Racial Justice Ministry


Two adults run an outreach table for the Racial Justice Ministry, including a quilted banner reading "First Unitarian Universalist Society of Newton," a posterboard, a selection of books, and many pamphlets and flyers.The Purpose of the FUUSN Racial Justice Ministry is to inspire, educate, support and equip FUUSN’s leadership and membership, including ourselves, for vital and vibrant racial justice and anti-oppression engagement in our congregation and in our larger community.

Our goal is to nurture a religious community where people of all races, ethnicities, and cultures see their cultural identities reflected and affirmed in every aspect of congregational life – worship, fellowship, leadership, governance, religious education, social justice, etc. We are working to create a religious home where encounters between people of different cultural identities intersect with Unitarian Universalism to create a fully inclusive community.

We have offered a number of different learning opportunities to clarify issues, deepen the journey, explore issues of white supremacy. These include Waking Up WhiteWhite Fragility and Uprooting Racism book discussion groups, films, speakers, open discussion forums, and a monthly meeting of activists working to end racism. We also sponsor at least one worship service a year, recently a thoughtful celebration of Juneteenth.

In 2021-22, we are working toward adoption of the UU 8th Principle.

We are currently offering workshops on The Pledge to End Racism.

Members of the RJM Steering Committee include:

  • Bill Holland (Co-Chair)
  • Barbara Deck
  • Hattie Kerwin Derrick
  • Bill Dusett
  • Meg Holland
  • RoseAnn Murray
  • Naomi Rush Olson
  • Jean Smith

For more information about upcoming programs, please contact co-chairs Bill Holland.

The FUUSN Racial Justice Ministry has adopted and promotes the “Guidelines for Effective Cross-Cultural Dialogue”.

The RJM has been a major participant in the FUUSN community for over eight years, producing over 68 programs and events with over 260 of us participating in one or more of them.  We have focused primarily on educational book groups, movies, and the Living the Pledge workshops.  Along the way, we have participated in some controversial issues including the White Supremacy teach-ins, the Allen Window issue, the removal of the ministers’ portraits, and the adoption of the 8th Principle resolution.   

Here are a few statistics about our programs and events

  • 28 book groups, 9 different books, 23 facilitators and 134 participants
  • 10 other discussion groups with 92 of us participating in one or more of them
  • 7 movie/video screenings
  • 7 Living the Pledge workshops, staffed with 30 volunteers for 92 participants
  • 16 other events
  • 22 of us have participated on the RJM Steering Committee
  • 42 of us have led or facilitated the above programs

Six young adults, five wearing red, long-sleeved shirts and one wearing a green T-shirt, perform in the Sanctuary.

In addition to our efforts within the FUUSN community, we have started looking outward.  We tabled at the Newton MLK event in 2023 and made connections with racial justice groups at Newton’s Catholic churches.  We also supported members of Newton’s Black community to produce the highly acclaimed “An Evening of Blacknificence” in celebration of Black History Month.  In our Living the Pledge workshop, we had three members of First Parish Church in Waltham, and we are looking forward to including more people from the wider community in future workshops.