The Anti-racism Commission was established by the board of trustees of the Unitarian Society in June 2020.

Purpose

To establish an Anti-Racism Commission that addresses bias, injustice, and institutional racism in ourselves, our community, and our world, acknowledging that the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara plays a role in advancing racial justice in our community and the United States. 

In June 2020, the USSB congregation adopted a Statement of Conscience:

“USSB supports the five demands of Black Lives Matter SB. We urge the Santa Barbara City Council and the County Board of Supervisors to condemn police brutality and declare racism a public health emergency. USSB further supports and affirms Black Lives Matter and will renew and strengthen our commitment to anti-racism work and to dismantling all systems of white supremacy.”

The Problem

Institutional racism and white supremacy culture cause harm and suffering to all members of society and until all are free, none of us are free.

We Believe

  • Racial justice is an ethical issue.
  • Racial Justice is a spiritual issue.
  • Racial Justice is a leadership issue.
  • Racial Justice is a community issue.
  • Racial Justice is a public health issue.

Goals

  • Create fair and loving communities.
  • Create opportunities for members of the congregation to work on their own racism and understanding of supremacy culture, individually and collectively. 
  • Integrate our commitment to racial justice into our worship services, education programs, spiritual practices, and daily life.
  • Mobilize congregational groups for action e.g. prison justice, anti-racism, immigration justice, and other actions related to racial justice.
  • Build community connections and follow the lead of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) organizations and other faith groups as partners for racial justice.
  • Support the development and inclusion of multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural UU congregations.
  • Support congregational education addressing anti-racism and white supremacy through book clubs, seminars, trainings, and more.

Membership

The Anti-Racism Commission (ARC) shall have a minimum of five members recruited and appointed by the board of trustees. Commission members will include at least one member of the board, one member of the nominating committee, and leadership of relevant committees or ministry teams. Commission members will serve for at least a period of two years. The commission may select its own chair and reports to the board of trustees. USSB program staff members and lead minister may join the commission as non-voting members.

Assessment and Evaluation

The board of trustees will review program and actions of the commission every other month. The board will assess on a two-year basis what has been accomplished. Changes to the ARC charter must be approved by the board of trustees.

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