Black Lives Matter
In June 2018 we, the members of the NorthShore Unitarian Universalist Church of Danvers, voted to display a Black Lives Matter banner in front of our church. This decision was the culmination of a yearlong study program called Soul Matters, hosted by the Social Action Committee. The Soul Matters study group was open to the entire congregation and met monthly to study the tenants of Black Lives Matter, structural racism in our institutions, and racial bias in our lives.
The NSUU Social Action Committee believes that displaying a Black Lives Matter banner is only the beginning. It is a statement of intent to work for racial justice and equity. We are not perfect, and we still have much to learn and do. We may not all agree on what actions to take, or even what racial justice looks like, but those of us not directly affected by racism must be open to listening and learning from those who are. There is still much to be done to rectify the terrible legacy of slavery, of Jim Crow laws, and housing and economic discrimination. Black lives continue to be devalued through voter suppression, mass incarceration and the lack of legal accountability for acts of violence towards people of color. There needs to be a fuller telling of American history that includes the history and experiences of all Americans. We must recognize the contributions Black Americans and other marginalized people of color make to the wealth, culture, and social progress of this country.
The Social Action Committee has led NSUU in commitment to Black Lives Matter by:
- Holding a book discussion group lead by our minister Carol Strecker on the book Breathe by Imani Perry.
- Working with community groups such as ECCO (Essex County Community Organization), the town of Danvers Human Rights and Inclusion Committee, and the Danvers Interfaith Partnership to address issues of racial discrimination and hate crimes in our community.
- Attending rallies and vigils and writing letters to address these issues.
In addition, NSUU presents services related to Black lives on Martin Luther King Day and Juneteenth.