Taking Action in Black Lives Matter

SSL Black Lives Matter LogoIs your congregation considering expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, by placing a banner or sign on congregational property or your web presence? Here are a few things to consider in order to be prepared to join this conversation within your community:

  1. Accept that the banner or sign will likely be vandalized, and what you will do if it is.
  2. Be prepared to stay committed to the message, even in the face of significant negative public response, because backing away from the message would be damaging to the Black Lives Matter movement.
  3. Help your congregation to anticipate and prepare for negative responses to the congregation’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement, knowing that such push-back shows that the message is bringing the conversation about racial justice into public view.
  4. Provide opportunities for the congregation and the community to both learn about racial justice, and to process the emotions that might come with the congregation taking such a controversial stand.
  5. Choose who will speak to the media on behalf of the congregation, and be intentional about the message the congregation wishes to share.
  6. Be ready to receive and welcome those who wish to show solidarity with the congregation’s stand in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement, and to listen to their stories and wisdom as much as we share with them about Unitarian Universalism.

If you wish to learn more about how your congregation can be prepared for taking a prophetic public stand in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement, see this open letter to congregations from the Central East Regional Staff of the UUA. Many Unitarian Universalists feel called to show our solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and with preparation and discernment your congregation can as well.

You can find resources around the Black Lives Matter Movement on the Standing on the Side of Love website, the UUA website and the CERG website.

Rev. David Pyle
CER Program Manager for Justice Ministries

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2 thoughts on “Taking Action in Black Lives Matter

  1. I do not agree with some of the activities of this “movement”….marching down the street in minn, chanting, “pigs in a ….”, bullying a senator to the extent he cannot present to his meeting, ….on and on are examples…..I would like my church to have a discussion on this issue, rather than assume the congregants like myself (but not solely limited to myself, as I have found with discussions with others) will have a voice….when I have presented my position to some in the movement, I have been called a “racist”…I feel black lives matter, indeed, I support my churches principle, “the worth and dignity of all persons”, which, obviously, includes not only the race mentioned above, but all races, and other beliefs….(bob coleman)

  2. Bob,

    I want to thank you for your comment, and for your concern. As we said in the open letter, not every congregation is ready to take a public stand supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and in part that is because there are Unitairan Universalists like yourself who are not able to do so. In some cases this is a matter of fundamental disagreement like you express. In others it is just that they may not be as familiar with issues of racial justice. We on the Central East Regional Staff understand that not all UU’s, or all congregations are ready or able to take this stand. However, there are a growing number of congregations who do feel called to take a public stand in support of the Black Lives Matters movement, and for those that do we offer the thoughts in this open letter to be sure they do so well. Thank you for your comment!

    Be well and blessed,

    Rev. David Pyle
    Justice Ministries Program Manager, Central East Region
    District Executive, Joseph Priestley District of the UUA

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