#456 | LeRae Niell | Replace the word Equity with Fairness or Equality

Submission 456
LeRae Niell
Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach (Long Beach, CA) 2224

What is your suggestion or idea?

Values 2.2

  1. Replace the word Equity with Fairness or Equality.
  2. Reword the first sentence to say:
    We declare that every person has the right to flourish with inherent worth and dignity.
    or … inherent worth and human dignity.

This is the original statement with changes indicated: We declare that every person has the right to flourish with inherent dignity and worthiness. Also, the word dignity has been moved to the end of the sentence.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

Reason for change—clearer and more accessible language. We need to remember these key words can be an entry to UU philosophy.

  1. the value, Equity
    – For many people the word equity triggers unintended associations. Others may be left thinking that since they don’t know what this means, then this document, these values, are not accessible to them. Furthermore, the intended meaning is not directly explained by the description which follow under this value heading.

  2. the description
    – The word worthiness is not only unnecessarily long, but it also has a different meaning than worth. In dictionary definitions and common usage, worthiness means meeting criteria, or being granted the approval of an authority, where as worth is inherent.

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

Yes. Those who discussed this particular point (About 20 people) agree about the ambiguity of equity and the problem of the meaning and additional length of worthiness,


Yes, we should be focused on true equality of opportunity, not “equity” which has recently come to mean “equal outcome.” Or, if we are supporting equality of outcome, we should be transparent about that