1 00:00:04,842 --> 00:00:10,194 make their way to the stage, I am very honored and privileged, 2 00:00:10,195 --> 00:00:15,585 I'm talking slowly as they make their way, I am honored and 3 00:00:15,586 --> 00:00:19,656 privileged to introduce to you our executive director 4 00:00:26,005 --> 00:00:30,626 * he's not with us this morning. 5 00:00:30,627 --> 00:00:34,665 [Applause] 6 00:00:40,823 --> 00:00:42,823 >> Hello. Good Morning, everyone. Good Afternoon. What 7 00:00:42,857 --> 00:00:48,749 time is it? I don't know. Hi. So my apologies. I thought 8 00:00:48,750 --> 00:00:51,049 this was happening tomorrow, so people are texting me, where are 9 00:00:51,050 --> 00:00:58,493 you? So I'm here. No. Today. Sadly, we did I know 10 00:01:01,770 --> 00:01:05,895 right [Indiscernible] we call him Bubu. He was part of the 11 00:01:05,896 --> 00:01:09,185 original back folks, back in 1968, but because we were 12 00:01:09,186 --> 00:01:11,484 thinking we were doing this tomorrow, he is not here right 13 00:01:11,485 --> 00:01:18,583 now. So I have invited some others to join me on the stage. 14 00:01:18,584 --> 00:01:27,568 Miss Paula Jones and reverend miles. Is he here? Let's have 15 00:01:28,074 --> 00:01:31,616 a round of applause for me. 16 00:01:35,980 --> 00:01:41,042 So we were asked to sort of give an update of all that's 17 00:01:41,043 --> 00:01:46,720 happening with BLUU, and in BLUU, we often start our 18 00:01:46,721 --> 00:01:50,032 happenings and events in gratitude. And so we want to 19 00:01:50,033 --> 00:01:55,909 start by just showing a short video expressing some gratitude 20 00:01:55,910 --> 00:01:59,981 that we have for folks here in this room and folks who aren't 21 00:01:59,982 --> 00:02:03,802 able to be with us. So if we can Watch that video now, that 22 00:02:03,803 --> 00:02:06,080 would be good. >> video: 23 00:02:12,224 --> 00:02:14,542 24 00:03:05,372 --> 00:03:08,171 >> So yes, so I just want everybody to know the background 25 00:03:09,455 --> 00:03:11,750 for Unitarian Universalism has deep gratitude for so many 26 00:03:11,751 --> 00:03:15,343 people who have made our work possible. And the work has been 27 00:03:15,598 --> 00:03:21,931 life-changing. In March we had the first ever board convening, 28 00:03:21,932 --> 00:03:27,753 and we had just over 100 black UU's come. We were here in New 29 00:03:27,754 --> 00:03:30,050 Orleans last March March. And when people came out of it, they 30 00:03:30,314 --> 00:03:33,694 said things like this was life-changing for me. I didn't 31 00:03:33,695 --> 00:03:35,695 know that I could be black and UU. 32 00:03:36,779 --> 00:03:40,120 * at the same time. This was a place where I felt like I could 33 00:03:40,121 --> 00:03:45,700 live most deeply into my faith values values, being who I am as 34 00:03:45,955 --> 00:03:50,818 a black person. To us, that is of utmost importance. It is 35 00:03:50,819 --> 00:03:55,154 especially important in this time. One of the things I 36 00:03:55,155 --> 00:04:00,496 wanted to comment and share with all of you and our wider UU 37 00:04:00,497 --> 00:04:04,828 community, this is a heavy time for black Americans in mechanic. 38 00:04:04,829 --> 00:04:10,454 We just had the verdict in the police shooting of Philando 39 00:04:10,455 --> 00:04:13,759 Castille. That was not guilty. Yeah. The shooting happened 6 40 00:04:13,760 --> 00:04:19,365 miles away from where I live. And it affected our community 41 00:04:19,366 --> 00:04:24,005 really deeply. On the heels of that, we had murders in Seattle, 42 00:04:25,291 --> 00:04:28,847 murders out on the other coast of a 17-year-old Muslim girl. 43 00:04:29,102 --> 00:04:34,466 So it's a very heavy time and it's a hard time for black folks 44 00:04:34,714 --> 00:04:37,780 in particular. So to be able to minister to folks, to support 45 00:04:37,781 --> 00:04:45,206 them, to love them, to show them all of our black family 46 00:04:45,207 --> 00:04:47,207 that we will continue to support people is 47 00:04:50,333 --> 00:04:52,124 of the utmost importance. Since the convening, we've also 48 00:04:52,125 --> 00:05:00,515 launched the BLUU ministry network. We call it BLUUMin. 