The Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara publicly posted a “Black Lives Matter” banner outside our sanctuary walls on September 11, 2020. In our virtual worship service on Sunday, September 23, 2020, we participated in a “blessing of the banner” to recommit ourselves to the work of dismantling white supremacy and working for the collective liberation of all people, especially Black lives in Santa Barbara.

Putting up a “Black Lives Matter” banner is not the work. It is simply a reminder of the work – a sign that keeps our commitment to this movement visible and encourages the wider community to join us. We refuse to let this conversation fade away with the next news cycle.

This action follows the USSB congregational vote and adoption of a Statement of Conscience on June 7, 2020 supporting Healing Justice Black Lives Matter, Santa Barbara, California.

The USSB congregation displays this banner as one part of living into their Statement of Conscience, and not just as a performative action. The congregation offers ongoing learning groups around racial justice and the board of trustees established an Anti-Racism Task Force to monitor and support the congregation in accountability to their Statement of Conscience. All are welcome to join us on our Justice and Equity Call every Friday morning.

Why now? Words matter, and a public statement of solidarity helps keep the work of Black Lives Matter visible and invites everyone who sees it to consider how they are engaging with the work of justice in this historic moment. As uprisings and public protests happen across the nation, Santa Barbara cannot forget that we have work to do right here in our community.

Our Words of Dedication:

  • We bless this banner, as a public proclamation of our resolve to uphold the worth and dignity of Black lives.
  • We bless this banner, with gratitude for the ancestors who have carried it before us and the youth who will carry it after us.
  • We bless this banner, that it may inspire others to join us and uplift the spirit of our community.
  • We bless this banner, and commit to taking the actions that will bring these words to life: Black Lives Matter.