The First Principle affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Throughout our country’s long history of enslavement, exploitation, imprisonment, and injustice, black lives have been systematically and culturally devalued. The “Black Lives Matter” movement works to call out the ways this happens today, and to focus attention and action on solutions.
Much as UUs answered the call to go to Selma to support the work of Dr. King, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee/SNCC, today we are called to stand in solidarity with a movement calling attention to how the devaluation of black lives manifests itself in increased tolerance for police brutality and mass incarceration, employment and wage inequality, inequities in housing opportunity, inadequate education and the school-to-prison pipeline, and voter disenfranchisement.
Cedar Lane supports the “Black Lives Matter” movement through visibility, education, and action.
- Visibility: A large “Black Lives Matter” banner is displayed prominently at the front of the church, and smaller signs are displayed at the Cedar Lane and Culver Street entrances.
- Education: The “Together” Diversity Team, in close collaboration with the ministers, provides many opportunities for learning more about the “Black Lives Matter” movement - why our faith calls us to support it, and what we can do within our church, our locality, and ourselves to advance justice. Past learning opportunities have included a “Black Lives Matter” vestibule exhibit, a lay-led sermon by participants in the Selma “Marching in the Arc of Justice” conference, “Together Sunday” programs on mass incarceration and white privilege, and congregational conversations following related sermons.
- Actions: The “Together” Diversity Team, as part of the Social Justice Team, publicizes opportunities for advocacy and social action.
On December 10, 2015, we had a forum about Black Lives Matter, with moderator Rev. Abhi Janamanchi, and panelists Paula Cole Jones, Racial & Social Justice consultant for the Joseph Priestley District, Rev. Leon Dunkley, Assistant Minister of UU Silver Spring, and Kerridwen Henry, UU Black Lives Matter activist.