We are people who have always affirmed human diversity. We have always looked to the future and seen new possibilities. We must do so again. Let us be the people who break down the arbitrary barriers that divide us from them. We are one, and love and hope will guide us. Let us, together with all our brothers and sisters, build a new way. — Peter Morales, former UUA President

The Racial Justice Team, engages with the North Parish leadership and congregation to end racial discrimination and injustice, starting within ourselves and moving out into the world around us.

  • We plan events such as workshops, films and book discussions to raise awareness of multicultural issues, including racial injustice, white privilege, and immigration rights;
  • We publicly display North Parish commitment to racial justice through banners, vigils, meetings with law enforcement and political representatives, and letters to the editor/other publicity;
  • We partner with other congregational and community groups toward a common sense of justice; engage in legislative action such as meeting and letter writing to support racial justice issues, including those around incarceration, voting rights, and immigration justice.

Current Initiatives

Support Black Lives Matter movement

The Board of Trustees (BOT) voted to place a Black Lives Matter banner in front of the meeting house to signify North parish’s support for racial justice especially concerning the black community.

Black Lives Matter Banner FAQ 2020

Historical Examples of Institutional Racism

Why do some of us say that our faith call us to affirm Black Lives Matter?

Book discussions

The Racial Justice Team hosts Zoom sessions to discuss two important books about race and antiracism.

July 2020:  So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

The author guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible:  honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

August 2020:  Stamped:  Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

This young adult remix of Kendi’s award-winning Stamped From the Beginning shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas–and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.

Combating Voter Suppression by volunteering with Reclaim Our Vote and their partners in state NAACP chapters and Black Voters Matter and Mi Familia Votato help get people registered, and provide information how and where to vote as safely as possible in the midst of a Coronavirus pandemic in order to support voter access to free and fair elections.

Second Thursday meet-ups at El Taller, 275 Essex Street Lawrence – Thursdays from 6 – 8 pm
(currently suspended due to Covid-19)
These monthly gatherings are meant to be an opportunity for fellowship, discussion and planning around multicultural and racial justice issues. If you haven’t yet been to El Taller, summer is the perfect time to find out what you’ve been missing – great coffee, milkshakes, beer & wine, and a menu of delicious food, including breakfast burritos for dinner! Anyone is welcome – grab a bite and join the discussion. The evening often brings surprising conversations and intersections!

Past Initiatives include

Becoming an Ally Anti-Racism Training Workshop, October 2017 at North Parish

Facilitated by the Lawrence Dream Network.  “The purpose of this workshop is to join together two adjacent communities in the struggle for equity, equality and parity in all communities with the expected result of political action that promotes change.  Ultimately, the goal is to use collective power to highlight injustices and abolish the practice of systemic oppression.”

Multicultural Competencies Task Force held a “Discussion on White Supremacy Culture”, October 2017

Earlier in 2017, Unitarian Universalists all over the country entered into a conversation about white supremacy culture, examining how our US American culture and institutions, including our own denomination, uphold this system.  Gail Forsyth-Vail, who is a UUA staff person, shared some ponderings stemming from those conversations.  What is the difference between overt white supremacists, like the KKK, and the covert way in which white supremacy is part of the water we swim in?  How are we called to respond?  Let’s talk.

Annual Reports

2020 Racial Justice Team Annual Report

2019 Racial Justice Team Annual Report

2018 Annual Report

2017 Annual Report

2016 Multicultural Task Force Annual Report

Additional Resources

As Robin DiAngelo, author of the book White Fragility says, this is on-going, life-long work we are doing, and the linked resource list (with live links) will serve as one good place to look for other ways to engage in the work of recognizing and interrupting racism.

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