2016: Call for Renewal

June 21, 2016

People of Color in the United States have faced unprecedented violence and suffered throughout history.  While our congregations and larger faith movement at times have been places of sanctuary, offering solidarity, and making meaningful investments in justice for all peoples, White supremacy and generations of institutionalized power and privilege continue impact People of Color within our religious community and beyond in the wider world where Unitarian Universalists are disproportionately influential.  Too often our congregations tokenize our cultural practices and lack a commitment to struggle with Communities of Color.  This leaves too many feeling invisible and isolated.

DRUUMM’s founders and vision was born out of the decades of movements of racial justice in the 20th century.  DRUUMM, through twenty years of volunteer ministry, have fostered places to enhance the experience of Unitarian Universalism for People of Color, to forge deep partnerships with anti-racist White activists, and to contribute to the larger public expression of our faith.  A generation has passed since the UUA General Assembly adopted the Journey Towards Wholeness: Towards an Anti-racist, Anti-oppressive, Multicultural Institution in 1997.   Many of the demands asked of Unitarian Universalism have been met thanks to the powerful leadership of youth and elders.

Today, DRUUMM calls upon Unitarian Universalism, as represented by our democratic institutions and congregations, to recommit to building an anti-racist beloved community and to the the vision and intentions of our Journey Towards Wholeness work. We call on Unitarian Universalist institutions to lead in this transformational work, renewing commitments to anti-oppression and transparently aligning resources with these priorities. We call on all Unitarian Universalists to contribute our voices to the journey toward the spiritual, ecological and political wholeness all people require to thrive in this world.

We invite Unitarian Universalist people and organizations to publicly stand with DRUUMM by signing our Call for Renewal, and issuing your own response and commitment to the role, process and work you envision over the next generation.  We share with you a fresh set of values crafted by DRUUMM to guide you in your thinking, and the following actions:

Create space for People of Color through convenings for People of Color and identity based space at major multiracial events.  At all public conferences, regional gatherings and national meetings, ensure there is dedicated caucus time for People of Color, prepared facilitators and dedicated financial resources to support  meaningful participation.  DRUUMM can help with envisioning the goals and supporting facilitators.

Long-term institutional commitment of resources to support independent gatherings for People of Color including Finding Our Way Home for religious professionals of color, Thrive youth and young adults of color leadership training and DRUUMM gatherings.

Invest in the collective leadership of People of Color.  Set a higher bar for engagement by aligning UUA work with Organizations of Color, identified in partnership with DRUUMM, Black Lives UU and UU People of Color.  Support UU People of Color in the UUA, in UU organizations and UU congregations to develop their leadership in collective ways year-round.  Establish a system for year-round self-identification of UU People of Color and entrust DRUUMM with ongoing communication and engagement.

Evaluate and re-invest in analysis and education on race and intersectionality at an individual, institutional and cultural level.  Assess your work and foster ways for your members and leaders to strengthen their understanding of the roots of oppression, transform your institution, and how to shift the balance of power.
Recommit and strengthen institutional change work as a core strategy for achieving the UUA Journey Towards Wholeness Resolution of 1997.  Fully staffing an evaluation and strategic planning planning process for the next phase of the UUA’s long-term JTW commitment.  Ensure meaningful participation of DRUUMM and other organized UU People of Color collectives.

The DRUUMM Steering Committee 2015-2016

  • Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons
  • Rev. Marisol Caballero
  • Ranwa Hammamy
  • Elandria Williams
  • Rev. Darrick Jackson
  • Christopher Sims
  • Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen

We invite Unitarian Universalists and affiliated organizations to sign-on to this Call to Renewal -please complete this form to publicly endorse.