49 00:05:00,516 --> 00:05:03,331 We have cable I posts of an miles an hour factions, daily 50 00:05:03,332 --> 00:05:08,925 pastoral Caroline. People are holding office hours. We were 51 00:05:08,926 --> 00:05:12,235 able to help be a part of fundraising for more people of 52 00:05:12,236 --> 00:05:17,835 color to be able to come to General Assembly. Yes. 53 00:05:22,481 --> 00:05:26,302 And we're thankful for the board support in that and planning 54 00:05:26,303 --> 00:05:30,908 Committee in that. And probably most of all, we're announcing 55 00:05:30,909 --> 00:05:35,982 based on our assembly is that we have hired as our BLUU 56 00:05:35,983 --> 00:05:41,578 community minister for worship and spiritual care reverend 57 00:05:41,579 --> 00:05:50,270 Michael Fl Flack. And we have also launched our elders 58 00:05:50,271 --> 00:05:55,869 council, which we are call the BLUU 360 elders council. That 59 00:05:55,870 --> 00:05:59,513 conference was appointed to us when we launched last year. We 60 00:05:59,514 --> 00:06:02,307 launched the seven principles of black lives, and one of those 61 00:06:02,308 --> 00:06:06,660 principles is having a 360 vision. Making sure we are 62 00:06:06,661 --> 00:06:11,270 intergenerational, that we are both honoring our ancestors and 63 00:06:11,271 --> 00:06:14,317 working hard to our young people and the babies to make the 64 00:06:14,318 --> 00:06:20,693 future better for them. And so to that end, we have established 65 00:06:22,982 --> 00:06:25,793 our elders council. Two of the folks on the council are here 66 00:06:25,794 --> 00:06:29,357 here. Reverend Mel Hoover and Mrs. Paula Jones. 67 00:06:30,113 --> 00:06:32,449 [Applause] 68 00:06:35,736 --> 00:06:40,090 We also have reverend Susan Linda Moore. 69 00:06:40,845 --> 00:06:45,219 [Applause] And then of course father Asneka 70 00:06:45,475 --> 00:06:51,847 , who is also a part of it. So I want to just give, in honoring 71 00:06:52,612 --> 00:06:55,183 our elders and being with them in guidance and support, I want 72 00:06:55,184 --> 00:06:58,985 to give them a little time to just talk to you about the 73 00:06:58,986 --> 00:07:03,325 journey that we have been on on, about the covenant that was 74 00:07:03,326 --> 00:07:09,224 broken in 1968, and about the work that -- 75 00:09:25,048 --> 00:09:29,667 >> Work to maintain, saying in that place as an inclusive 76 00:09:29,668 --> 00:09:36,507 Beloved community, so it's intergenerational. It requires 77 00:09:36,508 --> 00:09:38,812 many, many people to come forward and have a change ever 78 00:09:38,813 --> 00:09:41,105 heart. And if our congregations are really going to live into 79 00:09:41,106 --> 00:09:47,487 the future, we absolutely must, must do this work. We must 80 00:09:47,488 --> 00:09:53,372 embrace multi-culturalism at its best. I'm hoping that my 81 00:09:53,373 --> 00:09:56,454 grandchildren one day, who I don't have yet, 82 00:10:00,535 --> 00:10:04,104 I'm thinking about the future, but I'm hoping that they will 83 00:10:04,105 --> 00:10:08,965 also be able to grow up in a Unitarian Universalist church, 84 00:10:08,966 --> 00:10:14,069 but I can't guarantee that if we don't do our work. I'm always 85 00:10:14,070 --> 00:10:16,896 one of six who went to Sunday school, but also I went to 86 00:10:16,897 --> 00:10:18,897 church with 87 00:10:20,203 --> 00:10:23,246 my mother and yet I'm the only one who is completely involved. 88 00:10:23,247 --> 00:10:27,864 I have a brother who also plays with our church, but he doesn't 89 00:10:28,120 --> 00:10:30,658 come as a Unitarian Universalist. So something 90 00:10:30,659 --> 00:10:32,189 needs to change around that. >> Amen. 91 00:10:32,190 --> 00:10:36,038 >> and let me say one more thing. I have the utmost 92 00:10:36,039 --> 00:10:40,381 confidence in the organizing abilities and the clarity of 93 00:10:40,382 --> 00:10:42,675 mind of the BLUU leadership. [Applause] 94 00:10:51,929 --> 00:10:53,451 We thank the association and the board for partner partnering 95 00:10:53,452 --> 00:10:57,745 with them so that we can correct the wrongs from 50 years ago, 96 00:10:57,746 --> 00:11:02,597 so that we can reconcile this moment and have a different 97 00:11:02,598 --> 00:11:05,401 outcome for the future. 