First Universalist Church has made a commitment to Racial Justice through intensive education and training of our congregation on the historical and current impacts of systemic racism and white privilege on society and the environment.
WORKSHOP: Revolution is Not a One-Time Event: A Conversation for White People Newly Seeking to be Anti-Racist
Sunday, Feb. 11, 1–2:30 p.m.
Four-Hour Workshop: Racial Justice and Our Unitarian Universalist Faith
Join us for an interactive, reflective workshop exploring a framework and tools for understanding race, racism, and whiteness and the spiritual imperative that drives our racial justice work.
This is a two-part workshop offered twice this winter:
Sundays, Feb. 25 & March 4, 1–3:30 p.m., led by Jeff Sylvestre, Susan Schultz & Bianca Zick
Saturdays, March 10 & 17, 9–11:30 a.m., led by Clemma Muller & Pam Berry
To register, contact Sandy at Sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701.
Racial Justice Film, Book, and Essay Discussions
“13th” — A Documentary Screening in Two Parts
What does the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865 have to do with today? Everything. The powerful documentary “13th” analyzes the criminalization of African Americans, the U.S. prison boom, and their relationship to the abolishment of slavery via the 13th Amendment. Join us for a two-part screening and conversation in community.
Thursday, March 15, 7 p.m. (part 1) and Sunday, March 18, 12:30 p.m. (part 2)
Led by Jeff Sylvestre and Margaret Manderfeld
People of Color Circle
The People of Color Circle is a group of people who meet regularly to reflect on the spiritual content and messages from the Sunday morning sermon. This Circle follows the same format as the other Circles in the church and is comprised of church congregants. Interested in joining the People of Color Circle? Contact Michael Dotson at email@example.com.
Spiritual Deepening Circles
Registration for the following Spiritual Deepening Circles is open through Sunday, Jan. 21 at firstucircles.weebly.com.
Talking About Race and Racism with Kids (for white parents & teachers)
Schedule: Saturdays, Feb. 24, March 3, 10, 17 & 24, 1-2:30 p.m.
Research has shown that children become more biased, confused and unable to get along with others of different ethnic groups if race is not talked about in clear and specific ways. Let’s come together as parents, caregivers, and teachers to build our capacity for talking with children and youth about race, racism, and whiteness in ways that are supportive, grounded in the realities of the world, and hopeful. We will especially focus on what children need to know at each stage of their development and how to prepare ourselves for real life questions. As we grow our souls through weekly reading assignments, sharing our stories and reflecting on our journeys, we will become better able to guide and accompany our kids on their journeys.
Leader: Denise Konen is a licensed parent educator who’s been through extensive racial equity training with the Pacific Educational Group and Dr. Heather Hackman. She’s committed to advocating for a world where everyone belongs.
White Privilege: Let’s Talk—A Resource for Transformational Dialogue
Schedule: Mondays, Feb. 5, Feb. 26, March 19, April 9, April 30, and May 21, 7-8:30 p.m.
White Privilege: Let’s Talk—A Resource for Transformational Dialogue is an adult curriculum that’s designed to invite church members to engage in safe, meaningful, substantive, and bold conversations on race. Through reflection, conversation and writing, we will each create our own spiritual autobiography through the lens of race. This gives participants an opportunity to reflect upon and discover how their own history has been influenced by race. Divided into four focused parts, each one introduces a different aspect of the dynamic of white privilege:
The Spiritual Autobiography Told Through the Lens of Race
Whiteness as the Norm: Five Loci of Insights on the Binary of Light/Dark and Black/White
The Cash Value of Whiteness or Whiteness as a Tax-Exempt Status
On Becoming an Ally
In all four parts, each author contributes a different view of the subject matter presented based on their unique personal experiences. The sessions include time for questions, discussion, journaling, and reflection.
Leaders: Channing McKinley and Lark Weller, members of the First Universalist Racial Justice Education Team.
Book Study/Reflection on Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity and Power in Ministry
Schedule: Thursdays, Feb. 1 and 8, March 1 and 8, 7-8:30 p.m.
Join Rev. Justin Schroeder and Rev. Karen Hutt for a 4-part conversation on the book, Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity and Power in Ministry. From the study guide: “This book includes nine essays by different authors, each one a religious professional of color. Each essay is followed by a response, also from a religious professional of color…Centering invites and challenges us to keep the voices and experiences of religious leaders of color at the center of the discussion.” As First Universalist continues our racial justice learning and journey, one of our core practices is “centering” the voices of people of color within our faith communities and tradition. Join us for a lively discussion and time of learning and reflection.
Leaders: Rev. Justin Schroeder has served as the Sr. Minister of First Universalist for over eight years. He was raised UU in Fort Collins, Col. He believes that relationships are at the heart of ministry—it is out of deep relationship that we best come to know ourselves, one another, the Spirit and Life, and what life is calling out of us.
Rev. Karen Hutt is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, a credentialed Clinical Pastoral Educator, and a Board Certified Chaplain. She was a co-founder and co-pastor of Church of the Open Door, which served Chicago’s Black LGBTQ population from 1997-2005. Rev. Hutt went on to serve as a chaplain and Clinical Pastoral Educator in several large hospital systems in both Chicago and Minneapolis. She is widely regarded as one of the most innovative educators in the Clinical Pastoral Education field.
Book Group: “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States”
Schedule: Mondays, Feb. 5, 19, March 5 and 19, 7-8:30 p.m.
In the spirit and style of a circle group, we will investigate the history of the U.S. as a country founded and expanded as a white colonialist project and its effects on the indigenous nations already here. We’ll discuss how the information changes our view of ourselves, our country and our future. Our guide for the journey will be ‘An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States’ by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, recipient of the 2015 American Book Award and recommended to congregations by the UUA. The UUA states, “This powerful book begs to be discussed and shared in trusted community. Unitarian Universalist groups and congregations can support people to delve together into the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual challenges of seeing their nation’s history through an unfamiliar and painful lens.” Whether it is a familiar or unfamiliar lens, join us for this 4-week study. We will read a portion of the book for each session. Please come to the Feb. 5 session having read the Introduction through Chapter 3.
Leaders: Pam Berry and Jared Cruz have both been involved in racial justice programming at church for the past three years.
Racial Justice Learning Specific to People of Color
The church also offers learning sessions on self care and coping strategies for racial oppression. These learning sessions are facilitated by Marie Michael (a colleague of Heather Hackman’s). This group meets 2-4 times a year and the group is comprised of both church members and folks from outside the church who are wanting racial justice learning specific to People of Color. Interested in joining these sessions? Contact Michael Dotson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
24-Hour Racial Justice Training with Dr. Heather Hackman
Through this training, participants gain the tools and insights to see and be in the world differently as it relates to racial justice. The training helps give us a shared language to use in our racial justice ministry at First Universalist.
We have offered five 24-Hour Racial Justice Trainings over the past couple of years. We do not currently have any future trainings scheduled.