The Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Ministry (DIBM) plans to write posts routinely this year to provide background and updates on work going on in our community to advance multiculturalism and anti-racism. We hope that these communications will not only provide information but also engage your thinking and our collective discussion about living into our beloved community. This is the first of these posts that will appear approximately bi-monthly and is intended to provide an overview of the DIBM. We invite you to join us in this important work.
The DIBM typically meets monthly for 2 hours however additional meetings have been held as needed. The group has spent significant time thoughtfully considering a wide range of issues, assessing our community, prioritizing, and determining the right pace for implementing change. Some of the changes that have occurred over the past few years include:
Eighth Principle. Advancement and adoption on May 15, 2022
Assessment of our community’s ranking in its multicultural and anti-racist activities. Using a tool created by the Unitarian Universalist Association, the DIBM conducted an honest assessment. The results of this assessment are reflected in the current DIBM goals and their prioritization.
Changes to our Order of Worship. The Worship Committee has made a number of changes including BIOPOC Candle Lighting, Land Acknowledgement, adding Fuente de Amor, more diverse music, sermon themes, Eighth Principle discussions, etc.
Lifespan Spiritual Growth. Offerings have included classes and common reads focused on diversity. We would like to be more targeted and intentional going forward.
Beloved Conversations. About 19 UUCOD members have participated in the program.
Membership Committee. Some initial conversations have taken place with the leadership regarding the extent to which we make new people feel welcome.
UUCOD Culture Corner creation in a corner of the Foyer and on the website.
Advance DIBM priorities. We have met with some committee leaders to communicate goals and priorities. This is ongoing work and continued engagement is needed.
The Website has been completely rebuilt with a stronger focus on diversity, inclusion, and belonging and includes anti-racism sections.
Community engagement and outreach. There is a small group via Social Justice trying to build a closer partnership with the Galilee Center.
Please feel free to contact any of the DIBM Members with questions, concerns, ideas, or to offer time and talent. Please be sure to read the upcoming communications over the next months. Your participation and engagement are important to us and we look forward to working together as we work towards living into the 8th Principle vision of a multi-cultural, anti-racist community.
~ Rob DuWors, Sarita Gonzales, Fran Hoag, Carol McDaniel, and Sandy Sladen. Rev Ian and Linda Savaard.
Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Ministry Recent Posts
February was established as Black history month in 1976.
Each year a theme is chosen for Black History Month. This year, 2023, the Theme is Black Resistance. This is a time for us to remember those who have fought for equal rights for African Americans. As result of resistance slavery was abolished, separate but equal was dismantled, and voting rights were granted. Equality in sports, the military, education, and the work force have improved. However, as we are aware there is still much work to be done.
The Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Ministry (DIBM) wishes to bring to our UUCOD community’s attention a series of excellent programs now available on PBS. They address in deep and powerful ways the experiences, both horrific and hopeful, of Jewish, Hispanic and Black people at different points in our history. DIBM strongly encourages you to explore these enlightening, challenging, at times disturbing but ultimately essential viewing opportunities.
While Juneteenth has now been made a federal holiday, and should be celebrated by all, it is important to understand what the enslaved African-Americans of Galveston, Texas were told on that day.
On June 19, 1865, Union troops under the command of General Gordon Granger entered Galveston. The general proclaimed to the people assembled his General Order #3. Its first provision told those who had been enslaved that the Civil War was now over and that pursuant to the Emancipation Proclamation, they and others enslaved in the states in rebellion (the Confederacy) were no longer enslaved but were free.
UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray responds with moral outrage to recent anti-trans legislation in Alabama and offers unequivocal support to all trans and non-binary people:
I am morally outraged by the passage of SB 184 in Alabama, a bill that will criminalize—and make it a felony—to provide gender affirming medical care for trans youth in that state. As Unitarian Universalists, we deeply believe that diversity of sexuality and gender is a gift. We unequivocally uplift and support all the trans and non-binary people in our lives, our congregations, and communities, and we closely hold trans children and their families in care.
Many of our UUCOD LGBTQ members and allies were appalled at the passage of Florida HB 1557 known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. They are deeply concerned for the threat the bill poses to the health and welfare of LGBTQ youth throughout the country. At a time when youth may be struggling with new undefined emotions; when they may begin to sense that there could be something different within their soul; they have no safe place share their feelings with an adult. The following words by an anonymous author describe the unsafe world of LGBTQ youth.
Each February, National Black History Month serves as both a celebration and a powerful reminder that Black history is American history