Essential Elements: What to address in your UU White Supremacy Teach-In
- What is white supremacy?
- Why “white supremacy” as the term here? It conjures up images of hoods and mobs. Here, we mean: “White supremacy as a set of institutional assumptions and practices, often operating unconsciously, that tend to benefit white people and exclude people of color.” In 2017, actual “white supremacists” are not required in order to uphold white supremacist culture. Building a faith full of people who understand that key distinction is essential as we work toward a more just society in difficult political times.
- What is the UU White Supremacy Teach-In and how did it originate?
- For more information on what spurred this call to action, read: Christina Rivera "On being a 'good fit' for the UUA", Aisha Hauser "Letter to UUA Board of Trustees" and "On self-righteous hysteria" and the UU World article "Critics decry 'white supremacy' in hiring practices". It has become clear that, in order for us to be more effective at tackling the white supremacy beyond our walls, we must also identify ways in which systems of supremacy and inequality live within our faith and our lives.
- Why is our congregation participating?
- Only you can answer this in your congregation but we suggest "We changed our worship plan because we know that large shifts require work and can challenge our comfort levels. That’s precisely why we feel it’s important. We believe that hundreds of UU churches signaling to their own members and to the larger community that “our faith takes racism seriously, especially within our own walls” will push our faith toward the beloved community we all seek."
- How does white supremacy culture show up in our congregation?
- The UUA Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries shared an example of courageous reflection and inventorying of where white supremacy lives in their organizational culture and practices. You might use this as a model to be emulate in your own congregation, whether done as a group and/or addressed in worship. Additionally, this resource outlines some of the invisible rules and assumptions of white supremacy culture.
- What is the 8th Principle project and how does it connect to white supremacy in UU spaces?
- BLUU encourages all UU's to advocate for the formal adoption of an 8th principle.. read more!
- Potential Pitfalls (and how to avoid them)
- Avoiding the phrase “white supremacy” for fear of alienating white people in your congregation
- Failing to talk with POCI (People of Color Indigenous) in your congregation as you plan your White Supremacy Teach-In
- Preaching/teaching to white people in your congregation and making POCI invisible
- Failing to provide alternative programming for POCI rather than including them in spaces where white people are struggling to understand and confront white supremacy
- Q&A Webinar Recording (Thurs 04/13/2017): click here
DAY OF, RESOURCES
WORSHIP: Amazing Worship Resources by Kenny Wiley here!
ADULT TEACH IN:
- Watch: “A Conversation with White People on Race
- Printout and discuss: http://www.cwsworkshop.org/PARC_site_B/dr-culture.html
- Group Activity: SafetyPinBox Power-Mapping - VIEW BELOW or CLICK HERE to download
YOUTH TEACH IN:
- A facilitation guide for discussing the difference between the intent behind our words and actions and the impact of our words and actions and how these differences are important. The discussion then turns towards an exploration of institutional racism and how our privileges can play out in conversations about race. Created by Sarah Gonzalez: Resisting Racism Youth Lesson
CHILDREN'S (3rd to 6th grade) TEACH IN:
- DISCUSS: While the ideas of white supremacy and institutional racism may not be accessible to elementary age children, understanding lack of representation is a way to illustrate the same points. One idea to say is, “Our Unitarian Universalist faith is having discussions all over the country about who is represented and how. We realized that many white people were in positions of making important decisions without people of color.” Invite the children to talk about one group of people making decisions for another can be limiting. The Teaching Tolerance activity that we recommend is one that is an accessible way to talk about representation. You may want to bring up the UU example after doing the activity.
- ACTIVITY: Teaching Tolerance Discovering my Identity
This activity created by Teaching Tolerance presents an opportunity for children to think about how they identify. Invite the group to list how they would describe who they are to someone else. After offering an opportunity to share this, ask the group about the books they’ve read. Who are they about? Ask how many in the room read books with characters who identify the same way they do? Tell the story of Marley Dias (links to her story are in the Teaching Tolerance activity). Marley was tired of reading about “white boys and dogs.” She decided to do something about it and she started a campaign to collect books that feature girls of color called #1000blackgirlbooks. More information on the campaign can be found here: http://grassrootscommunityfoundation.org/1000-black-girl-books-resource-guide/
CHILDREN'S (K-3rd grade) TEACH IN:
Ongoing TEACH IN Resources
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail (excerpted and with link to full text)
- Teaching Tolerance: Racism and White Privilege
Allies for Racial Equity (a UU organization):
How White Supremacy effects the Latinx Community:
- Why aren't more people talking about Latinos killed by police?
- Subtle Erasure of Hispanic Texas Culture
Best practices resources when addressing white supremacy with children and youth:
Resources for Religious Educators:
- Teaching Tolerance combats prejudice among our nation’s youth while promoting equality, inclusiveness and equitable learning environments; they are a leader in producing state of the art anti-bias education materials. Review their Anti-Bias Framework for appropriate expectations, messages, and goals for children at different stages, from Kindergarten through high school.
- Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education, also published by Teaching Tolerance, offers important reminders for Religious Educators as we plan our UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn activities for children and youth. Pay special attention to the section on Family and Community Engagement as you communicate with families about your teach-in plans for children and youth. Ensure that your paid and volunteer RE teachers and youth advisors are properly trained and vetted; adults who have not done their own work around white supremacy should not lead teach-in activities with children and youth. Review the sections on Classroom Culture and Teacher Leadership with your staff in advance of the teach-in. http://www.tolerance.org/sites/default/files/general/PDA%20Critical%20Practices_0.pdf
Resources for Families:
- Beyond the Golden Rule, published by Teaching Tolerance, is a parent’s guide to preventing and responding to prejudice, from preschool through high school. It is a useful resource for families of all racial identities. The book is available in a PDF format that can be downloaded and printed.