Systems of power, privilege, and oppression have traditionally created barriers for persons and groups with particular identities, ages, abilities, and histories. We pledge to replace such barriers with ever-widening circles of solidarity and mutual respect. We strive to be an association of congregations that truly welcome all persons who share our values. We commit to being an association of congregations that empowers and enhances everyone’s participation, especially those with historically marginalized identities.
What is the reason for your amendment idea?
This amendment seeks to strengten this inclusion section by adding the inclusion of persons with diverse perspectives, who may share our goals but differ on the best means. Furthermore, this amendment seeks to move from rhetoric to action by asking the UUA to use its communications media to reflect the diversity of both identities and perspectives within our congregations.
Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?
I have seen other amendments that seek to take out “share our values” – but here I take a somewhat different tack, by making it clear that we can disagree on the best means to possible social justice goals. My view is that this helps avoid some possible bad interpretations of what “share our values” means.
You may be describing the heart of the problem of the Article II proposed revisions. The revisions focus on empowering the voice of a historically marginalized group of people rather than addressing racism in all its different forms. The revisions do not encourage diverse perspectives on how to become spiritual centers for anti-racism. The revision gives the UUA authority to direct how we are to dismantlement racism which may not be suitable for all congregations.
I agree that the UUA allowing diversity of perspectives in UU World would be carrying out the spirit of this Bylaw Amendment. Of course, since everything is a matter of interpretation, ultimately changing how the UUA operates may depend upon who is elected to the Board.