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.


Undoing Racism Committee’s Film Series

Join the members of the Undoing Racism Committee in viewing two films about America’s racially biased judicial system.

“Profiled” on September 19, 2019 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM in the Peierls Room:
Profiled, a short film by Kathleen Foster, is a documentary that tells the stories of the Black and Latin youth who have been murdered by New York City policemen. The mothers of the victims are also featured as they seek justice and fight for positive change. Post-screening discussion will be led by Charlene Marable, M.Div., a member of the Undoing Racism Committee and former co-chair of the Unitarian Universalist’s All Faiths Justice Coalition. Please register for this film by Monday, September 16, 2019, by following the link: https://bit.ly/2LaLeXm

“Crown Heights” on September 26, 2019 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM in the Peierls Room:
Crown Heights is a dramatization of a 1980 murder case in which a teenage Trinidadian immigrant, Colin Warner, was accused and convicted of murdering a 16-year-old boy. Crown Heights was released in 2017 to critical acclaim. Post-screening discussion will be led by Wendy McNeil. A member of the Undoing Racism Committee, Ms. McNeil is a devoted member of the Montclair Adult School’s Film Club.  Please register for this film by Monday, September 23, 2019, by following the link: https://bit.ly/2G58ZvA

Light refreshments will be available at each screening. Donations accepted.
Co-Sponsors include:
• Anti-Racist Alliance of North Jersey
• Montclair Interfaith Clergy Association
• Montclair NAACP
• South Orange Maplewood Community Coalition on Race

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

400 Years of Inequality Commemoration

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
7:00 PM at the Montclair Public Library, Main Auditorium.  

UUCM member Dionne Ford will read from her recent book: Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation with co-editor, Jill Strauss.  Stay tuned for other events to resist 400 years of oppression in the U.S.



Racism As I See It
Submitted by Anneliese Scherfen on behalf of the Undoing Racism Committee.

As I make my way through Ibram X. Kendi’s crucial tome, Stamped From the Beginning, I am simultaneously devastated and empowered. We may know that the roots of racism run deep in the United States but Kendi lays out exactly how race and racism were cruelly created and perpetuated by slave owners in an attempt to justify the unjustifiable enslavement of human beings. August 20, 2019 marked 400 years since Africans were first brought to and sold in what is now the United States of America. 400 years later, freedom continues to be aspirational. August 9, 2019 marked five years since 18-year old Michael Brown was murdered by a White police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, adding yet another Black person’s name to neither the beginning or end of a seemingly infinite list of Black people subjected to White violence, violence perpetrated with impunity. Michael Brown’s death was just one instance of unpunished White violence that forced many to open their eyes to see the systemic racism about which antiracists have been warning our society centuries. 

As I mentioned, I am also empowered by Kendi’s text. Even as I stand among the oppressors, continuing to benefit from the long history of oppression, I am empowered to continue to examine my role in that oppression and to try to find and participate in the work to dismantle it. One such effort is my work on a research team at UUCM examining the use of force by police in Montclair. Based on population, a Black person in Montclair is 490%* more likely to have force used on them than a White person. Freedom continues to be aspirational.

 * https://force.nj.com/database/pd-dept/montclair-essex


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

Participating in an immigration rally on June 17, 2018.