say the Word – Reparations!

Watch this video to better understand the case for Reparations.

Watch this testimony by member Wendy McNeil on the need for Reparations.

Review this visually inspiring and informational material from our justice partner, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice to better understand the need for Reparations here in New Jersey. 

Read about the Eighth Principle of Unitarian Universalism to better understand why this commitment to Reparations is timely and necessary for Unitarian Universalists. 

Watch our March 27, 2022 sermon: An Open Letter to Gov. Murphy on the Need for Reparations in the Slave State of the North.