“We hope you join us to embody racial justice as a spiritual practice, to heal the impact of racism on our lives, in order to get free together.”

– Beloved Conversations curriculum

 

Our Racial Justice Team offers the resources on this page to help white members and friends of our congregation work on dismantling their own racism and white supremacy as well as the racism and white supremacy in our world. The Racial Justice Team encourages all white members and friends, and particularly those in leadership positions, to take advantage of one of the training opportunities described below.

Racial Justice Training

The Racial Justice Team has set a goal to have all white people involved in the leadership and operation of our Society participate in some form of anti-racism training this program year. And to support as many First UU white members and friends as possible to participate in some form of anti-racism training as well. The trainings below provide a variety of formats in the hopes that each person will be able to find something that works well for them. You can engage in one or more of the three trainings.

  1. The Me and White Supremacy reading groups use a shared leadership model among members of a small group of about 5 people, over 5-9 weeks, organized directly by our Racial Justice Team.
  2. REWIRE is professionally facilitated for eight 90-minute sessions, in a group of 12-15 people, offered through FUUSB.
  3. Beloved Conversations is a 3-month program with professional facilitators that includes 6 online lessons to complete individually, 6 small group meetings, and 4 large group sessions that are recorded. Beloved Conversations is offered by the Fahs Collaborative of the Meadville Lombard Theological School.

Please see the more detailed sections below to choose the training that will work best for you.

Costs, Principles, and Gifts

The trainings have different costs and all are available on a sliding scale from $0 to 25% over the actual cost so that each person can choose the training that works best for them, without regard to cost. Simply choose the amount you’re comfortable paying within your life circumstances. If you’re able to pay any amount over the cost, that gift will help our team to support more people to access the training. One way to think about sliding scale fees in equitable terms is to consider whether you have the capacity to build savings, are incurring debt, or fall somewhere in the middle. Please consider paying above the per person cost of the program if you are in the former category so that we can support others’ registration fees.

The principle of reparations calls on white participants to recognize the historic legacy of racist economic policies and the ways in which generational wealth and greater access to economic opportunity have privileged white people as a group for hundreds of years. The principle of interdependence asks that you pay more if your class privilege or professional expense budget allow you to pay more so that others may pay less. And, the principle of equity applies regardless of your racial identity. Full and partial scholarships are available to those who need them.

Finally, our gifts are a hundred blessings. We are grateful to your donations, to FUUSB members for their gifts to the Society, which is supporting these programs, to members of the Racial Justice Team for the gifts of their unpaid organizing efforts, and to all the people who developed these trainings and participated in them and improved them and inspired us to share them with you.

Me and White Supremacy Reading and Discussion Groups

Earlier this year the Racial Justice team launched these reading and discussion groups as an initial deep dive, entryway into this work. We will continue to run these sessions throughout the year, starting new sessions whenever there is demand. The registration page invites your preferences for how often to meet. Your group will work together to find a regular meeting time. The meeting place will be virtual unless your group makes other arrangements.

Please see our dedicated web page to learn more about these Me and White Supremacy Reading and Discussion Groups.

Availability: Ongoing in 2020-2021

Registration: Sign up here and we’ll help you find a group! Questions: please contact us at racialjustice@uusociety.org.

Cost: Sliding Scale $0 to $26 (actual cost $21) to purchase a book from the Racial Justice Team

REWIRE

This winter we are offering REWIRE, a curriculum developed by All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This 8-month program (which we might also offer biweekly over 4 months), is organized around facilitated, small-group class sessions of 12-15 people. Guided personal work and reflection are processed and shared together. Participants benefit from a long-term investment in working together to co-create a consciously anti-racist white culture/community that supports their individual growth in anti-racism.

REWIRE was initially designed to support white members of All Souls’ multicultural community to uncover, identify and “rewire” internalized white supremacy, both personally and systemically. The curricula has evolved, now offering this support within and beyond All Souls, through REWIRE 1, REWIRE 2, and a 6-hour Facilitator Training seminar. The program supports the lifelong deepening of a conscious personal relationship with race, racial identity, self, and community.

Rev. David Ruffin, who many of you may know from his times as guest minister in our pulpit or from recent Vespers services, and who worked with this program while serving All Souls in Tulsa, will be our lead facilitator and will work with a co-facilitator from Tulsa. Our first class cohort will begin this December or January, and other cohorts will likely follow, as supported by community interest.

Availability: Starting December or January 2020. The exact times are yet to be decided: we invite your preferences on the registration form. We will run sessions that the most people can attend and put others on a waitlist and work to create an additional offering, based on your interest.

Registration: Sign up here. For the first session, registration closes on December 9, 2020. We will plan additional offerings based on demand.

Cost: Sliding Scale $0 to $315 (actual cost $200-$250 depending on number of participants). Questions? Please contact us at racialjustice@uusociety.org.

Beloved Conversations: “Within”

In the spring, we are promoting Beloved Conversations, a curriculum developed and recently updated by the Sophia Fahs Collective of the Meadville Lombard Theological School. Since 2010, it has been offered in over 200 congregations.

The new Beloved Conversations Virtual is a 3-month program with a mix of individual work, small-group work, and facilitated large-group sessions. You will have access to 6 online Lessons over Teachable to complete at your convenience. Learning pods of 4-5 people meet every 2 weeks over Zoom. Large-group Meaning-Making Sessions will meet 4 times over the 3 months.

If you sign up for Beloved Conversations, you will potentially have the option to be grouped with others from FUUSB, or with new people enrolled elsewhere. Beloved Conversations offers separate curricula for White folks and for BIPOC participants.

Beloved Congregations has been designed in 3 phases. This first course is “Within” work that each person needs to do as an individual. The later offerings through Beloved Conversations are “Among,” which is work at the institutional level for the systemic change needed in our congregations, and “Beyond,” which is work outside our congregations, with our local communities in the Burlington area. Later offerings require “Within” work as a prerequisite.

Learn more about Beloved Conversations Virtual at bcvirtual.meadville.edu.

Availability: The Spring 2021 term starts at the beginning of March. There will be a Fall 2021 term with unique content so you can do one or both terms!

Registration: February 1-20, 2021. At bcvirtual.meadville.edu, you can sign up to receive updates on the Spring 2021 term (via a green button that is way down at the bottom of the page).

Cost: Sliding Scale $0 to $200 (actual cost $150) and $250 for religious professionals (paid staff members)

Questions? Please contact us at racialjustice@uusociety.org.