BLACK LIVES MATTER EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
Finally, some serious conversations and actions about racism in our nation (and beyond.) It's beyond needed and my heart breaks for those who have suffered so much in so many ways for GENERATIONS. Everyone is capable of personal growth (knowing this personally and professionally) so I am encouraged that there will be real change in our institutions and in our own hearts.
Speak up. Stand up for what is truly right. Learn all you can about how/why people feel the way they do. (Watch Mudbound, any movie on Emmitt Till, read, read, read!)
When I was young and in college I passed on taking electives in Black History, thinking it didn't pertain to me, not realizing I was part of the problem. That was where I was then. Now I wish I had educated myself on Black history. I am ashamed, of myself, and of so many individuals of my own race. Seeing the abject hatred and contempt portrayed in film and captured in actual video turns my stomach. We are all kin. We all have EQUAL worth, but truly not EQUAL opportunities.
I'm encouraged by so many White people 'waking up' and trying to change the status quo on this issue. There's so much out there that can inform us. Practicing respect, feeling love, kindness towards one another enriches our lives and makes a difference in our society, our culture and our institutions.
We often challenge or dismiss others when they don't agree with us. How often do we challenge or even look at the foundations of our own thoughts and beliefs? The seeds of hatred can be buried very deep, but they are worth digging for and dealing with. I apologize to anyone I may have harmed by the actions and inactions of my own life (past, present, and future!) I ask for forgiveness. I believe this is a sign of strength in me and not weakness. To feel some level of humility is not a bad thing when one is human. In my book, it's far better than the opposite of the word 'humble" I just googled (arrogant, overbearing.)
I'm beginning to compose a list of films, books, websites, podcasts, etc that educate and inspire me. Board and staff at The Mountain will work to create a link to these and other sources for further 'learning' experiences. No matter your political leanings I believe everyone wants our country to be the BEST it can be, not just for some, but for ALL its citizens. And it has not been, since its inception. The recent phenomenon of hearing "Black Lives Matter" so very often is understood by me as not meaning to take away the worth of any other lives. But rather to help us 'see' that Black lives have NOT ever truly mattered to the majority of our citizens. There has been far too great a cost for that.
Lastly, this is challenging work; 'white privilege', implicit bias, and white supremacy is complicated and very hard to change/dismantle. To repeat an oft quoted phrase, to "Make American Great Again", I think doing this hard work will give us a mighty shove in that direction and make us feel truly proud to be an American. Let us engage and encourage our fellow Americans to work to become a truly UNITED country behind the goal of equality and freedom for all of our citizens. Let the energy of this moment inspire us to work on our own selves and seek ways to encourage others to do the same. We can improve our selves, our culture and our institutions. We must, as the problem is systemic in our society and beyond. True progress in this arena will certainly give us something to truly celebrate on future Independence Day celebrations. We will ALL have something to sincerely celebrate together!
Bonnie Gramlich - Development Team at The Mountain
You may already be aware that The Mountain has begun to offering online learning as of late. Consider registering for the following online programming to expand your horizons and gracefully incorporate new ideas into practice:
"White Privilege and How to Be an Anti-Racist"
which begins September 23rd.
We wish to thank Phil and Linda Sterner and their faculty for bringing these about to help sustain The Mountain. This is an incredible way for us to continue our vision and mission during this time of physical distancing. We are grateful!
Donations to The Mountain are sincerely welcomed and appreciated, as our normal sources of income are severely limited at this time. If you have an idea for an online program you'd like to offer please let The Mountain know so that we may support you in your work. firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a list for reading or viewing that's a work in progress for us:
RECOMMENDED EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
This list is just a beginning. It’s a work in progress. Please let Bonnie at The Mountain know to add your own recommendations. Thank you! Bonnie.email@example.com
“We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”