1 00:00:00,905 --> 00:00:07,665 that if you have any interest. And now back by popular demand, 2 00:00:07,666 --> 00:00:13,156 I bring you our co-presidents who have been working 3 00:00:13,157 --> 00:00:17,414 extraordinarily hard and have achieved so much in their short 4 00:00:17,415 --> 00:00:22,151 tenure. We are so grateful for the path that they are crafting 5 00:00:22,152 --> 00:00:26,409 for our next president and for our association. I give you 6 00:00:26,410 --> 00:00:32,399 Reverend Sofia Betancourt, Reverend Bill Sinkford, and Leon 7 00:00:33,150 --> 00:00:35,150 Spencer. [Applause] 8 00:01:06,166 --> 00:01:08,150 >> In a normal year, the President's and Staff Report is 9 00:01:08,151 --> 00:01:10,151 an opportunity to celebrate achievements, hold up examples 10 00:01:13,912 --> 00:01:16,165 of how we are living our faith in the world and invite thanks 11 00:01:16,166 --> 00:01:20,401 for the dedicated work of the UUA staff. We do want to begin 12 00:01:20,402 --> 00:01:23,907 by giving a shout out to the staff. They are there every day 13 00:01:23,908 --> 00:01:27,664 to support your congregations and our ministry as we proclaim 14 00:01:27,665 --> 00:01:31,923 our message of hope and love. From the senior managers and 15 00:01:31,924 --> 00:01:33,924 program 16 00:01:35,407 --> 00:01:38,163 professionals to the administrators, the experts in 17 00:01:38,164 --> 00:01:41,919 Finance and Information Technology; from the leaders in 18 00:01:41,920 --> 00:01:45,653 Stewardship and Development who invite our generosity, to the 19 00:01:45,654 --> 00:01:48,158 staff that lovingly maintain our facilities…we owe them all a 20 00:01:48,159 --> 00:01:51,915 debt of gratitude.[Applause] 21 00:01:59,406 --> 00:02:03,665 Would the UUA staff please rise and receive the thanks of the 22 00:02:03,666 --> 00:02:05,666 assembly? [Applause] 23 00:02:21,657 --> 00:02:23,657 Even in this difficult year, the staff has been moving ahead, 24 00:02:23,659 --> 00:02:25,659 strengthening important partnerships like that with the 25 00:02:32,656 --> 00:02:34,656 UUSC. You will be hearing more 26 00:02:37,914 --> 00:02:38,913 tomorrow about the College of Social Justice and the important 27 00:02:38,914 --> 00:02:41,668 new Love Resists campaign. The staff has also been moving 28 00:02:41,669 --> 00:02:42,671 forward to support the diversity in our ministries, deepening 29 00:02:42,672 --> 00:02:47,411 and broadening the educational and worship resources we make 30 00:02:47,412 --> 00:02:49,412 available, strengthening our communication networks…much has, 31 00:02:51,170 --> 00:02:53,170 in fact, been accomplished. The 32 00:02:54,927 --> 00:02:56,927 staff has welcomed all three 33 00:03:02,420 --> 00:03:03,169 Interim Co-Presidents and I want to thank them personally 34 00:03:03,170 --> 00:03:05,424 for welcoming me back. In fact, the password on the computer I 35 00:03:05,425 --> 00:03:07,425 was given in Boston is "welcome back." 36 00:03:11,913 --> 00:03:15,417 back."Bill. [Laughter] 37 00:03:15,418 --> 00:03:17,669 You can read details in the staff report, and I know that 38 00:03:17,670 --> 00:03:19,670 you are all competent readers, 39 00:03:26,670 --> 00:03:35,667 but let's give them a hand. [Applause]We, your 40 00:03:36,919 --> 00:03:41,175 three interim co-presidents, are completing our brief weeks 41 00:03:41,176 --> 00:03:48,164 of service, the sortest interim in the history of the Unitarian 42 00:03:48,165 --> 00:03:52,923 Universalist association. There has been scant time for normal 43 00:03:52,924 --> 00:03:55,676 interim work…there is no playbook for a Presidential 44 00:03:55,677 --> 00:03:57,677 transition like this one in any event… but we have observed and 45 00:04:00,918 --> 00:04:04,424 listened with intention. We thought it would be helpful, 46 00:04:04,425 --> 00:04:07,429 first, to report back to you what we have observed and what 47 00:04:07,430 --> 00:04:09,430 we have learned. 48 00:04:12,166 --> 00:04:14,166 Next, we were given a specific charge. We want to share with 49 00:04:17,174 --> 00:04:20,161 you how we heard that charge, how we interpret it and how we 50 00:04:20,162 --> 00:04:22,162 have tried to address it. 51 00:04:24,924 --> 00:04:29,683 And finally, we want to share some conclusions that have 52 00:04:29,684 --> 00:04:31,686 become clear to us and name some questions we need to pass on as 53 00:04:34,417 --> 00:04:36,417 we search for that path that is 54 00:04:46,919 --> 00:04:50,425 calling us toward hope. >> So first, what have we learned? We 55 00:04:50,426 --> 00:04:53,430 found a religious community in a state of shock. The charges of 56 00:04:53,431 --> 00:04:55,431 racism in hiring shocked our community. Many white UU's asked 57 00:04:55,435 --> 00:04:57,435 how this could be? But most UU 58 00:04:59,921 --> 00:05:02,423 POC were not surprised, only surprised that it had been 59 00:05:02,424 --> 00:05:05,930 called out. And that difference in reaction was itself a shock 60 00:05:05,931 --> 00:05:07,931 and challenge to our community that we want to call Beloved. 