Black Lives Matter at the UU Fellowship

Most fundamental is our spiritual growth. We work to create spaces for us to dig deep and listen — learn — grow.

Our BLM group meets to continue the deep discussion about moving forward with the 8th principle (see below). First and foremost, this means that we commit to deep learning, deep listening — 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 (from the 8th principle).

Be part of the learning together.
* * * Plan and connect with our Black Lives Matter squad! We typically meet by Zoom on the first Tuesday of each month. However, we will announce the date of our January meeting.

In the meantime, save the date — Tuesday, Jan. 16 — for National Day of Racial Healing, when SUNY Plattsburgh’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosts an all-day event. 

National Day of Racial Healing

Choose among a rich array of concurrent sessions. Engage in deep conversation with others.

Also, participate in the book raffle for a copy of Resmaa Menakem’s “My Grandmother’s Hands,” which will be the center of discussion in a book group later in the spring. Or, if you need a copy, please contact us at We will have a lending library here for those who cannot access the book.

Upcoming events to learn, to listen . . . at SUNY Plattsburgh.

  • Save the Date!
    MLK Day.
    Mon., Jan. 15, 1 p.m.
    Program at the Newman Center, across from SUNY Plattsburgh on Broad St.
  • Save the Date!
    Tues., Jan. 16, 2024
    National Day of Racial Healing. All-day sessions on SUNY campus. 
    Plan to participate.  Doors open at 9:30. Schedules run from 10 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.
  • Participate in the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation circles, which occur on the first Friday of each month, 12-1 p.m. on the SUNY campus. Learn more


Our Black Lives Matter squad meets monthly on Zoom.

In addition to participation in the fellowship’s “On Repentance and Repair” common read program (more sessions will be scheduled in the new year), our group has been reflecting on selected chapters from The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story (edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones). We will reconvene our discussions of chapters from this compelling book.

Need help locating any of the books mentioned here? Contact Jo El at


Our Black Lives Matter squad is one of several social justice squads at the UU Fellowship. Since 2017, our BLM squad has hosted outreach events with our wider community.

In addition, many of us participated in the UU the Vote postcarding, during the 2020 general election, the January, 2021 special election in GA, and the 2022 midterm elections. We anticipate deep engagement again in the Democracy/UU the Vote squad work for the 2024 election cycle. We partner with Center for Common Ground and Reclaim Our Vote, a grassroots, primarily volunteer-run campaign that focuses on increasing Black voter turnout. Working with local, on-the-ground partners and our Democracy Centers, we build effective, respectful, and relevant campaigns that engage BIPOC voters around upcoming elections.

Here are some events we have hosted in the past:

  • Poetry slams.
  • Learning circles that include reading and discussion of authors such as the late bell hooks, Robin DiAngelo, Ibram X. Kendi.
  • Congregational common read of Imani Perry’s “Breathe: A Letter to My Sons.”
  • Film screenings and discussions (“Get Out” and “Black Panther”).
  • Study of the proposed 8th Principle of the UUA, including planning several worship services; screening the video “Holding Ourselves Accountable:  The 8th Principle and the Future of Our Faith,” a conversation with Paula Cole Jones (one of its principal authors).
  • Recommendation of a congregational vote on Dec. 12, 2021, asking for the approval of the adoption the 8th Principle by our congregation.
  • Book readings and monthly meetings.

If you are interested in joining our Black Lives Matter squad, just come to our next gathering . . . or contact us at

By unanimous vote on Dec. 12, 2021, the fellowship chose to adopt the 8th Principle!

The 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism reads:

“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.”

Black Lives of UU (BLUU) Organizing Collective encourages all Unitarian Universalists to advocate for the formal adoption of an 8th principle, articulating a commitment to the dismantling of white supremacy within the stated principles of our faith.

Many of us read and hear of the continued deaths of black men at the hands of the police. We’re sad, we’re upset, we’re angry… we don’t know what to do.

As a predominantly white congregation in a predominantly white faith, we have an obligation to understand our place in the continued suppression, harm and violence that occurs on a daily basis to people of color.  What role can we take in calling out the microaggressions (little things we say and do that cause harm) and the systemic institutional policies and practices that can limit and even kill people of color?