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.


Participating in an immigration rally on June 17, 2018.

Book Discussion from our Undoing Racism Committee

The Undoing Racism Committee at UUCM invites you to participate in a three-part discussion group on the book “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo in Alliance Room on Thursdays, May 2, 16, and 30, 2019 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Books will be available for sale (and two for loan) on Sundays during Connection Cafe.

As UUs, we are willing to have deep discussions about racism. DiAngelo writes, “[we are still] affected by the forces of racism as a member of society in which racism is the bedrock . . . If we want to challenge this construct, we must make an honest accounting of how it is manifest in our own lives and in the society around us.”

Register at: https://onrealm.org/uumontclair/PublicRegistrations/Event?linkString=M2JhZDg1M2ItMWY2OS00YjcyLThhOTYtYWEwODAxMTQ2Mjg4

For more information, contact the URC at uucmurc@gmail.com.


As I See It
A Monthly Take on Racism by Jane Gaertner on behalf of the Undoing Racism Committee

Building upon January’s gazette article by Nicole Gray to heed the call to justice and how we can move forward, I share reactions to three MLK events. Of Rev. Charles Boyer’s sermon in Montclair, put together by interfaith clergy, Nicole wrote:

“I was moved to tears at the interfaith MLK service at St. Paul Baptist. There were moments of rapturous joy, but we were reminded that in many ways, things are just as bad for black people as they were in the 1960’s—and it is by design. As the reverend read the stats, I felt like screaming in frustration, BUT he said that instead of being driven to despair or anger or hate, to redirect those impulses towards love and relentless activism to get justice where injustice prevails. He said that hatred is undisciplined. We must be disciplined internally and externally.” 

I attended West Orange Human Relations Commission Celebration at which Michellene Davis, Esq., a healthcare executive, spoke. She reminded us that to change the social determinants of health, we have to change the systems that constructed the current system. She spoke forcefully about how we must and can de-construct the system.  A charge to the audience: “I know we’re singing to the choir, but go home and tell the ones who didn’t come.” A great action we must do.

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver keynoted the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race event.  I’ve always enjoyed this interfaith event as it brings together leaders from Hindu, Protestant, Buddhist, Islamic, Jewish and B’hai faiths, plus we all cross arms, grasp hands, and sing “We Shall Overcome.”  Lt. Gov. Oliver noted that many fulfill Dr. King’s vision daily with our socially progressive action agendas. She said that social justice movements grew out of faith leadership and posited that our continuing injustice in the United States is due to ignorance.

How do we heed the call today? This year?  At the UUCM January 20 service, Rev. Anya asked us to read Rev. Barber’s The Third Reconstruction and to support the NJ Prophetic Agenda (njpropheticagenda.org). It will take work, intention and attention. Let’s keep building coalitions.

If you would like more information about URC, please email uucmurc@gmail.com