61 00:05:11,671 --> 00:05:14,425 The resignation of a UUA President was unprecedented. The 62 00:05:17,431 --> 00:05:20,917 resignations that followed made many ask what was really going 63 00:05:20,918 --> 00:05:23,922 on. Just how far had our practice veered from our 64 00:05:23,923 --> 00:05:25,923 principles? 65 00:05:26,929 --> 00:05:28,932 We have not attempted to find one "Truth" about these events. 66 00:05:32,668 --> 00:05:36,173 We have heard many versions of the truth in our short tenure. 67 00:05:36,174 --> 00:05:40,934 But we are certain about the shock. Our presence has felt 68 00:05:40,935 --> 00:05:43,939 less like interim ministry, in fact, and more like after-pastor 69 00:05:43,940 --> 00:05:48,673 work…post traumatic…but we are truly not yet after the 70 00:05:48,674 --> 00:05:50,674 trauma…the trauma 71 00:05:51,678 --> 00:05:53,678 is not yet past, we are still in 72 00:05:54,682 --> 00:05:58,920 its midst. We found a staff that was dispirited and anxious 73 00:05:58,921 --> 00:06:00,921 about the future. Anxiety is not unusual 74 00:06:08,418 --> 00:06:09,669 in a Presidential election year…but the anxiety was so much 75 00:06:09,670 --> 00:06:11,670 deeper this year. 76 00:06:19,688 --> 00:06:22,919 >> The staff of color felt particularly vulnerable…hopeful 77 00:06:22,920 --> 00:06:24,920 because unspoken truths were being spoken…but vulnerable. 78 00:06:32,417 --> 00:06:34,417 We found our national volunteer 79 00:06:38,177 --> 00:06:41,932 leaders stunned and struggling to keep up with changes and 80 00:06:41,933 --> 00:06:45,669 decisions, some changes they had initiated (like the financial 81 00:06:45,670 --> 00:06:47,670 commitment to support Black 82 00:06:54,432 --> 00:06:56,166 Lives of Unitarian Universalism) but some out of 83 00:06:56,167 --> 00:06:57,670 their control. They are now dealing with the unexpected 84 00:06:57,671 --> 00:06:59,671 grief and loss at the sudden death of Moderator, Jim Key. 85 00:07:02,182 --> 00:07:04,182 We found that the boundaries 86 00:07:08,668 --> 00:07:10,668 between staff and Board and the 87 00:07:12,427 --> 00:07:13,675 clarity necessary for good governance had blurred beyond 88 00:07:13,676 --> 00:07:16,181 good practice and needed to be re-established. We found a 89 00:07:16,182 --> 00:07:18,182 community of 90 00:07:23,173 --> 00:07:24,923 congregations willing to open a serious conversation about race 91 00:07:24,924 --> 00:07:26,924 and culture…open it once again 92 00:07:34,923 --> 00:07:37,928 for some…open that conversation for the first time for many. We 93 00:07:37,929 --> 00:07:39,929 found a national institution 94 00:07:45,168 --> 00:07:47,168 that was in shock and in grief, 95 00:07:48,176 --> 00:07:50,176 that was angry, that was 96 00:07:54,685 --> 00:07:56,685 anxious, an institution that was vulnerable and fearful… an 97 00:08:01,177 --> 00:08:03,177 institution serving a community 98 00:08:04,934 --> 00:08:05,936 that itself was shocked…but a community that was willing to be 99 00:08:05,937 --> 00:08:07,937 hopeful…one more time. 100 00:08:10,923 --> 00:08:12,923 >> As we were moving into our interim roles, our congregations 101 00:08:13,177 --> 00:08:14,429 were being asked to engage their own culture of white 102 00:08:14,430 --> 00:08:16,937 supremacy. The invitation was extended by 103 00:08:20,417 --> 00:08:22,417 Aisha Hauser, Christina Rivera and Kenny Wiley, three religious 104 00:08:26,176 --> 00:08:29,183 He had other at a timeers. [Applause] 105 00:08:29,683 --> 00:08:36,172 Amen! [Applause]And it's important to 106 00:08:36,173 --> 00:08:38,928 note that that invitation came up within our community rather 107 00:08:38,929 --> 00:08:42,934 than from the top down. And over 700 of our 1000 108 00:08:42,935 --> 00:08:44,935 congregations 109 00:08:46,672 --> 00:08:50,428 took part in some form or fashion. And I'm curious. How 110 00:08:50,429 --> 00:08:54,183 many of the congregations represented here took part in 111 00:08:54,184 --> 00:09:00,175 that white supremacy teach-in? Just look around. 112 00:09:05,682 --> 00:09:08,166 Just as we received national visibility we did not want as a 113 00:09:08,167 --> 00:09:12,175 result of the charges of racism in our hiring and the 114 00:09:12,176 --> 00:09:15,682 resignations that followed, we discovered that much of the 115 00:09:15,683 --> 00:09:19,937 religious world was watching this attempt to see our culture 116 00:09:19,938 --> 00:09:22,168 and structures of power with enough clarity to imagine 117 00:09:22,169 --> 00:09:24,169 changing them. 118 00:09:25,175 --> 00:09:28,930 Many were watching the Association's financial 119 00:09:28,931 --> 00:09:32,917 commitment to the Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism and 120 00:09:32,918 --> 00:09:36,424 hoping, however, tentatively, that Unitarian Universalism 121 00:09:36,425 --> 00:09:39,180 might be charting a path they would soon need to follow. 