White Supremacy Teach-In

There is a movement in the broader UU-land, led by religious professionals of color and the Black Lives UU, calling our communities to learn about the culture of white supremacy. Our church is one of over 600 (and growing) around the world taking part. The purpose of this page is to provide you with resources for your own internal anti-oppression work, and to support you as parents, members and friends.

The use of the term “white supremacy” to mean something much, much broader than neo-nazis and the KKK can been divisive. There is understandable discomfort and fear. However, organized Unitarian Universalist people of color have called for this teach-in and shared stories about their lives that are hard to hear. Our high school youth group chose to take on the task of participating in the teach-in during Youth Sunday May 7, 2017. These teens chose to make center the voices and experiences of people of color and share their thoughts about the culture of white supremacy.

The primary goals of the Teach In organizers are:
1. for UUs to get onto the same page about “the water we swim in”
2. to name that water as white supremacy and begin to explore its effect (including colonization)
3. to get comfortable with being uncomfortable

You’ll find much more, including webinars about the teach-in, here and here.

This is long-term work, and we are at the very beginning of the journey. Below you will find resources that I hope will make this journey informative.

Definitions

From the Teach In leaders: 
“White supremacy [is] a set of institutional assumptions and practices, often operating unconsciously, that tend to benefit white people and exclude people of color.” In 2017, actual “white supremacists” are not required in order to uphold white supremacist culture. Building a faith full of people who understand that key distinction is essential as we work toward a more just society…”

From Rev. Sofia Betancourt
“Whatever your reaction was to the words White Supremacy, it’s a fair reaction. It’s real. It’s part of the journey… We are not saying there is an inherent evil in Unitarian Universalism, at all. We are saying there is a desperate need for the the kind of beloved community work that we offer in the world and we want to do that work better.”

More

What’s in a Word: White Supremacy
White Supremacy Culture

Tools for White People

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism (article)

What Does it Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy, book by Robin DiAngelo
Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, book by Debby Irving

SafetyPinBox – a monthly subscription (pay) service

Spiritual Practice

Spiritual Practices for White Discomfort

For children

Check out the Pinterest boards listed below for lists of picture books
Sometimes You’re the Caterpillar (parents will need to figure out whether this is age appropriate for your children)
Marley Dias and representation in books
Being 12: ‘People Think I’m Supposed to Talk Ghetto, Whatever That Is.’

In RE

Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education
Our Anti-Racism Anti-Oppression Multicultural (AR AO MC) Pinterest board
Our Reconciliation Pinterest board
Reading While White
Teaching While White
What if All the Kids are White? Anti-Bias Multicultural Education with Young Children and Families, book by Louise Derman-Sparks and Patricia G. Ramsey