Youth Caucus Executive Staff: we cannot recoil from the road to justice in the face of fear
The executive staff of Youth Caucus, Eric Broner (Sr. Dean), Colleen Lee (Sr. Worship Coordinator) and Hannah Rigdon (Sr. Business Manager) issued this statement following the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
In times of loss, frustration abounds. As we mourn the recent loss of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, it is important for us to remember that in the wake of devastating hurt, we as Unitarian Universalists have two responsibilities.
The first is to come together and mourn. Together, we can provide each other the support we need to emotionally navigate these difficult times. We must remember that our values in community, in the interconnected web of existence, in the inherent worth and dignity of each and every person are what help us as a faith to continue to move forward even in the darkest of days.
We also have a responsibility as UUs to take these times as a call for action, a time to seek justice. Undoubtedly, we will be faced with opposition. Undoubtedly, the path to justice will be fraught with more difficult times. But we cannot recoil from the road to justice in the face of fear.
To white youth
Your mourning is not inappropriate. That being said, white supremacy can take the form of putting white feelings over black lives. Remember that it is our black siblings who are facing more fear and loss right now than white youth may be able to comprehend. In this time of grief, white discomfort will more than likely occur. Please use these feelings to stimulate conversation about race and to allow yourself to mourn with your white friends. Don’t allow your grief and sadness to step on the feelings of a person of color.
To youth of color
This is your church; ask from it what you need and the youth community will stand behind you. Your lives matter, you are loved, we need you to survive.
Take Action Now
At General Assembly 2016, youth called upon the UUA to reaffirm its commitment to racial justice. An immediate action we can take is to call on our congregations to provide places for healing and meeting. The Black Lives of UU Organizing Collective has written up a number of guidelines on how to create these important, supportive spaces. Show this article to your ministers, religious educators, youth advisors, and/or board members and tell them you are willing to partner with them to create explicitly black space for black community members to organize and support one another.