Beloved Racial Justice Team
The Beloved Racial Justice Team’s mission is to create a beloved and just multiracial community within East Shore Unitarian Church and in the wider world by taking action to address racial justice issues. We honor the worth and dignity of every human being and the interconnected web of all of life by recognizing prejudice, privilege and injustice. We seek to change prejudice, unfair privilege and injustice in ourselves, our church and our community.
In order to build a caring religious community, we seek to create a racially inclusive church community. This work grows our souls through increased understanding and humility and through actions to increase peace and justice. We are in alignment with Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) key initiatives around multiculturalism and racial justice.
Over the past few years the Beloved Racial Justice Team has established a comprehensive program to engage our congregation and the wider community. Activities have included:
White Privilege Sessions: Multicultural Educator Dr. Robin DiAngelo has spoken twice at East Shore, once on “How to be an Ally” and once on “Seeing the Water: Whiteness in Daily Life” (October 2015 and January 2016). Six churches participated in the second four-hour workshop.
Book Discussion Groups: Just Mercy by Brian Stevenson (October/November 2015) and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (January/February 2016).
Forums: Dialogue on Juvenile Detention (April 2016) and Dialogue on Juvenile Detention Center (June 2016).
Education: More than 60 Church members have participated in the eight-week Beloved Conversations curriculum (ongoing). Also, ten church members attended training in Restorative Justice practices through the Seattle Restorative Justice organization (January and April 2016).
Discussion Groups: White Allies Caucus and People of Color Affinity Group (ongoing). Conversations About Race (April, May and June 2016, ongoing). These groups create safe spaces for people to speak openly about race and racism. Two members of the Bellevue, WA Police Department attended one of the Conversations About Race sessions.
Public Witness: Black Lives Matter Flash Stances and other public marches (ongoing since July 2015).
Collaborations: University Unitarian Church Racial Justice Team, University Unitarian Church Juvenile Injustice Team, Seattle Unity Church Umoja Group, Bellevue Police Department and Seattle Peace Chorus.
New Initiatives for Church Calendar Year 2016/2017
Youth Education: We will create a parent education program for talking to children about race.
Artist Expression Programming: We will include multiple programs of artistic expression examining racial justice issues during the 2016/2017 Church year. Activities will include dance, music, art and poetry offerings which will be open to the wider community as well as church members.
Guest Speakers: White Privilege Educator, Robin DiAngelo (Fall 2016) and social justice activist and writer, Chris Crass (Spring 2017).
Book Discussion Group: America’s Original Sin by Jim Wallis (Winter 2016)
Linkage with the Police: We are currently working with the Bellevue, WA Police Department and will seek educational materials to help our congregation build