Periodically, events take place that call for a response from the Board of JUUstice Washington.
JUUstice Washington Board Statement on Commitment to Racial Justice
Approved by members of the Board 27 June 2020
In the long and continuous struggle to bend the arc of history toward justice and compassion and turn away from white supremacy, and racism more generally, JUUstice Washington reaffirms our commitment to work to:
- Dismantle systemic racism against people of color in education, employment, housing, voting rights, access to health care, safety and other areas of inequity;
- Prevent and overturn the disproportionate effects of environmental degradation on communities of color; and
- Implement equitable and ethical treatment in the criminal justice and judicial systems that disproportionately render inequitable treatment of people of color.
We are called to this work by Unitarian Universalist Principles and the Unitarian Universalist living tradition of supporting and leading social and environmental justice movements locally and in broader communities.
We are committed to engage in faithful discernment that we may know when to speak and when to listen, when to lead and when to follow, when to be an active presence and when to bear witness. We are committed to the short- and long-term natures of achieving the goals of equity, justice and compassion.
We encourage all JUUstice Washington members and Unitarian Universalist congregations to move boldly forward to make this time in history a tipping point toward racial justice.
The Board of JUUstice Washington voted unanimously to join Latino Civci Alliance in asking the Governor, Legislature and State Agencies to make farm worker health and safety a priority, especially in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Among many other groups, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the agricultural workers very hard. The have been deemed “essential workers” and required to continue working in order to keep food supply systems operational. However, in spite of being essential workers, farmworkers are not receiving the equipment and safety protocols necessary to perform their work without risking exposure to COVID-19 for individuals and entire communities. JUUstice Washington granted Latino Civic Alliance permission was granted to use our name and logo on a flyer produced by Latino Civic Alliance requesting our greater community to petition Governor Inslee and the WA State Legislature to act.
Our Children’s Trust Amicus Brief Signatory
On or about May 31, 2019 a quorum was achieved by email voting to sign-on to the Our Children’s Trust (OTC) amicus brief described below. Organizations signing on needed their statements filed with OTC by June 2, 2019.
The JUUstice Washington Board of Directors and the Social and Environmental Justice Committee of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship have voted to become signatories on an interfaith amicus brief to be filed on behalf of the youth in Aji P. v. State of WashingtonOur Children’s Trust.
The Statement submitted to OTC by JUUstice Washington for inclusion in the amicus brief Motion to File is as follows:
“JUUstice Washington, a Unitarian Universalist State Action Network is a signatory to this brief because it works diligently with Unitarian Universalist (“UU”) congregations throughout the State of Washington to carry out its principles, one being the Seventh Principle in which we affirm and promote, “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” In addition to this Principle, JUUstice Washington also affirms and promotes our Sixth Source of Living Tradition with which we draw upon, “Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.” JUUstice Washington fully supports and believes in these youth and their challenge to their elders that climate change is within the purview of the public trust and they have the right to secure and preserve their future and those of future generations.”
JUUstice Washington Statement of Support for Trans Community
On March 1, 2019, UU Worldmagazine published an article entitled “After L, G, and B” which hascaused harm to transgender and non-binary people. In the article, a cisgender woman wrote about her perspective and experience while intending to be an ally to transgender people. In its public response, Transgender Religious professional Unitarian Universalists Together (TRUUsT) explains the harm caused by this article:
“The UU World’s article titled “After L, G, and B” frames the trans experience by centering a white, heterosexual, cisgender woman’s experience. By doing so, it reduces trans people to objects—something that happens far too often in society and in our UU communities. The use of harmful slurs, the conflation of intersex and trans experience, and a repeated focus on surgery, hormones, and pronouns perpetuates stereotypes around trans experiences that devalues the gifts we have to bring to the world and Unitarian Universalism.”
JUUstice Washington is committed to dismantling institutional and systemic oppression, including oppression based on gender identity/expression. We encourage you to read the UU Worldarticle and TRUUsT’sresponse, and explore the additional resources listed below. The Unitarian Universalist community is a space in which trans UUs regularly experience oppression. UU World’s commissioning and publication of “After L, G, and B” is reflective of and adds to that collective oppression. We call on our cisgender members to develop new knowledge and skills that are needed to create a safe and inclusive community in which the inherent worth and dignity of all people is truly valued and honored.
After L, G, and B (Kimberly French, Contributing Editor, UU World)
Putting the “T” First: Public Statement on This Week’s UU World Article (TRUUsT Steering Committee)
Our Story Hurt People (Christopher Walton, Editor, UU World)
Tips For Talking about the UU World Article (Transforming Hearts Collective)
Transgender Inclusion in Congregations course (Rev. Mykal Slack & Zr. Alex Kapitan, Transforming Hearts Collective)
Transgender Inclusion & Affirmation Questions to Consider (LGBTQ Ministries office, Unitarian Universalist Association, 2012)