BIPoC Community Offerings
Request for Volunteers: JEDI Allies
Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Team!
It is exciting that HPCUU is gradually becoming more fully committed to institutional change and the transformation of our beloved community. The formation of a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion team is one direct response to the Commission On Institutional Change report from the UUA released in June of 2020. The Board and Multicultural Action Team are supportive and excited about implementing this action.
The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Allies will serve as a sounding board and a resource to the congregation in order to facilitate justice, equality, equity, diversity, and inclusion in all areas of ministry and governance.
JEDI Allies will be congregational members from various historically marginalized population groups. The team will serve in an advisory capacity. Drawing upon their life experiences, they will provide insights, advocacy, and discernment with the goal of assisting those making decisions and all others committed to institutional change and the transformation of our beloved community. (More about this group and their role will be shared in future newsletters.)
The purpose of this article is reach out to individuals who would be interested in serving on this team. Our goal is for members to self-identify as belonging to at least one of the target groups; mindful that persons may intersect with more than one of the target groups:
- Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Color (BIPOC)
- Youth and Young Adults (e.g., high school and between 18-30 year old)
- Older Adults (75 years+)
- Persons differently-abled (e.g., physically, developmentally, cognitively, and/or neurodiverse)
- Persons of various spiritual practices (e.g., atheist, humanist, Christianity, various world religious,)
- Economically disadvantaged and/or under-valued education and/or employment types
We believe the following benefits will come from forming a JEDI Allies Team:
- Creating a brave and safe environment for persons whose voices are normally not heard, or understood as part of the status quo, to openly share their thoughts and ideals based on their life experiences. Their insights and recommendations will inform HPCUU decisions on policies, practices, and approaches that will enhance justice, equality, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the congregation.
- Assessing congregational practices, policies, and approaches, through the perspective of those historically marginalized will lead to institutional change and transformation that will benefit ALL members of the congregation. Through greater understanding, knowledge, and ongoing reflection each of us will grow in our ability to build right and authentic relationships, regardless of how we identify and with whom we interact.
- Engaging in this transformational process does not have as its end goal attracting new members from marginalized populations. Instead, it encourages us to more fully live into our UU principles and values. As an outcome, our congregation will be increasingly anti-racist and a more welcoming place for all individuals regardless of how they identify. This also better positions us to be community partners with those whose values are in keeping with UU principles.
- Forming a JEDI Allies Team will provide a welcoming, nurturing, validating, and empowering space of solidarity for those in our congregation who have been traditionally marginalized. Through participation in this group, personal healing may occur, members may grow spiritually, and gain needed strength to fully engage in other congregational activities and in our greater community.
Carol Harper is acting as the initial convenor and facilitator of the JEDI Allies Team, although ultimately indigenous consensus models will govern. If you have an interest in serving or have general questions about the JEDI Allies Team, please contact Carol at email@example.com or 719-377-1974.
The Mountain Top is a Unitarian Universalist organization of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPoC) and mixed-race/multiracial individuals. They offer a space for relationship building and spiritual development for UU BIPOC, by covenantally providing safe space for BIPoC individuals to share our stories, share resources, and develop leadership opportunities for members of our community.
The Mountain Top was founded in 2020 by UU religious professionals in the Colorado Front Range community. They set out to create a safe and empowering space for UU BIPoC individuals and families in the region. It quickly became clear, however, that the need for this space had a much wider geographic reach than we could have ever imagined. Community members represent regions throughout the entire United States, as well as Canada and the United Kingdom.
The Mountain Top also honors the religious professionals of the Colorado UUs United for Racial Justice, where the first conversations about creating a new space for UUs of color first began, and whose financial support made this community possible.
A world where BIPOC members in our UU communities are welcomed and celebrated as fully whole human beings.
We aim to create energy around and inspire BIPOC people to build connections and begin the conversations to create and hold empowering and affirming space. We seek to continually challenge ourselves and one another to rethink, reimagine, and recenter Unitarian Universalist space.
The Mountain Top is also dedicated to developing resources for congregations engaged in anti-racism and anti-oppression work. Go here to learn more and for Resources.
Learn more about The Mountain Top UU here.
HiP Church Involvement
High Plains Church Unitarian Universalist has made a commitment to support The Mountain Top UU along with nine other UU congregations in Colorado.
Jen Simon is serving as Minister to this growing UU BIPoC community. Jen will work with all the congregations on adopting the 8th Principle and in recognizing and dismantling white supremacy structures in our institutions.