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Understanding Racism


Themes for the 2017–2018 Program Year: Race, Democracy, & Economic Justice

It has been the custom in recent years to choose an annual Program Theme that helps to integrate some of the programming at 1U. In addition, we have sub-themes that help to define the year. These themes have and may be used in worship in the Sanctuary, in the children’s programming, in adult programming, in Covenant Group Sessions, and more. While program leaders had already been looking at the themes of Race, Democracy, & Economic Justice, events of last summer have made them even more timely.

The year will be divided into three terms:

  • Racism—An Introduction (October–November)
  • Racism & Democracy (January–February)
  • Racism & Economic Justice (March–April)

Each term will have one major activity in which all members will be encouraged to participate. For the Fall, we encouraged people to sign up for Beloved Conversations: Meditations on Race & Ethnicity (details below.) Other activities will be planned (see below) for those unable to make the commitment or who already participated. More info will be shared as it evolves.

Beloved Conversations: Meditations on Race and Ethnicity

1U has offered Beloved Conversations: Meditations on Race and Ethnicity, a program developed by Dr. Mark A. Hicks, a number of times on our campus. It provides a supportive small group opportunity for participants to engage in self-reflection and deepening understanding. All 1U members are encouraged to take part in this important program.

The program begins with a required opening retreat (Friday evening and all day Saturday). Following the opening retreat, participants are divided into small groups that meet (approximately) weekly for eight two-hour sessions.

Contact Gaby at ProgramAssistant@OrlandoUU.org to be put on the list for future opportunities.

Wrestling with Our Understandings About Race

The events of this year have called our attention to issues of race, and understanding our relationship to those issues. Many of us are wrestling with understanding and responding to our experience, our emotions, and what we are called to do. It can be difficult, and for some of us it is destabilizing. Let us remain open in our hearts to this journey. We anticipate deep conversation within the congregation, and hope for greater understanding, healing, and spiritual development.

Bring your questions and concerns and join with others in conversation. This is an open meeting, typically on the first Sunday of each month from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. Details are included in the Weekly Update (also referred to as the eblast) and in the Weekend Update, which is handed out on Sunday mornings with the Order of Service.

We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For” 1U Social Justice Read

  • Between the World and Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates.”
  • They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement,” by Wesley Lowery

1U Member Sandy Cawthern is offering this dual-book Read as an offshoot to 1U actions Wrestling With Our Understandings About Race, and Beloved Conversations. The second book references the first, so it is useful to read both. Sign up sheet available at Gaby’s Table/1U Centrail. Limited numbers of each book will be available for purchase or for checking out for the duration of the Read. Books must be read by the following discussion dates:

February 25 – 12:30-1:30 pm, EC Community Room,Between the World and Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates.”

Its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revalatory,” according to Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, essayist, and professor emeritus at Princeton University Toni Morrison.

April 22 – 12:30-1:30 pm, EC Community Room,They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement,” by Wesley Lowery, team reporter and 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner for national reporting for the Washington Post’s coverage of police shootings.

“A deeply reported book that brings alive the quest for justice in the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, offering both unparalleled insight into the reality of police violence in America and an intimate, moving portrait of those working to end it,” according to the book’s jacket summary.