122 00:09:43,438 --> 00:09:47,172 We found a faith community living in grief and in anxiety 123 00:09:47,173 --> 00:09:49,173 while at the same time living into hope. 124 00:09:56,669 --> 00:09:58,170 >> When we accepted this interim leadership, we were 125 00:09:58,171 --> 00:10:01,176 given a specific and extensive charge by the Board of Trustees, 126 00:10:01,177 --> 00:10:04,431 calling for the creation of a Commission on Institutional 127 00:10:04,432 --> 00:10:06,432 change, with 128 00:10:08,171 --> 00:10:10,674 specific deliverables. And the Board also passed a motion 129 00:10:10,675 --> 00:10:12,675 calling for an independent 130 00:10:19,440 --> 00:10:20,670 "Racism Audit," for new Hiring procedures with new goals set, 131 00:10:20,671 --> 00:10:22,425 with an invitation to our congregations and related 132 00:10:22,426 --> 00:10:24,426 organizations to join with us in this spiritual work. 133 00:10:27,939 --> 00:10:32,920 work.* * our charges runs to two pages. The Racism Audit 134 00:10:32,921 --> 00:10:34,921 motion to another two…in 12 point type…single spaced. 135 00:10:37,429 --> 00:10:40,182 [Laughter] From our first day, we invited 136 00:10:40,183 --> 00:10:43,687 Sarah Lammert, herself serving in the interim role of Chief 137 00:10:43,688 --> 00:10:46,672 Operating Officer, and Moderator Jim Key to join us in a 138 00:10:46,673 --> 00:10:48,673 leadership team we called the 139 00:10:50,179 --> 00:10:53,437 Quintet. After Jim resigned, Vice Moderator Denise Rimes 140 00:10:53,438 --> 00:10:57,420 joined us. We knew that shared leadership was necessary, even 141 00:10:57,421 --> 00:11:02,179 as we each pursued our individual pieces of the work. 142 00:11:02,180 --> 00:11:07,189 The collaboration deepened of our work and provided us with 143 00:11:07,190 --> 00:11:09,190 collegial support. It also allowed us to 144 00:11:13,678 --> 00:11:15,930 name and begin to restore the boundaries which had become so 145 00:11:15,931 --> 00:11:17,931 blurred. 146 00:11:21,673 --> 00:11:24,427 >> The first item in our charge was to "ensure and direct 147 00:11:24,428 --> 00:11:26,428 pastoral and professional support to the UUA staff members 148 00:11:28,935 --> 00:11:30,935 of color … as well as 149 00:11:35,175 --> 00:11:37,428 professionals of color serving in the larger association. We 150 00:11:37,429 --> 00:11:39,429 have talked with and listened 151 00:11:41,436 --> 00:11:43,436 to religious professionals and 152 00:11:46,677 --> 00:11:48,677 laypersons of color in 153 00:11:50,934 --> 00:11:53,689 face-toface encounters, conference calls, visits to 154 00:11:53,690 --> 00:11:55,690 congregations and zoom meetings. The staff of color were already 155 00:12:02,681 --> 00:12:03,682 being convened regularly by Taquiena Boston and we have been 156 00:12:03,683 --> 00:12:06,438 welcomed into those gatherings. We have listened and heard an 157 00:12:10,175 --> 00:12:12,175 almost universally felt level of 158 00:12:15,184 --> 00:12:17,184 hurt, anger, sadness, 159 00:12:21,423 --> 00:12:23,423 disappointment and loss of 160 00:12:24,429 --> 00:12:26,429 trust. These are familiar 161 00:12:30,936 --> 00:12:32,936 feelings for many people of 162 00:12:34,425 --> 00:12:36,425 color. Having leaders who are 163 00:12:38,683 --> 00:12:40,683 trusted hear those feelings has 164 00:12:45,422 --> 00:12:47,173 -- their feelings about appreciation. We have done much 165 00:12:47,174 --> 00:12:50,931 listening, but not enough listening. 166 00:12:55,187 --> 00:13:00,682 Changes in our practices practices are indeed necessarily 167 00:13:00,933 --> 00:13:06,693 and needed. It is the possibility that this faith 168 00:13:06,694 --> 00:13:14,432 might finally begin, finally begin to create a culture 169 00:13:14,433 --> 00:13:18,942 without white supremacy as its base. 170 00:13:19,443 --> 00:13:21,924 [Applause] 171 00:13:25,179 --> 00:13:33,174 That is where we heard the hope, that is where we heard the hope 172 00:13:33,925 --> 00:13:36,427 and Good News really from Unitarian Universalist leaders 173 00:13:36,428 --> 00:13:38,433 of color. 174 00:13:47,425 --> 00:13:54,186 Truth telling, truth telling is not a single event, not a 175 00:13:54,187 --> 00:14:02,180 one-time thing. Truth is a process and, in many ways, the 176 00:14:02,181 --> 00:14:06,942 central quality of the Beloved community is that it be a place 177 00:14:06,943 --> 00:14:13,929 where the hearing of all stories and the valuing of all truth is 178 00:14:14,430 --> 00:14:17,436 standard and expected and necessary. 179 00:14:21,173 --> 00:14:25,680 It is crucial that we make a commitment to such an on going 180 00:14:25,681 --> 00:14:32,424 process of truth-telling as we move toward reshaping our faith 181 00:14:32,425 --> 00:14:34,425 community. 