Dear UUFE Members and Friends,
As you may have heard, Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), resigned on March 30. Yesterday the UUA Board of Trustees appointed the Rev. Sofia Betancourt, the Rev. William G. Sinkford, and Dr. Leon Spencer as co-presidents to serve until a new president is elected on June 24, 2017 at General Assembly. The Board’s letter provides additional detail. (.)
With this leadership plan in place, it’s tempting for those of us distant from the UUA to move on. I’d encourage us not to. It’s important to reflect upon why Rev. Morales and several other senior leaders chose to resign. UU World magazine summarizes, “Morales stepped down in the midst of an escalating controversy over the UUA’s hiring practices and statements he made in response to charges that those policies reflect and perpetuate “white supremacy” in the liberal but predominately white religious movement.”
These patterns in hiring practices did not start with Rev. Morales, but rather go back generations at the UUA and in many, many other organizations. What will foster meaningful change? I offer some questions to open a conversation:
What are the ways predominantly white organizations perpetuate predominantly white leadership?
How and why do hiring patterns default to “comfortable fit” and sustain the status quo?
Which systems cause communities to be less inclusive, life-transforming and loving than they proclaim to be, or could be or should be? What helps them change?
I offer my questions knowing there are no easy answers. What are your questions?
I encourage us to reflect on these issues together and invite you to join me on Saturday, April 22 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. for a candid group conversation. Please bring your own coffee or tea, and if you’d like, a snack to share.
In gratitude for the loving community that is UUFE,