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.


 

On Thursday, October 18, 2018 there will be a rally at the Church Street Plaza to call attention to Voter Disenfranchisement as part of the Month of Resistance against Mass Incarceration. The rally will start at 5 pm and conclude with a short march to the UUCM to be followed by a discussion featuring Ron Pierce, Democracy and Social Justice Fellow of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Pierce, who was incarcerated for 30 years, will talk voting rights and this issue’s personal impact.  RSVP at: https://urc_uucmoct18.eventbrite.com. Please contact Jane Gaertner if you are interested in helping at either event.

For more info, please email uucmurc@gmail.com


When we Meet:

  • The URC meets on the third Sunday each month following the second service or after the single service when scheduled.

UPDATE:  The URC OCTOBER 21, 2018 MEETING HAS BEEN CANCELLED. SUBCOMMITTEES WILL MEET VIA PHONE CONFERENCE CALLS.


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

 Working in higher education, I have come to love the cycle of first-year students arriving on campus for orientation, anticipating new learning as they develop into adulthood. Minds and hearts will be changed in this four year cycle.

We optimistically assume that change will be positive. But recently my heart was sickened when I saw the clearly demonstrated returning cycle of hate and violence in Spike Lee’s BlackkKlansman.  These amped-up voices of hate. How? Why?  We all should be asking this. Haven’t we learned from the ignorance and inequity caused by systemic racism? No, we haven’t, spotlighted by this film.

Keeping me awake are statistics such as African-American youth in New Jersey are 24 times more likely to be imprisoned than white youth. The 10.4% poverty rate in our state. The crushing and increasing disparity of income inequality in the U.S.

How do we change someone’s mind to understand that people can be born poor, but also made poor by institutional and governmental policies?  How do we work towards positive change?  Change requires: adequate nutrition, healthcare, and childcare so families can leave the poverty cycle; police body-cams that work; prosecutors unfettered by ties to law enforcement to ensure justice when a person of color is shot.

I remain proud of this country’s democracy and our freedom of speech and press. I am grateful for this UU community as we continue to commit to changing hearts and minds under the Social Justice Coalition.   Together we will work to protect our democracy, revive efforts via Dr. King’s Poor Peoples’ Campaign to impact economic, racial and environmental justice, and empower the Montclair Sanctuary Alliance to assist immigrants. Join us in our newly beginning cycle to be the change you wish to see. Join your hands, use your mind, raise some sweat, and pump love into our hearts  . . . and the world.

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