Statement of Purpose and Resolution

WHEREAS, the Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013 with its slogan derived from this quote by activist Alicia Garza following George Zimmerman’s acquittal of murder in Trayvon Martin’s death: “I continue to be surprised at how little Black lives matter … Our lives matter”; and

WHEREAS, the UUA took up this cause at its 2015 General Assembly with an Action of Immediate Witness in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, urging UU congregations to follow suit. Many houses of worship and the homes of individuals display BLM banners, flags and signs; and

WHEREAS, UUFES has long engaged in worship services and community actions* that address racial injustice, explicit and implicit attitudes and biases, and white supremacy. This year, anti-racism has garnered growing interest and passion among many UUFESians, including during Sunday Coffee Hours, Monday Book Group readings, Thursday “Seriously” discussions, and Women’s Group lunches; and

WHEREAS, many UUFES members and friends strongly believe that it is time UUFES took a public stance on this issue because we know silence speaks louder than words and our actions need to reflect our beliefs about Black lives and our UUA Principles.

THEREFORE, Be It Resolved that, when we say “Black Lives Matter” we are making a statement of inclusion not exclusion. “Black Lives Matter” does not mean that only Black lives matter. Proclaiming the value of African American lives does not negate the inherent worth of all lives. Bearing witness to systemic devaluing of people of color does not mean we disregard or overlook other forms of oppression. The Black Lives Matter movement does, however, ask us to specifically address racial inequality.

AND, Be It Further Resolved that UUFES supports displaying a Black Lives Matter banner on our property to express our support for the Black Lives Movement and the activist campaign to end violence and systemic racism, and as an act of cultural resistance, of public witness and a spiritual practice of siding with love.

* As of summer 2020, some of the UUFES services and events that have addressed anti-Black racial injustice, white privilege, and white supremacy include:

Sunday services:

1/15/17 Beginning Again (MLK a.m. service, Coates references)

7/2/17 When the Game Changes (DeReau Farrar reflection)

10/15/17 Walking Our Talk (Rachel Banderob reflection)

1/14/18 Jump into Justice (MLK a.m. service, Colbert/McKesson interview re-enactment)

2/18/18 “Waking Up White” service – Book Group

4/8/18 Renewal and Revival for Collective Liberation – Chris Crass Guest Speaker

4/29/18 Siding With Love (South Carolina BLM button story)

5/12/19 What We Cannot See (St. John history)

8/25/19 Injustice Too Loud to Ignore (1619)

9/1/19 In a Day’s Work (1619)

1/19/20 In His Footsteps (MLK a.m. service)

6/14/20 Rising, Beauty the Brave (BLM protests)

6/21/20 The Momentum of Hope (intersectionality)

Community actions:

Annual MLK Jr. celebrations

Sept 2017 Corner protest in support of NH people of color

Proposed by Kim Hamel, Barbara Lubin, Margaret Rieser on September 4, 2020

Approved by the UUFES Governing Board September 2020