98 00:11:09,485 --> 00:11:13,568 >> It's interesting to me, because I wasn't coming to New 99 00:11:13,569 --> 00:11:20,958 Orleans to go to the BLUU event or this one. It would have been 100 00:11:21,219 --> 00:11:24,800 a missed moments in my life. 101 00:11:28,391 --> 00:11:33,745 I was on star for a number of years. And one of the pains in 102 00:11:33,746 --> 00:11:35,746 my heart 103 00:11:37,028 --> 00:11:41,337 was the mistake the association made back in those 104 00:11:45,226 --> 00:11:49,302 years. We had thousands. It's probably hard for you to 105 00:11:49,303 --> 00:11:52,603 imagine. GA like this, one-third of the people there 106 00:11:52,604 --> 00:11:57,470 were people of color. And we had some of the best 107 00:12:01,048 --> 00:12:06,651 lines in the country. And they thought they had found a home, 108 00:12:06,652 --> 00:12:08,652 because in 109 00:12:10,721 --> 00:12:13,786 1965, it was Unitarian Universalist ministers who 110 00:12:13,787 --> 00:12:17,840 answered the call and Marched with us and put their life on 111 00:12:17,841 --> 00:12:25,271 the line, and we said, white people really want justice. 112 00:12:25,272 --> 00:12:31,367 And we couldn't handle it in this association. Lots of 113 00:12:31,368 --> 00:12:35,770 reasons, but we weren't strong enough then to find a way into 114 00:12:35,771 --> 00:12:41,103 relationship with one another. I was on an event last night 115 00:12:41,104 --> 00:12:45,988 and several people came up to me and said, they came to this GA, 116 00:12:45,989 --> 00:12:50,083 and many of them were white colleagues, and they said, I am 117 00:12:50,084 --> 00:12:56,963 so thankful . This may, in fact, be the 118 00:12:56,964 --> 00:13:03,344 second most important event there UU history for our future. 119 00:13:03,345 --> 00:13:07,665 We've been given a second chance, and I know that's going 120 00:13:07,666 --> 00:13:12,288 to be hard for some of you to understand. I know a lot of 121 00:13:12,289 --> 00:13:15,906 folks who wonder if it's worth even talking about. But trust 122 00:13:15,907 --> 00:13:22,483 me. Our country is at a critical place. Those areas of 123 00:13:22,484 --> 00:13:27,074 freedom and Liberty and whatever our value, whatever our color 124 00:13:27,075 --> 00:13:32,726 are at risk. The country needs leadership. It needs what we 125 00:13:32,727 --> 00:13:37,064 have to bring. And it can't just be white now. It needs to 126 00:13:37,065 --> 00:13:41,636 be color colorized. [Applause] 127 00:13:46,743 --> 00:13:51,111 And when I was at the BLUU event, I saw these brilliant 128 00:13:55,196 --> 00:13:59,010 , committed leaders saying, this is not dead. I'm not going to 129 00:13:59,011 --> 00:14:02,823 walk away. In fact, we're going to walk into it. 130 00:14:03,578 --> 00:14:09,487 [Applause] We know how to do this it, 131 00:14:09,488 --> 00:14:13,780 because we've seen this culturally. We have to survive. 132 00:14:13,781 --> 00:14:16,319 So I'm going to bring everybody here who wants to 133 00:14:16,320 --> 00:14:19,396 survive in the kind of war we're in right now to understand this 134 00:14:19,655 --> 00:14:24,286 is a partnership of relationship. It is not on our 135 00:14:24,287 --> 00:14:28,376 country. It can start here. We've got the leadership. 136 00:14:28,896 --> 00:14:33,966 [Applause] You have to be part of the 137 00:14:33,967 --> 00:14:40,359 process or we'll be where we were before. So the gist they 138 00:14:40,360 --> 00:14:42,935 gave us, a couple that sat in the back row and we said, we 139 00:14:42,936 --> 00:14:46,483 want to be clear. We're going to try and help and tell them 140 00:14:46,484 --> 00:14:50,813 what we think or try and correct anything. We're here to 141 00:14:50,814 --> 00:14:53,904 experience their leadership and the gift of them bringing us 142 00:14:53,905 --> 00:15:01,805 into their midst, and at the end, my heart was so full and we 143 00:15:02,310 --> 00:15:06,419 actually spontaneously, some of the others at that point said, 144 00:15:06,420 --> 00:15:12,286 we can't just leave now. We have to come forth. We have 145 00:15:12,287 --> 00:15:21,494 something that we've never had before. The chance to end up -- 146 00:15:21,747 --> 00:15:26,070 not to runaway, but to pass on the new age of leadership. 