182 00:14:35,681 --> 00:14:38,935 The commission on institutional change is charged with the 183 00:14:38,936 --> 00:14:45,177 creation of a truth and reconciliation process. Not 184 00:14:45,178 --> 00:14:51,689 event. Around the recent events that led to our an pointment. 185 00:14:51,690 --> 00:14:57,176 That is most certainly needed, but we hope the commission will 186 00:14:57,177 --> 00:15:02,685 help us to build a truth and reconciliation into the DNA of 187 00:15:02,686 --> 00:15:07,696 this faith. [Applause] 188 00:15:10,932 --> 00:15:12,932 >> Amen. 189 00:15:14,439 --> 00:15:15,941 Interim supervision of the UUA's Leadership Council was 190 00:15:15,942 --> 00:15:17,942 called 191 00:15:21,176 --> 00:15:23,680 for in our charge and has been provided. Our presence has been 192 00:15:23,681 --> 00:15:25,681 welcomed, we are told, and the resignations have not continued. 193 00:15:29,441 --> 00:15:33,926 Only time and leadership decisions of a new president, 194 00:15:33,927 --> 00:15:37,433 however, will determine whether that stability continues. We 195 00:15:37,434 --> 00:15:39,434 were also charged to restore 196 00:15:40,939 --> 00:15:42,192 both confidence and vision among our congregations and 197 00:15:42,193 --> 00:15:44,193 among 198 00:15:46,930 --> 00:15:50,185 donors. This was perhaps the most unrealistic element of a 199 00:15:50,186 --> 00:15:52,186 charge for an 11 week interim. 200 00:15:53,942 --> 00:15:56,426 [Laughter] Our approach has been to offer 201 00:15:59,431 --> 00:16:01,936 regular, weekly updates to the UU community at large, reporting 202 00:16:04,691 --> 00:16:10,679 on our work in specific areas. [Applause] 203 00:16:10,929 --> 00:16:14,184 And we're very pleased that you have received them so 204 00:16:14,185 --> 00:16:17,191 enthusiastically. We have, frankly, relied on our personal 205 00:16:17,192 --> 00:16:19,192 credibility to inspire 206 00:16:20,676 --> 00:16:22,676 confidence. A rigorous analysis 207 00:16:24,433 --> 00:16:26,433 -- [Applause] 208 00:16:39,690 --> 00:16:43,946 I'm not sure you're ready for this next one. A rigorous 209 00:16:43,947 --> 00:16:46,679 analysis of the operation of white supremacy culture might 210 00:16:46,680 --> 00:16:48,680 well call this 211 00:16:50,437 --> 00:16:52,437 spiritual domestic work for us 212 00:16:55,448 --> 00:16:59,430 -- a spiritual domestic work for us as person of color 213 00:16:59,431 --> 00:17:01,431 leaders. We 214 00:17:02,689 --> 00:17:06,944 have tried to make tolerable this use of our persons and our 215 00:17:06,945 --> 00:17:08,425 reputations by our refusal to be anything other than honest 216 00:17:08,426 --> 00:17:14,189 about what we found.[Applause] 217 00:17:23,682 --> 00:17:27,688 We have met several times with the UUA President's Council, 218 00:17:27,689 --> 00:17:30,691 written to many of our donors and met with individuals to 219 00:17:30,692 --> 00:17:33,677 answer questions and provide some assurance. Working with 220 00:17:33,678 --> 00:17:35,934 Mary Katherine Morn and leaders in our Stewardship 221 00:17:38,939 --> 00:17:41,443 and Development group, we have begun plans to support the 222 00:17:41,444 --> 00:17:46,178 Board's financial commitment to BLUU and expand the 223 00:17:46,179 --> 00:17:48,179 Association's support for racial 224 00:17:51,185 --> 00:17:53,188 Justice work overall. [Applause] 225 00:17:58,428 --> 00:17:59,678 All of our congregations will be invited this November to 226 00:17:59,679 --> 00:18:01,679 conduct worship centered on racial 227 00:18:06,689 --> 00:18:09,677 justice, to join in an effort called "The Promise and the 228 00:18:09,678 --> 00:18:12,429 Practice of Our Faith," and to take a special collection in 229 00:18:12,430 --> 00:18:15,935 support of the transformation of our culture. We hope that you 230 00:18:15,936 --> 00:18:17,936 will urge your congregations to join this effort. 231 00:18:25,183 --> 00:18:28,439 effort.Please. [Applause] >> The second element 232 00:18:28,440 --> 00:18:32,676 of our charge sounds the fundamental challenge of this 233 00:18:32,677 --> 00:18:38,688 time, to: "Call upon Unitarian Universalism to redeem its 234 00:18:38,689 --> 00:18:42,445 history by planning for and taking steps toward living into 235 00:18:42,446 --> 00:18:44,446 an anti-racist, multi-cultural 236 00:18:49,180 --> 00:18:53,685 future." future."we meet say to go toward an 237 00:18:53,686 --> 00:18:55,686 238 00:18:57,682 --> 00:18:59,682 specifically to the need for 239 00:19:05,190 --> 00:19:06,692 review and revision of recruitment and hiring practices 240 00:19:06,693 --> 00:19:08,175 of religious professionals of color in addition to the 241 00:19:08,176 --> 00:19:09,427 creation of an assessment process and strategy for 242 00:19:09,428 --> 00:19:12,681 dismantling the culture of white supremacy within Unitarian 243 00:19:12,682 --> 00:19:14,682 Universalism. Clearly this portion of the charge is that of 244 00:19:16,688 --> 00:19:21,928 sowing seeds for a much longer piece of work that will anchor 245 00:19:21,929 --> 00:19:25,684 us firmly in our primary values as we move ever closer to 246 00:19:25,685 --> 00:19:27,685 building the beloved community. 