Our existing 7 principles imply this 8th principle, but do not explicitly hold us accountable for addressing these oppressions directly, especially at the systemic level.
UUism has great potential for building diverse multicultural Beloved Community as envisioned by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (not just European/Americans and African/Americans, but including Native Americans, Latinx people, and other cultural groups) globally and could experience tremendous diversification, vitality, and thriving if it works to embody this vision, but it won’t happen without conscious awareness and effort on our part.
Dismantling racism, white supremacy, and other oppressions requires work at the personal and institutional levels.
The UU Principles were designed to be dynamic, not a fixed creed. It means we want to always continue to be educating ourselves, exploring truth, and raising our consciousness. When we get to a new level of understanding and clarity, our structure makes it possible to reflect that. UU is the only religion that intentionally builds in that flexibility to acknowledge the importance of ongoing revealed truth. This happened when environmental awareness reached a critical mass and got added as a 7th Principle (although it also has multicultural relationship implications). We are approaching a similar critical mass level of awareness with the systemic nature of racism and other oppressions.
None of the other Principles mentions love; by having “Beloved Community” in the 8th Principle, it brings our commitment to love higher in our consciousness, consistent with our Standing on the Side of Love campaign.
The 8th Principle is really just the beginning of action, rather than the ultimate goal. It should lead to restoring funding and support for Jubilee Anti-Racism trainings for any UUs who want them and the other programs of the late 90s, as well as starting an anti-racism version of the Welcoming Congregation program that was so effective for LGBTQIA+ awareness and progress. Many people of color have been attracted by the values and potential of UUism, but their souls have been repeatedly wounded by its whiteness. Let’s make our actions match our values. Let’s be a UU movement that feeds them. That would be spiritual wholeness.
What you can do:
Discuss the 8th Principle with your congregation. Adopt it for your congregation. Live by it. Act! For more information: email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 215-848-6246.