147 00:15:26,827 --> 00:15:34,517 [Applause]So 148 00:15:37,611 --> 00:15:40,162 in February, you need to pass out the leadership, too. 149 00:15:40,913 --> 00:15:42,913 [Applause] 150 00:15:50,590 --> 00:15:54,946 >> I'd like to say one last thing. For some of us, Beloved 151 00:15:54,947 --> 00:15:59,507 community is a core theological principle. It's a core 152 00:15:59,508 --> 00:16:04,844 spiritual principle. And some of us are working toward that 153 00:16:04,845 --> 00:16:09,475 becoming perhaps one of our principles, so it's explicit, so 154 00:16:09,476 --> 00:16:14,824 we don't miss it. Our presence pells were passed 12 years 155 00:16:14,825 --> 00:16:18,142 before we stepped in to the anti- anti-racist commitment of 156 00:16:18,143 --> 00:16:22,248 our association. And we haven't gone back and really integrated 157 00:16:22,249 --> 00:16:25,571 that interest our principles. What does it mean for us to live 158 00:16:25,830 --> 00:16:30,178 as an anti-racist faith community? So we need something 159 00:16:30,179 --> 00:16:33,735 explicit around the Beloved community and our work around 160 00:16:33,736 --> 00:16:38,121 dismantling racism and oppression, so pay attention. 161 00:16:38,122 --> 00:16:40,163 You'll have an opportunity to support that work. Thank you. 162 00:16:41,178 --> 00:16:43,178 [Applause] 163 00:16:50,848 --> 00:16:55,144 >> So I just want to wrap up by talking about how my faith 164 00:16:55,145 --> 00:16:59,261 helps me make change outside of our denomination. Many people 165 00:16:59,262 --> 00:17:04,342 may know I was a core leader in Black Lives Matter Minneapolis 166 00:17:04,343 --> 00:17:09,238 chapter for about three years. Yes, you can clap for that that. 167 00:17:09,239 --> 00:17:11,571 168 00:17:13,623 --> 00:17:17,711 But I have to tell you, it has been my BLUU family that has 169 00:17:17,712 --> 00:17:21,232 held me when I'm weeping, when I'm preparing to meet with the 170 00:17:21,233 --> 00:17:24,775 governor of Minnesota, with my Black Lives Matter Minneapolis 171 00:17:24,776 --> 00:17:28,083 folks and other black folks in Minnesota working for change. 172 00:17:28,084 --> 00:17:32,717 It is my faith that helped me speak truth to power. And when 173 00:17:32,718 --> 00:17:37,838 I talk about speaking truth to power, it is so dim to look into 174 00:17:37,839 --> 00:17:42,700 the face of people who could stop the killings, the state 175 00:17:42,701 --> 00:17:45,241 sanctioned murders of black people, and have them tell you 176 00:17:45,242 --> 00:17:52,615 it's too hard. Right? But these are my people that are 177 00:17:52,616 --> 00:17:57,485 being killed in the streets. These are my people, my family 178 00:17:57,486 --> 00:18:02,347 members, and it's not okay. And it is my faith as a UU, as a 179 00:18:02,348 --> 00:18:06,480 black UU that helps me be able to fight to keep black people 180 00:18:06,481 --> 00:18:08,481 alive. [Applause] 181 00:18:41,840 --> 00:18:47,542 So my challenge for all of you all today is to stop thanking me 182 00:18:48,047 --> 00:18:56,975 for my work and join me. [Applause] 183 00:18:57,234 --> 00:19:01,062 We have a long way to go. We know that from this past weekend 184 00:19:02,084 --> 00:19:05,399 . We have a long ways to go and we can't do it without your 185 00:19:05,400 --> 00:19:12,512 help. We also don't need you to take it over. Let's be more 186 00:19:12,513 --> 00:19:21,737 clear about that. The last thing is just to talk about 187 00:19:21,738 --> 00:19:25,317 belief commitment, to always stay connected to movements, to 188 00:19:25,318 --> 00:19:28,919 the broader movement for social justice, which is a global 189 00:19:28,920 --> 00:19:30,696 movement for black lives that acts in solidarity with all 190 00:19:30,697 --> 00:19:35,541 oppressed people. We are the ones that have been on the front 191 00:19:35,797 --> 00:19:42,165 lines and will continue to be there. BLUU is able to remove 192 00:19:42,166 --> 00:19:47,015 about $30,000, with the help of other UU's, to help the black 193 00:19:47,016 --> 00:19:53,653 mama's bayout fund. [Applause] 194 00:19:53,908 --> 00:19:57,741 And we went to Standing Rock. We went to the women's March. 195 00:19:57,742 --> 00:20:02,321 And we've gone in so many local places as black lives of UU. 196 00:20:03,081 --> 00:20:07,646 We want to grow that. We want to keep going and we wanted to 197 00:20:07,647 --> 00:20:12,329 be able to make a bigger impact. And just keep giving the gifts 198 00:20:12,330 --> 00:20:15,136 of our faith to movement. So thank you to everyone who has