#25 | Mary Pirosko | Remove "racism and"

Submission 25
Mary Pirosko
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula (Newport News, VA) 8114

What is your suggestion or idea?

I would like to propose that the words “racism and” from the sentence included in the Justice Value. The sentence would then read:

We covenant to dismantle all forms of systemic oppression.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

I believe that by emphasizing racism we weaken our stance on other forms of oppression such as poverty or misogyny.

Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?

I have discussed this proposal with a group at our weekly Forum. Some agreed and others did not.


“Racism” represents the UUA’s main priority, and for 25 years they’ve wanted the rest of us to adopt it as our main priority, but we haven’t, and the leaders should give it a rest

1 Like

Are you saying that because some people in congregations continue to be racist that we should stop trying to be better and that you (and the association) could just wash your hands of it?

Hi Everyone! Thank you for being here and being willing to be in community with each other. This is a gentle reminder that we are in relationship with each other through the covenants that we all agree to abide by. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out! - JeKaren

1 Like

see amendment #16 Proposed Amendment – Include the line numbers and exact language proposed for your amendment if applicable.
32 We covenant to dismantle [racism and all forms of systemic oppression.] all forms of cultural and systemic oppression, including but not limited to racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, gender, etc. We support the use of
33 inclusive democratic processes to make decisions.

How I am supposed to feel safe in a community that refused to see how racism affect my health and well-being. A faith community should be a place where I feel joy, belonging not sadness. Do understand my pain is real. Let us understand each other so we all can flourish.

I understand why emphasizing racism over other forms of systemic oppression might seem counterintuitive. The difference is, regarding something like misogyny, I feel that UU as a faith/community has centered feminine experiences well enough, and for long enough, that our anti-misogynist stance is already tacit. Enter any UU congregation, and a first-time visitor there could probably gather that much just from looking at the speakers and the people attending service. I do not know that this would hold true for racism.

1 Like

In addition I would agree with another suggested change of We pledge to work to dismantle all forms of systemic oppression, including but not limited to racism…

I see an announcement from the powers that be that these threads on this site will be closed in about 8 hours. Our public lay-led Facebook group, Blue Boat Passengers, created for discussing Article II and GA, will remain open for commenting a couple weeks longer (and still be visible for viewing as a public record afterwards). Those who wish to comment there may do so. Please be sure to review the rules and the announcement about the planned suspension of the group before commenting. Thank you.
Blue Boat Passengers: Info & Constructive Discussion re Article II, etc. | Announcement: This group will soon be suspended | Facebook

Those who want to use the group (during the remaining time it is open for comment) to find others and coordinate for the 15-congregation amendment process may do so. Here are some comments about the 15-congregation amendment process, from Donald Wilson, who used to be on the GA Planning Committee:

"“Unlike how the amendment process was run for this GA (ie at the discretion of the moderators and board), the process you’ve mentioned is bylaw and subject to little to no interpretation. I wouldn’t wait however. You need to get the petition from the UUA Board Secretary in the next couple weeks, and you have to have it turned Into the Board before February 1st.”

“If one congregation has a thought, send an email to 50 others and say “we are discussing X. What do you think?”
That is also the kind of thing that we have District and Regional assemblies for, both in person and virtual.
That is also the type of thing your religious professionals should be talking about at their regular meetings with their colleagues like minister Association chapter meetings.
It is the responsibility of your board president and other trustees to be deeply aware of the affairs of your closest congregations.
You discover by being in relationship and talking to one another.
You coordinate by email and phone call, same as we have for the last quarter century.”

“You don’t even have to have a congregational vote. You just have to get their board to sign off.” ETA: You must check this–rules vary by congregation. Also, look for the UU Governance Lab group on Facebook to connect with Donald Wilson directly.

Also, a comment from another member who was participating on Discuss:
Some of us are connecting on Slack, mainly to remain in contact with others interested in specific amendments or the amendment process in general at GA 2024.