Join us as we seek to “transform from the inside out.” 

The Educating4Change Pathway focuses on educational events that denounce systemic racism and promote antiracist learning and action. 

Questions? Email us! E4Cinfo@rruuc.org.

An Invitation

We are a group of River Roaders committed to raising our own educational awareness about Racial Justice issues and helping to bring that awareness to our congregation and the larger community. We do this through monthly meetings that include spiritual practices, book discussions, structured exercises, and planning for future congregational activities.  We provide support for each other as we move forward on this path.  If you like what you see here, please consider joining us–use the email above. 

Upcoming Events sponsored by E4C

(All River Roaders are welcome to attend these events.) 

E4C Meetings: third Thursday of the Month, 7:30-9pm (virtual). Contact E4Cinfo@rruuc.org.

Here are some quotes to get you thinking:

“It’s important, therefore, to know who the real enemy is, and to know the function, the very serious function of racism, which is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and so you spend 20 years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says that you have no art so you dredge that up. Somebody says that you have no kingdoms and so you dredge that up.” – Toni Morrison, from her speech “A Humanist View” at Portland State University, 1975

“We have lived through avalanches of tokens and concessions but white power remains white,” Baldwin wrote in the introduction to The Price of the Ticket. “And what it appears to surrender with one hand it obsessively clutches in the other.” – Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Begin Again (p. 183)

“When the color of your skin is seen as a weapon, you will never be seen as unarmed.”  – Black Lives Matter sign, as retold by Resmaa Meanakem, From My Grandmother’s Hand’s

“Nothing will work unless you do.”  – Maya Angelou

E4C History and Activities

E4C is one of six Racial Justice Pathways at River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation. The Pathways formed in 2016-17 following a visioning project that surveyed the entire congregation on issues related to racial justice. (Information on the other RJ Pathways is provided elsewhere on the RRUUC website.)  

Since 2017, E4C has held numerous activities for RRUUC members and friends. These activities include workshops, book discussions, showings of film and videos followed by a discussion, field trips, Listening Sessions, and related activities prior to congregational votes on racial justice resolutions. Examples of these activities are provided below:

Listening Sessions: Provided on Zoom for RRUUC members prior to the congregational vote in 2020 on the Racial Justice Resolution and in 2021 on the vote on the 8th Principle. The Listening Sessions allowed individual members to ask questions and express concerns about the upcoming votes. The listening sessions helped ensure passage of both the resolution and the 8th Principle. In addition to the Listening Sessions, the E4C Pathway prepared a video of testimonials from RRUUC members – ages 6 to 96 – on the importance of the 8th Principle, and detailed Q&As based on issues raised during the listening sessions with the congregation. (Just a note on the two votes: The 2020 resolution was for our own congregation. The 8th Principle is being studied by the UUA and joins the work of UU congregations across the country to uplift and affirm our Association’s commitment to racial justice, equity, multiculturalism, and building beloved community.) See the links below for more information on the Resolution and the 8th Principle. 

Workshop Topics: Implicit Bias, Free Minds (Poet Ambassadors making a difference in the lives of incarcerated youth), the award-winning musical Hamilton. 

Book Discussions: The Guarded Gate by Daniel Okrent, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. (Also, see book suggestions below.)

Film and video showings: Good Trouble on John Lewis, Deconstructing White Privilege, I am Not Your Negro, A Ripple of Hope (documentary on RFK’s speech following death of MLK), Whose Streets (documentary about the death of Michael Brown and the Ferguson uprising), Charm City (documentary on Baltimore’s West Side), Rigged (Documentary on how the right to vote is being undercut), and a video on an RRUUC Black Lives Matter Vigil on October 6, 2020:

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Field Trips: Frederick Douglass Site (DC), Josiah Henson Site (Montgomery County), American University – National Antiracist Book Festival (DC). 

Recommendations for Self-study or Action

1.  Books on multiculturalism and antiracism

  • Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism by Nancy Palmer Jones, Karin Lin
    • This book uses case studies from five UU congregations to examine how they have addressed and incorporated antiracism and diversity in building a Beloved Community. What is important about the book is that it presents these efforts as starts and stops with thoughtful reflections by congregants and ministers. The authors give a personal and professional assessment that is refreshing in its “realness.”
  • The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones
  • So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee
  • Nice Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  • How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith
    • This book takes the reader on a personal journey as the author visits sites in the US and abroad to explore the history of slavery. He grapples with his own family history that included enslaved ancestors. This book is important for its intense personal insights and the author’s use of descriptive language to set a scene and bring to life those people he meets along the way.   
  • Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.  

2.  Action

Check out RRUUC’s other Pathways to Racial Justice