247 00:19:29,943 --> 00:19:33,677 To that end, the board charged us to "Create and submit for 248 00:19:33,678 --> 00:19:37,934 Board approval, a process by which to analyze structural 249 00:19:37,935 --> 00:19:39,935 racism within the UUA. That 250 00:19:41,191 --> 00:19:42,693 process will include an external audit of the operation 251 00:19:42,694 --> 00:19:47,930 of white privilege and the structure of power within UUism 252 00:19:47,931 --> 00:19:49,931 as well as power structures and 253 00:19:54,442 --> 00:19:56,175 power-mapping within UUism." The board assisted us directly 254 00:19:56,176 --> 00:19:59,932 with this task by passing a Racism Audit Motion that 255 00:19:59,933 --> 00:20:03,939 outlines specific needs for assessment within the UUA staff 256 00:20:03,940 --> 00:20:05,940 and board 257 00:20:08,175 --> 00:20:11,431 appointed committees, as well as a desire for collaborative 258 00:20:11,432 --> 00:20:13,432 efforts across our wider UUA. 259 00:20:15,690 --> 00:20:18,945 All of this leads to the establishment of the Commission 260 00:20:18,946 --> 00:20:20,675 on Institutional Change, a small and nimble group of UUs who 261 00:20:20,676 --> 00:20:22,676 will 262 00:20:24,181 --> 00:20:26,181 take up the work of long term 263 00:20:28,188 --> 00:20:31,444 cultural change, backed by the commitments of both your UUA 264 00:20:31,445 --> 00:20:33,445 board of trustees and national staff. 265 00:20:35,684 --> 00:20:37,937 We approached the construction of the commission by first 266 00:20:37,938 --> 00:20:40,944 gathering together a group of respected leaders of color in 267 00:20:40,945 --> 00:20:42,945 our movement for a two day meeting in Atlanta. We worked 268 00:20:45,432 --> 00:20:47,434 together to interpret the charge of the Commission, to 269 00:20:47,435 --> 00:20:51,442 draw on our history to gain tools for this current moment of 270 00:20:54,447 --> 00:20:57,182 opportunity, and identify key priorities for the work. We also 271 00:20:59,187 --> 00:21:03,193 held meetings with a wide variety of stakeholders and 272 00:21:03,194 --> 00:21:05,194 constituency groups, really listening to your hopes for this 273 00:21:06,953 --> 00:21:08,953 moment of profound opportunity. 274 00:21:10,682 --> 00:21:12,682 From that input and wisdom we 275 00:21:14,689 --> 00:21:17,944 appointed a six-member commission that will work 276 00:21:17,945 --> 00:21:20,428 collaboratively with an outside organization to bring badly 277 00:21:20,429 --> 00:21:22,683 needed analysis, visioning, and theological depth to the work of 278 00:21:25,187 --> 00:21:27,441 institutional change. That Commission may work for 18 279 00:21:27,442 --> 00:21:29,442 months or more. 280 00:21:31,699 --> 00:21:35,446 In our conversations about this important aspect of our charge 281 00:21:35,447 --> 00:21:37,450 we learned that there is an immediate need for a truth and 282 00:21:40,457 --> 00:21:42,457 reconciliation process centered on the events that precipitated 283 00:21:44,184 --> 00:21:46,184 our latest conversation around the impact of white supremacy on 284 00:21:50,696 --> 00:21:53,951 our faith. There is also a clear desire for the 285 00:21:53,952 --> 00:21:56,685 Commission's work to be broad and far-reaching. This work is 286 00:21:56,686 --> 00:21:58,686 relational and theological, and 287 00:21:59,943 --> 00:22:01,943 must unflinchingly question 288 00:22:02,948 --> 00:22:04,948 cultural habits and norms that hamper us in our yearning to 289 00:22:08,434 --> 00:22:11,441 build the Beloved Community. In collaboration with our Acting 290 00:22:11,442 --> 00:22:14,697 COO, the Rev. Sarah Lammert, and based on our recommendations. 291 00:22:14,698 --> 00:22:16,698 Your board of trustees has 292 00:22:19,959 --> 00:22:27,945 unanimously appointed this group. Phenomenal leaders. . 293 00:22:27,946 --> 00:22:33,684 These are their names in order from left to right. It is worth 294 00:22:33,934 --> 00:22:37,436 allowed * plodding their service service. -- applauding 295 00:22:37,437 --> 00:22:43,948 their service. [Applause] your newly appointed 296 00:22:43,949 --> 00:22:48,940 commission on institutional change. The reverend Natalie CE 297 00:22:49,190 --> 00:22:56,934 NEMORE. Caitlin Breedlove, Mary Byron. The reverend Leslie P 298 00:22:56,935 --> 00:23:05,950 a/k/a hashi, who will serve at our chair. Dr. AAlea Ortega Apo 299 00:23:06,200 --> 00:23:15,693 nte. And Jeror Ferrar. [Applause] 300 00:23:15,943 --> 00:23:19,200 We are grateful, so grateful for these leaders. Myself, I'll 301 00:23:19,201 --> 00:23:21,688 serve as a transitional support member for just a few months to 302 00:23:21,689 --> 00:23:29,455 support the commission's