Proposed 8th UU Principle: Endorsements from UUC Groups

UUC Board of Trustees

As a community that covenants to awaken spirit, nurture hope, and inspire action, the Board of Trustees of University Unitarian Church vigorously recommends the adoption of the 8th Principle. The proposed 8th Principle supports our church Vision to be a community that vocally and actively opposes injustice and stands in prophetic judgment of all that would diminish the equality and dignity of human beings. This 8th Principle affirms and makes explicit the critical importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity for our journey to spiritual wholeness found in our seven UU Principles. While racism and oppression remain insidious and unacceptably common, our work to address the harm inflicted must continue. Dismantling racist oppression fits our long faith tradition of working toward liberation, and is, at its center, rooted in love. Because our lives are connected and mutually dependent, we must not do this as individuals alone but as a collective, bound by faith and affection.

With open minds, full hearts, and strong resolve, we recommend that all members adopt this principle not only with our votes but with our lives and actions.

UUC Art Committee

We, the members of the UUC Art Committee support adoption of the proposed 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism.

Art reflects and celebrates the beauty and diversity of humanity. Literature, music, and visual art give us a window into a world we might not have seen, allowing and encouraging us to see people and places in a different way. Art has the power to change lives, perspectives, and minds. We will strive as a committee to provide opportunities for marginalized populations to share their voices. We strongly support adoption of the proposed 8th Principle as we “journey toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”

UUC Economic Justice Team

The Economic Justice Team voted at our September 26, 2021 meeting to support adding the proposed 8th Principle to those which we covenant to affirm and promote within our congregation.

We encourage the Board to move forward with additional meetings which allow all members of the congregation to explore its meaning and likely effect upon our congregation and its work. We look forward to a congregational vote in the upcoming months.

Members of the Economic Justice Team hope that once the principle is adopted, all members of the congregation may make their voices heard in suggesting ways that it may be put into action and ways that we may hold ourselves accountable.

UUC Immigrant Justice Team

UUC’s Immigrant Justice Team supports our congregation’s adoption of the 8th Principle. Our seven principles are positive and life affirming, and the 8th Principle calls us to action and accountability. Structures of racism, white supremacy, and oppression sustain immigration injustice in our nation and our institutions. Creating a truly Beloved Community that dismantles these structures makes it possible for justice to thrive. A tenet of our immigrant justice work is remembering that the liberation of everyone is inherently connected and that we make this journey together. Adoption of the 8th Principle invites us to radical possibility, where we remain open to new learning and understanding, and where we as a congregation choose to act intentionally and boldly, grounded in new ways of being that create spiritual wholeness within and outside our church.

Some may feel that the 8th Principle is superfluous because the first and second principle already speak to every person’s inherent worth and dignity, and to justice and equity. However, we feel it is critical through the 8th Principle to go a step beyond, explicitly naming and rejecting racism and structures that support it and calling us to accountable action toward this end. This is particularly relevant in the context of our nation’s historic and current immigration practices.

Caring Shawls Knitting & Crochet Circle

We would like to vote in favor of supporting the 8th Principal. Particularly during the pandemic, we have learned a great deal about our history. We believe it will require being proactive to repair the racist institutions and prejudices. It is not appropriate to expect the people who have suffered from these prejudices to repair, because the problem does not originate with them but with us, who perpetrate the damage by not seeing it. Now is the time to make it happen. We would be remiss to pretend it isn’t so.

UUC Caring Shawls Knit & Crochet Circle
Sara Clark
Leah Evison
Izzie Wylde
Nancy Jordan
Maylin Fisher Jane Blackwell and others…

UUC Stewardship Committee

We, the members of the Stewardship Committee of University Unitarian Church, strongly endorse the adoption of the 8th Principle.

  • We believe that adopting this principle will demonstrate UUC’s renewed commitment to becoming an antiracist organization, which will help us become better stewards of our own lives, our church community, and the greater world.
  • We believe that the 8th Principle will contribute to the Stewardship Committee’s vision that each member of UUC feels known, valued, and connected within our church, and that all are invited to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community.
  • We believe that we have much to learn individually and collectively about how to approach this lifelong work accountably, so we begin with humility, openness, and appreciation that we have the support of this community for the journey.

We believe that this adoption will affirm that ours is a living tradition guided by principled action and will help us understand and dismantle racism and white supremacy culture and power in ourselves and our institutions.

