I am grateful for our hardworking UUA Board of Trustees who has been meeting on an almost daily basis to respond adequately to this interim time at the UUA following Peter Morales’ resignation. Thank you for your compassion and courage. You have listened and learned from the voices of people of color and so many others about the aspirations we hold for our faith and for an anti-racist, multicultural, and multiracial future with leadership in paid positions that reflect that vision. You did not shy away from naming an ambitious Interim Presidency Transition Plan and Charge that will move us in the direction of these goals. (You can read the charge here: http://www.uua.org/…/l…/files/interim_pres_plan_04042017.pdf)
Thank you also for your creativity in coming up with an interim plan that rises to the challenge. Rather than limiting your vision to traditional constraints, you realized that you could empower more than one person and call three to a shared ministry of leadership. We are blessed to have Sofia Betancourt to lead us as the Interim Co-President for the Commission for Institutional Change, Bill Sinkford to lead us in the roles of the Interim Co-President as outlined in the UUA Bylaws, and Leon Spencer to lead as the Interim Co-President of Constituent Outreach. Three exceptional leaders of color – a minister who is a religious educator in our Starr King Seminary, a parish minister who has served as President before, and a lay-leader who has been elected to the Boards of the UUA and Meadville and been a mentor and shaper of our commitment to anti-racism & multiculturalism.
You do more than open our imaginations about who can be President – you model for us in this interim period that over time our highest elected leaders should reflect all of who we are and not just some of who we are. We are people of color, indigenous people, and white people. We identify as men, women, trans, and on the gender continuum. We identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and heterosexual. We fall all along the disability/ability continuum. We are young and old and in between. We are ordained leaders and lay leaders.
You also point us towards the fertile possibilities held in sharing power in ways that promote transparency, accountability, role clarity, and making use of diverse leadership qualities and experiences. And, thank you also to our Interim Co-Presidents for saying “Yes!” to watering the seeds of a new way. May the wise planting you do now yield many good fruits in the years to come.
This work is about far more than the eleven interim weeks. It is about all of us seizing this moment in history when Unitarian Universalists are faithful enough to face together the culture of white supremacy and the culture of heteropatriarchy that fashions so much of the world we live in whether in our congregations, our institutions, or society at large. It is about rededicating ourselves to the work of dismantling systems of oppression that crush the precious souls and gifts of so many of our fellow travelers. And, it is about rebuilding the institutions and communities that house our faith with the tools of collective liberation.