work as it gets underway. [Applause] 303 00:23:30,958 --> 00:23:32,687 This is work that requires every one of us and I hope that 304 00:23:32,688 --> 00:23:36,946 if you, your congregation, your affiliate organization, or other 305 00:23:38,700 --> 00:23:40,704 UU connection are invited to join in this dialogue and engage 306 00:23:42,959 --> 00:23:44,959 the work of the commission that you will answer with your most 307 00:23:48,194 --> 00:23:50,194 faithful and generous YES! 308 00:23:51,449 --> 00:23:54,953 Can you do that? >> yes! 309 00:23:54,954 --> 00:23:56,687 >> Thank you. Together we will live into the love and justice 310 00:23:56,688 --> 00:24:01,195 that already exists at the heart of our movement. It matters 311 00:24:01,196 --> 00:24:03,196 that we 312 00:24:04,953 --> 00:24:07,708 Pause, really pause and thank those whose decades of dedicated 313 00:24:07,709 --> 00:24:10,942 work to dismantle systemic racism and oppression in our 314 00:24:10,943 --> 00:24:13,196 movement brought us to this renewed 315 00:24:19,205 --> 00:24:21,690 renewed possibility. Can we thank those leaders? 316 00:24:22,192 --> 00:24:24,192 [Applause] 317 00:24:33,443 --> 00:24:35,443 For your tirelessness, your 318 00:24:40,953 --> 00:24:42,953 stick-to-it-ness, and your faithfulness, we give thanks. We 319 00:24:42,958 --> 00:24:44,687 also want to thank and acknowledge Jesse King, who 320 00:24:44,688 --> 00:24:47,442 worked with us as a consultant over this interim period, for 321 00:24:47,443 --> 00:24:51,452 his strength of insight and vision, as well the generous 322 00:24:51,453 --> 00:24:55,707 contribution of his time. We He doesn't like to be acknowledged 323 00:24:55,708 --> 00:24:58,190 like . This we wouldn't have gotten this far without his 324 00:24:58,191 --> 00:25:05,202 efforts. Thank you, Jesse. [Applause] 325 00:25:05,203 --> 00:25:07,203 >> The Board also charged us, 326 00:25:08,939 --> 00:25:13,695 specifically, to "determine the necessary measures to make 327 00:25:13,696 --> 00:25:16,199 concrete progress toward expanding the number of 328 00:25:16,200 --> 00:25:19,455 professional people of color, including but not limited to 329 00:25:19,456 --> 00:25:21,456 ministers and other religious professionals employed within 330 00:25:24,446 --> 00:25:26,448 Unitarian Universalism. This includes particular and 331 00:25:26,449 --> 00:25:28,449 measureable emphasis on 332 00:25:29,454 --> 00:25:31,205 senior staff positions including the Executive and 333 00:25:31,206 --> 00:25:33,206 First Management level of the UUA." 334 00:25:36,449 --> 00:25:38,449 Our first act as Co-Presidents 335 00:25:40,456 --> 00:25:43,210 on the very first day, I believe, was to put in place a 336 00:25:43,211 --> 00:25:47,452 modified hiring freeze. Beacon Press was excepted as they have 337 00:25:47,453 --> 00:25:49,453 been very intentional in their hiring and 338 00:25:55,966 --> 00:26:00,705 already exceeded any standards we anticipated setting. He can 339 00:26:00,706 --> 00:26:09,448 applaud beacon for that. [Applause] Frankly, Beacon Press 340 00:26:09,449 --> 00:26:10,700 became one of our resources for both ideas and inspiration. And 341 00:26:10,701 --> 00:26:12,701 we added Jessica York and Carey 342 00:26:18,214 --> 00:26:18,970 Macdonald, both persons of color, to the staff Leadership 343 00:26:18,971 --> 00:26:21,197 Council. [Applause] 344 00:26:25,201 --> 00:26:27,705 We moved forward with new "interim" hiring procedures that 345 00:26:29,457 --> 00:26:33,446 set ambitious goals for leadership by persons of color 346 00:26:33,447 --> 00:26:35,447 on the UUA staff. From less than 347 00:26:46,453 --> 00:26:47,453 20% persons of color and indigenous person overall, 30% 348 00:26:47,454 --> 00:26:51,211 is the new goal. And from less than 15% at the Executive and 349 00:26:51,212 --> 00:26:53,212 First Management level, we 350 00:26:54,717 --> 00:26:56,717 established a goal of 40%. The priority is centering the voice 351 00:27:10,955 --> 00:27:11,455 and presence of persons of color and indigenous persons at 352 00:27:11,456 --> 00:27:17,216 the decision-making level. [Applause] 353 00:27:19,470 --> 00:27:21,700 Our corporate counsel is here, and he should tell you these 354 00:27:21,701 --> 00:27:24,205 goals with our goals of focus on persons of color and Indigenous 355 00:27:25,959 --> 00:27:28,463 persons have pushed the limits of what procedures are legally 356 00:27:28,464 --> 00:27:31,973 permissible. It should be noted that with the 357 00:27:36,204 --> 00:27:39,712 three Co-Presidents and the addition of Jessica and Carey, 358 00:27:39,713 --> 00:27:43,969 To the leadership council, we virtually achieved that 40% goal 359 00:27:43,970 --> 00:27:47,454 on day one of ourservice. [Applause] 360 00:27:57,705 --> 00:27:58,204 Virtually achieved that 40% goal on day one of our 361 00:27:58,205 --> 00:28:00,458 service...at the Executive and first Management