Statement from UU Religious Professionals of Color RE: Baltimore

The following statement comes from individual UU religious professionals of color, and reflects the views of the undersigned.

We, the undersigned Unitarian Universalist religious professionals of color, wish to express our support and solidarity with those who have been marginalized, brutalized and systematically oppressed by the government agencies of Baltimore, MD. We firmly denounce the institutionalized systems of racial and economic violence–including police torture and mass incarceration–that has targeted black and poor communities in Baltimore for decades.

The uprising that has come from the senseless death of Freddie Gray results from years of a pattern that, sadly, is not only seen in Baltimore, but in other cities with large black and brown populations such as Oakland, New York, Sanford, Tulsa and Chicago. This pervasive, vicious system operates in every state and region. Our hearts are broken like the system in which we live, and we seek to respond to the unrest with compassion, love, and a commitment to systemic change.

While we gather in solidarity with the oppressed, we are also deeply troubled by our own Unitarian Universalist Association and any religious body that has little or no response to Baltimore.

We honor our individual colleagues who choose to show up in their communities with minimal national support. We particularly call on the UUA to reevaluate its national prophetic voice after participating in the recent commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the events at Selma. Sanford, Ferguson, New York, Baltimore… these are our Selma. The time is past… we people of faith must gather with the beaten, the murdered and the oppressed.

We gather together with all of the people who protest, march and cry for freedom and we honor the memories of all those members of our human family: Oscar Grant, Rekia Boyd, Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Mya Hall, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and too many others whose names do not make the sensationalist media; who have died at the hands of racist oppression. You have not died in vain. We Stand, March, Resist and Fight FOR and ON the Side of LOVE.

Here is the link to UUA President Peter Morales’s statement on the uprising in Baltimore, which quotes this letter:

In faith and love,

Amanda Weatherspoon
Rev. Sofia Betancourt
Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt
Kamila A. Jacob
Aisha Hauser
Rev. Danielle Di Bona
Adam Dyer
Yuri Yamamoto
Kenny Wiley
Rev. Maricris Vlassidis Burgoa
Rev. Angela Henderson
Rev. Marisol Caballero
Om Prakash
Ranwa Hammamy
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval
Rev. Jamil Scott, I.O.B.M.
Rev. Alma Faith Crawford
Kimberly R. Hampton
Rev. Leela Sinha
Theresa I. Soto
Michael Macias
Rev. Sunshine Jeremiah Wolfe
Rev. Mitra Rahnema
Rev. Leslie Takahashi
Rev. Chris Long, Madison, WI
Lindasusan Ulrich
Kevin Alan Mann, Starr King School for the Ministry MDiv Candidate
Clyde Grubbs, community minister, Boston, MA
Jorge Espinel, Ministerio Latino, CLF

Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti
Rev. Pamela Wat
Rev. Qiyamah Rahman
Rev. Wendy Pantoja
Rev. Summer Albayati-Krikeche
Rev. Archene Turner
Rev. Addae Ama Kraba
Rev. Lauren Smith
Rev. Abhi Janamanchi
Rev. Bill Sinkford