UUC Equity Team:

We, the members of the University Unitarian Church Equity Team, whole-heartedly endorse our congregation’s adoption of the 8th Principle. As people actively seeking to engage Beloved Community at all levels of our congregation, this principle encourages us to take action to build a more equitable, multi-cultural, and anti-racist model for all decisions we make going forward. Further, we understand that adoption of this principle is one step in a multi-generational process and commit to doing the work over-time to reach this aspirational goal. We do not know how all of this will evolve because we know that anti-racism work, by its nature, is an ongoing learning process, requiring open inquiry, humility, and deep compassion for the suffering of others. As new information and feedback emerges, we trust in our ability to adapt and make needed changes to our processes in service of our higher aspirations. We look forward to this challenge and encourage others to join us in formalizing our commitment to becoming a truly Beloved Community.

UUC Social Justice Steering Committee:

Why we endorse the 8th Principle:

The Social Justice Steering Committee supports a multitude of activities, but one primary purpose is to serve as a catalyst. As we’ve followed along in the journey towards the adoption of the 8th principle, we’ve also witnessed the strong spiritual impact it has had on our Beloved Community. The 8th Principle activates not only each of us, but also our existing principles. They hold us all to be accountable and actively address systemic racism and other oppressions permeating our society. This committee’s actions and decisions will be guided, activated, and enriched by the addition of this principle firmly rooted in social justice to our existing principles.

UUC Social Justice Steering Committee
Brooke Lather-McElligott, Chair
Dave Mentz
David Kendall
Judy Oerkvitz
Maddie Smith
Rich Brooks

UUC Interweave:

UUC Interweave supports the 8th Principle:

As members of a marginalized community, we have felt cultural discrimination. We know the consequences of not being able to be our authentic selves and the subsequent suffering. Therefore, we support the 8th Principle as a way to help us all stay focused on the changes that need to be incorporated into our daily lives.

Beloved community is the antithesis of discrimination. Racism divides communities. Beloved Community unites communities.

This is a journey we can take as individuals and collectively as a group that will lead us all towards wholeness. The 8th Principle offers an opportunity to open our hearts, re-examine our attitudes in our treatment and connection with others, and enliven our spirits. Through this opportunity, we will experience both personal and congregational growth, becoming an even stronger community.

UUC Wise Women Support Group:

The members of the Wise Women support group of the University Unitarian Church support the adoption of the 8th principle as an addition to the previous seven. We believe it is our responsibility to enlighten ourselves to the oppression inflicted on people of color, the earth, and genderism from the White Supremacy on which our country was founded.

UUC Antiracism Study Group:

Why We Endorse the 8th Principle:

The Antiracism Study Group, sponsored by the Racial Justice Team, proudly endorses the adoption of the 8th Principle. For four years, our Antiracism Study Group has made a commitment to learn about how we, as white women, participate in and benefit from white privilege. We have learned to constantly question the narrative of assumed white superiority within ourselves and in our culture. We are also committed to learning how systemic racism is at the root of historic and current white supremacy. We believe that:

  • Adopting the 8th Principle will help us, as a UUC group and as a congregation, move deeper in our commitment to learning about and dismantling these structures of oppression that exist in ourselves and in our institutions.
  • Adopting the 8th Principle sets us on a journey toward spiritual wholeness which is the foundation of creating a diverse and multicultural Beloved Community.
  • Adopting the 8th Principle strengthens our commitment to the first seven Principles, asks us to live our UU Principles with accountability, and makes the implied meaning of the other Principles explicit.
  • Adopting the 8th Principle commits us to a journey that will evolve over time as we move forward because antiracism work is a constant ongoing learning process.

UUC Antiracism Study Group
Sharon Enga
Dinah Hartley
Pat Marks
Jewels Mellen
Margaret Nolen

UUC Interfaith Justice Team:

We, the members of the University Unitarian Church Interfaith Justice Team, are in full support of adoption of the 8th Principle by our congregation. As UUC members who have engaged with the wider community in dialogues over Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, we have witnessed the synergy that comes to life when people of different faiths and cultures work together in a spirit of mutual respect, inquiry, and appreciation. Internalized biases give way to deeper understandings, in a process both enlightening and joyful. Our commitment to upholding the inherent worth and dignity of every individual when these values are under threat is strengthened.

We believe embarking on a parallel course to face and dismantle the toxic legacy of systemic racism is vital to our community’s and our country’s well-being. We recognize that the process is one of both individual and congregational self-examination, and that it will require tangible changes in the near term and ongoing commitment in a multi-generational arc. But we feel that this challenge is imperative and fundamental to our faith, and one that must begin here and now, with us.