level. But not 362 00:28:00,459 --> 00:28:02,212 at the critical second management and professional 363 00:28:02,213 --> 00:28:04,213 level…where the hiring 364 00:28:05,219 --> 00:28:07,219 controversy originated. And not 365 00:28:09,200 --> 00:28:13,958 permanently. When the three Co-Presidents step down, only -- 366 00:28:14,209 --> 00:28:18,716 the leadership council table will again have fewer than 25% 367 00:28:18,717 --> 00:28:21,201 persons of color seated around it. 368 00:28:29,215 --> 00:28:30,466 However new procedures and ambitious/appropriate goals are 369 00:28:30,467 --> 00:28:33,702 in place. place.At least for the 370 00:28:37,709 --> 00:28:38,208 interim. Many of the specific elements called for in the 371 00:28:38,209 --> 00:28:40,209 Racism Audit 372 00:28:41,214 --> 00:28:42,214 motion will be taken up by the Commission for Institutional 373 00:28:42,215 --> 00:28:44,203 Change. There is one truth, however, that we want to make 374 00:28:44,204 --> 00:28:48,461 clear. This work will fail if it is not embraced by our 375 00:28:48,462 --> 00:28:50,462 congregations and related 376 00:28:52,719 --> 00:28:54,719 Organizations. [Applause] 377 00:28:59,959 --> 00:29:03,216 The UUA, its President, Board and staff have no control over 378 00:29:03,217 --> 00:29:05,217 either. But the UUA can and we 379 00:29:07,721 --> 00:29:11,710 must issue an urgent invitation for all of us to join in this 380 00:29:11,711 --> 00:29:13,711 reflection and this reshaping of our culture. 381 00:29:19,223 --> 00:29:21,454 culture.and finally, there are some conclusions we have reached 382 00:29:21,455 --> 00:29:24,711 and some questions we would pass on as we complete our short 383 00:29:25,463 --> 00:29:27,463 service. 384 00:29:28,717 --> 00:29:31,472 >> First, and most important, it is crystal clear to the three 385 00:29:31,473 --> 00:29:37,712 of us that the inspection of our culture and how it impacts 386 00:29:37,713 --> 00:29:39,717 persons of color… how it impacts all of us…is urgent. It is 387 00:29:44,454 --> 00:29:46,205 overdue. The risks of failing to engage these issues are 388 00:29:46,206 --> 00:29:48,206 enormous 389 00:29:49,712 --> 00:29:51,968 for this faith. Change must come if our faith is to thrive. 390 00:29:56,954 --> 00:29:58,954 >> Second, our history reveals a 391 00:29:59,958 --> 00:30:01,958 pattern that could not be 392 00:30:02,963 --> 00:30:04,963 clearer. We have repeatedly 393 00:30:07,722 --> 00:30:10,458 engaged issues of race, begun investing resources both 394 00:30:14,964 --> 00:30:18,222 financially and spiritually, only to turn away, withdraw 395 00:30:18,223 --> 00:30:20,223 those 396 00:30:24,463 --> 00:30:28,721 resources and that without addressing fundamental cultural 397 00:30:28,722 --> 00:30:35,460 issues. We have stopped short of real change every time. This 398 00:30:36,962 --> 00:30:45,711 time, our prayer truly needs to be one of persistence. 399 00:30:46,211 --> 00:30:48,211 [Applause] 400 00:30:52,974 --> 00:30:55,227 >> Third, because we have started so often and had some 401 00:31:00,465 --> 00:31:02,465 success, we know some things 402 00:31:04,721 --> 00:31:06,721 about how to engage. There are 403 00:31:07,979 --> 00:31:09,709 resources in our own history on which we can draw…persons we 404 00:31:09,710 --> 00:31:14,468 can call on, models we can use, wisdom that can make this 405 00:31:14,469 --> 00:31:17,475 attempt easier and more productive. Not easy, but 406 00:31:17,476 --> 00:31:19,476 easier. 407 00:31:23,215 --> 00:31:25,215 >> Fourth, there is trust that 408 00:31:28,223 --> 00:31:36,964 -- [Applause]Trust must be restored 409 00:31:38,467 --> 00:31:40,218 and it is built over time. Trust is built out of 410 00:31:40,219 --> 00:31:42,722 experience, not based on promises alone. This process 411 00:31:42,723 --> 00:31:45,210 will not be quick and is likely not to be efficient. But we know 412 00:31:47,214 --> 00:31:51,719 that the value of efficiency is actually an element in the 413 00:31:51,720 --> 00:31:57,710 culture of white supremacy. [Applause] 414 00:31:58,711 --> 00:32:01,968 Efficiency is a value in a culture of scarcity. Efficiency 415 00:32:01,969 --> 00:32:03,969 is a value in an economic culture. Efficiency is not a 416 00:32:08,458 --> 00:32:10,458 virtue in matters of faith. We need to move to a culture 417 00:32:15,220 --> 00:32:18,223 culture [Applause] We need to move to a 418 00:32:18,224 --> 00:32:20,959 culture grounded in spirit in which we live out of generosity 419 00:32:20,960 --> 00:32:22,960 and into 420 00:32:25,721 --> 00:32:27,974 abundance. >> Fifth, POCI carry extra water 421 00:32:35,211 --> 00:32:37,211 in a multicultural community 422 00:32:44,207 --> 00:32:50,719 engaged in transformation. You hear my hesitation in reading, 423 00:32:50,720 --> 00:32:56,456 because I'm here reading this and feeling my back at the same 424 00:32:56,457 --> 00:33:01,716 time. And I said, what a real metaphor this is. 425 00:33:04,971 --> 00:33:09,458 We therefore need extra space and additional support. And 426 00:33:09,459 --> 00:33:16,217 when people of color staff are called on, outside of their job 427 00:33:16,218 --> 00:33:19,723 responsibilities, to provide resources and wisdom, they need 428 00:33:19,724 --> 00:33:22,962 additional compensation as well. 429 00:33:23,713 --> 00:33:25,713 [Applause] 430 00:33:33,711 --> 00:33:35,712 >> Much of what we have to pass on, as you've heard, is 431 00:33:35,713 --> 00:33:37,713 cautionary. 