2010: Justice for General Assembly

June 15, 2010

This is the most recent statement regarding the Arizona issues from Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM)’s steering committee.  It is based on on-going discussions with members.

DRUUMM is continuing to monitor the discussion about whether and how to have a  Unitarian Universalist presence in Arizona in 2012 and would ask that the delegates consider the following principles in the discussion and debates:

  • The importance of continuing to build the capacity of Unitarian Universalist congregations to be effective partners in the divisive discussion about immigration in our country and especially to equip them with the tools to name race-based profiling as a moral wrong;
  • The need to commit to hearing the voices of people of color and Latina/o/Hispanic people who are Unitarian Universalists and their particular concerns about physical and spiritual safety if we have a gathering in Phoenix in 2012; and
  • The need for any presence in Phoenix to not be “business as usual” –rather we invite the delegates to consider how we can most effectively bring the collective witness of Unitarian Universalism to address the fear- and hate-based policies of the state of Arizona.

Whether and how we gather in Phoenix should be considered in the context of our commitment in 1992 to commit to an anti-racist and multicultural future for our faith.  This is only one of the many issues that Unitarian Universalists face as we attempt to hold our communities accountable to a more inclusive view of humanity and to respect the inherent worth of all people, regardless of their legal status.

The Steering Committee of DRUUMM

June 1, 2010

DRUUMM (Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries) join with other Unitarian Universalists concerned with justice to condemn the new racial profiling laws in Arizona and we urge Unitarian Universalists who identify as people of color/Latina/o/Hispanic to express their outrage individually and collectively at these laws which allow law enforcement to target people based on race. We particularly note the statement by  LUUNA (Latina/o Unitarian Universalist  Networking Association), which states about this law that “its very vagueness will provide a means for law enforcement agencies to harass individuals on the basis of appearance alone.”

Because some of our members have indicated their concern that they would not be safe travelling to and within Arizona as long as such racial profiling laws exist, we also support the proposed boycott of Arizona and support relocating or cancelling the General Assembly scheduled to be held there.  To hold a General Assembly without the total spectrum of our members is exclusionary.  We also urge our General Assembly delegates this year to explore other options that could keep us in dialogue with the people of Arizona.

We remind our Unitarian Universalist family that such actions do have impact.  In the late 1980s, when Arizona refused to honor the Martin Luther King holiday, Unitarian Universalists cancelled the General Assembly scheduled to be held there.  After the state changed their position, General Assembly was once again held in that state.  We believe that, even in hard economic times, Unitarian Universalists must be willing to demand that their money be guided by their principles.

We as people who affirm the worth and dignity of all people must continue to fight against racism and ethnic discrimination in all forms.  A law that singles people out by race and ethnicity is by its nature racist.  We condemn this law and urge people of faith throughout our country to let their voices be heard.

The Steering Committee of

DRUUMM (Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries