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 undoingracism@uumontclair.org.


Hear Bruce Pollack-Johnson, Eighth Principle co-author, December 14, 2020 from 7-8pm

Undoing Racism and Eighth Principle Project Team invite you to learn about the Eighth Principle on Monday, December 14, 2020 from 7-8 pm.

 Bruce Pollack-Johnson, co-author of this proposed change to UU Seven Principles, will talk about its conception by Paula Coles Jones, Eighth Principle history, and his congregation’s adoption of this principle. We hope you will join us!

Undoing Racism Dec 20 Meeting 1-2 pm

During December’s Undoing Racism December meeting, please plan to enjoy your favorite lunch as we share an hour together. We’ll talk about our hopes for 2021 as it relates to undoing racism.  Hopes.  That’s our agenda.

Email us for Zoom links. 


Racism As We See It

From Jane Gaertner, Co-Chair, Undoing Racism Committee

 The photo included in this article is one I took in October at Columcille, a stone megalith park in Bangor, PA.  It is ‘manon,’ one of their tallest stones.  I noticed the crack and had to capture it.  It kind of inspired this article.

Cracks appear in foundations, whether it be granite or our country. In the U.S., the past four years revealed fissures that existed for years and now racism is explicitly named. Since 1776 we have not lived the truth that all persons are created equal. As we face our complicity and stare at the stark cracks – AKA the TRUTH – what do/can we do?

One of the causes of these fissures is a resistance, sometimes unconscious, of white people to acknowledge their part in perpetuating the myth of whiteness. We acknowledge that we must work to undo racism, which includes among other actions: de-centering whiteness, learning true history of   oppression and beginning reparations discussions. As UU’s, we can work on our individual parts, e.g, The Eight Principle (www.8thprincipleuu.org).

As anti-racist organizers, we can organize and impact change via systems, supporting justice actions of UU FaithAction (www.uufaithaction.org) and Salvation and Social Justice (sandsj.org) two statewide organizations with whom we collaborate. Become connected with these organizations, by subscribing to their newsletters. On a local initiative, groups will participate in the Prophetic Assembly on Policing, Montclair (tinyurl.com/y3uw74tf), an interfaith effort by Montclair Clergy. The open wound of racism is glaring. There are multiple ways to join the work.


Participating in an immigration rally on June 17, 2018.

Dale Harris (actor), Jessicaa Baskerville (playwright), and Mechi Antoine Brown at “Just As Cruel” rehearsal immediately before staged reading at UUCM on October 24th.
Our event on October 24, 2019: “Just as Cruel,” a staged reading by MSU alum, Jessica Baskerville, which confronts that history, followed by a panel discussion with Jane Elias of of Montclair History Center, MSU professors Dr. Leslie Wilson and Dr. Chris Matthews, and two students from MSU Collegiate Chapter of the NAACP. The thrust of the performance, “Just as Cruel,” hearkens back to history of slavery in New Jersey. The inspiration for the play began when the play’s director, Mechi Antoine Brown, learned about an interview of two people formerly enslaved in Essex County, New Jersey. The interviews was published in the New York Times in 1882. (Photo courtesy of Deborah Ann Tripoldi)

Our November 13, 2019 event, “Intersections: Ending Gender Violence, Finding Anti-Racist Solidarity,” led by Rev. Dr. Tracy C. West (photo courtesy of Mary Moriarty).