The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.
Take Action to Defend Black Lives and Dismantle White Supremacy
By Rev. Mary Katherine Morn on June 5, 2020
As we finish our second full week of mourning the murder of George Floyd and peacefully protesting his senseless death by law enforcement, UUSC and its members are called into action, not only to follow the leadership of Black-led organizations, but to publicly commit to a process through which racial justice is centered across the nation.
The criminalization of entire communities based on identity is nothing new in this nation, and the truth is that this country will never truly live up to its potential until racism, white supremacy, and bigotry are eradicated.
What Can You Do?
ACT: The Movement for Black Lives has called for actions each day this week. It is never too late to respond to these invitations to act, so even if you come to these resources late, please take action now.
The Use of Force Project has compiled a list of eight policy changes which, if all are enacted by a police force, are projected to see a 72 percent reduction in police violence. Find out what’s happening with these reforms in your own city and agitate for all of them.
Find out what is happening in your own town or city by searching Facebook and Google for “Black Lives Matter [your city’s name].” Join vigils and protests when you can.
Be alert to new developments in the recent cases of police killings of Black people and give your time and your voice to support the emerging demands for justice in each case.
Join an Action Circle through the UU College of Social Justice to learn more and take action in your community.
CONTRIBUTE: Black organizers are leading the movement for justice in this moment, and they need resources. You can give to national groups, to those organizing in particular cities that have become flash points, and/or to movements arising in your own town or city. A starting list of groups to consider funding has been compiled by Carlisa Johnson, including bail funds, funds to support protestors, to support the victims of police violence, and to strengthen Black organizing.
LEARN: Atlanta-based activist and organizer Carlisa Johnson’s list noted above also includes an excellent and constantly updated resource list for education and action. Check back often and engage whenever you are able to.
UUSC has developed a list of policy resources related to the issue of police violence. Read this document to learn what organizations across the nation are demanding when it comes to police accountability.
WATCH: This 9-minute video on the origins of policing from The Root, and then share it with family, friends, your congregation, and via social media.
Sign up for the new webinar series Unfinished Business: For UU’s interested in learning about the history of systemic racism and the proliferation of mass incarceration, UUSC, in collaboration with Side With Love and Love Resists, will co-host a learning series on the weaponization of policing and mass incarceration as tools to oppress people of color, specifically Black people. Click here to learn more about the series, Unfinished Business: A Study of DuBois’ Reconstruction in America to Now.
What is UUSC Doing?
UUSC is acutely aware that in our 80 years of history defending human rights around the globe, we have not centered the human rights of Black Americans as consistently as we must. We, too, are experiencing a new awakening and awareness of what we are called toward in this moment. We are committed to taking the following steps:
- UUSC is expanding its anti-criminalization work and encouraging its members to follow the wisdom of Black-led organizations.
- Examining our own internal dynamics in order to see, understand, and dismantle the ways in which we have internalized white supremacy culture.
- Mobilizing ourselves and our communities in solidarity with Black-led movements to end criminalization and defend Black lives.
About UUSC: Guided by the belief that all people have inherent worth and dignity, UUSC advances human rights globally by partnering with affected communities who are confronting injustice, mobilizing to challenge oppressive systems, and inspiring and sustaining spiritually grounded activism for justice. We invite you to join us in this journey toward realizing a better future!
Photo Credit: iStock – vivalapenler