432 00:33:38,970 --> 00:33:43,978 [SLIDE #21] But the final message we would pass on is a 433 00:33:43,979 --> 00:33:46,961 message of hope. There is a reason that people of color have 434 00:33:46,962 --> 00:33:50,215 become Unitarian Universalist…from the very 435 00:33:50,216 --> 00:33:52,216 beginnings of this faith and 436 00:33:54,723 --> 00:33:58,961 still today. There is a fundamental hope in our values 437 00:33:58,962 --> 00:34:01,217 and our aspirations that speaks to persons across the boundaries 438 00:34:02,970 --> 00:34:05,226 of race and culture and language and economic 439 00:34:05,227 --> 00:34:07,227 circumstance and 440 00:34:08,467 --> 00:34:10,721 ability. It is the empowerment in our Unitarian legacy and the 441 00:34:14,226 --> 00:34:16,979 love of our Universalist promise that draws people to us 442 00:34:16,980 --> 00:34:18,980 and that keeps us here. 443 00:34:23,475 --> 00:34:25,475 It is our culture and not our 444 00:34:27,231 --> 00:34:29,231 theology that has been our 445 00:34:30,987 --> 00:34:38,729 biggest obstacle. [Applause] And because that is 446 00:34:38,730 --> 00:34:40,730 true, our 447 00:34:42,737 --> 00:34:44,737 final message is a message of 448 00:34:46,978 --> 00:34:48,978 hope. We can change our culture 449 00:34:50,236 --> 00:34:52,236 if we have the will to do it. 450 00:34:59,478 --> 00:35:01,478 >> Many communities are watching 451 00:35:02,735 --> 00:35:04,735 Unitarian Universalism again as 452 00:35:05,742 --> 00:35:07,742 we engage this work. They are 453 00:35:08,975 --> 00:35:13,231 Watching. They are watching, because they are looking for 454 00:35:13,232 --> 00:35:19,240 hope. What will be different this time? They want us to 455 00:35:19,241 --> 00:35:23,227 succeed, because they know that our struggles will soon be their 456 00:35:23,228 --> 00:35:31,493 struggles. Both for us and for those around us, the time is 457 00:35:31,494 --> 00:35:40,236 not fundamentally about problems , not about problems, but about 458 00:35:42,490 --> 00:35:48,734 our promise. It's fundamentally about hope. The 459 00:35:48,735 --> 00:35:53,242 final element of our charge is to "ensure a smooth transition 460 00:35:53,243 --> 00:35:55,243 to a new president." 461 00:35:58,232 --> 00:36:02,488 president."we have worked hard to keep the candidates informed 462 00:36:02,489 --> 00:36:06,496 of our work work. We have shared our concerns with all 463 00:36:06,497 --> 00:36:10,731 three of them in regular meetings. But here in New 464 00:36:10,732 --> 00:36:15,490 Orleans, leadership will pass to one of them. >> What model of 465 00:36:15,491 --> 00:36:19,246 leadership will emerge? A few elements of our own leadership 466 00:36:19,247 --> 00:36:22,234 may be worthy of note: first woman in our 467 00:36:27,245 --> 00:36:29,245 Presidency? [Applause] 468 00:36:33,734 --> 00:36:35,734 First lay person in our 469 00:36:36,738 --> 00:36:38,738 presidency? [Applause] 470 00:36:44,481 --> 00:36:46,481 First out queer person in our 471 00:36:47,735 --> 00:36:49,735 Presidency? [Applause] 472 00:36:52,996 --> 00:36:56,482 First person with ability limitations in our presidency,? 473 00:36:56,483 --> 00:36:59,486 474 00:36:59,487 --> 00:37:03,243 leadership in our presidency. [Applause] 475 00:37:11,987 --> 00:37:13,987 Perhaps we have helped to open 476 00:37:16,494 --> 00:37:22,234 Up, to broaden the image of what leadership looks like in our 477 00:37:22,235 --> 00:37:26,494 faith. Perhaps, no certainly, that would be a good thing. 478 00:37:27,246 --> 00:37:29,497 [Applause] 479 00:37:33,486 --> 00:37:37,241 >> We have worked diligently and, we believe, responded to 480 00:37:37,242 --> 00:37:42,500 our charge in all the ways we Could in 11 weeks. We would be 481 00:37:42,501 --> 00:37:44,235 less than honest if we pretended that our tasks have not weighed 482 00:37:44,236 --> 00:37:48,743 heavily on our shoulders and our spirits at times. But it has 483 00:37:48,744 --> 00:37:50,744 been a privilege to serve, and a 484 00:37:54,757 --> 00:38:00,240 great privilege to serve together. We end our service, 485 00:38:00,241 --> 00:38:03,496 then w gratitude. We have heard and felt the willingness of 486 00:38:03,497 --> 00:38:05,497 this community to engage, to not let this time of 487 00:38:09,238 --> 00:38:12,994 opportunity slip away. We find ourselves convinced that we can