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Multicultural, Anti-Bias, and Justice Resources for Adult Faith Development


  • Call to Selma: Eighteen Days of Witness by Richard D. Leonard. In 1965 Rev. Martin Luther King appealed to clergy across the nation to come to Selma, Alabama, and join protestors in their struggle for voting rights. More than 200 Unitarian Universalists responded. Reverend Richard Leonard, age 37, was minister of education at the Community Church of New York at the time he answered Dr. King's call. Leonard's journal, along with the recollections of others who shared the journey, presents Selma as a pivotal point in the advancement of civil rights, and a defining moment for Unitarian Universalism. 176 pp. Published by Skinner House Books (Boston, MA) in 2001.
  • Free for All: Defending Liberty in America Today by Wendy Kaminer. 208 pp. Beacon, 2002.
    • The Free for All Discussion Guide by Lindsay Nelson is designed for leaders of groups in Unitarian Universalist congregations working with this text. The questions raised in the program will be—and should be—difficult to answer. It is our hope that this dialogue will foster greater reflection and commitment within the community, creating space for exploration and dedicated work for civil liberties.
  • How Much Do We Deserve? An Inquiry into Distributive Justice by Richard S. Gilbert. "It is my intent to bridge the gap between scholars in economic and theological/ethical disciplines and concerned laity and clergy."
  • Kindred by Octavia Butler. Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stays grow longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin. 264 pp. Beacon, 1998.
    • The Kindred Discussion Guide (PDF, 19 pages) by Jacqui James, Meg Riley and Wendy Bivens provides a framework for Unitarian Universalist discussion groups to engage in reflective dialogue about the legacy of slavery, the connections between historical burdens and present realities, and our vision for shaping our future (three sessions).
  • The Prophetic Imperative: Social Gospel in Theory and Practice, Second Edition by Richard S. Gilbert. A fresh look at the role of social justice work within the Unitarian Universalist denomination. Offers a historical review of justice-making in Unitarian Universalism, explores the connections between spirituality and social action, and provides vital advice and models to help congregations mobilize for justice work. 208 pp. Published by Skinner House Books (Boston, MA) in 2000.
  • Soul Work: Anti-racist Theologies in Dialogue. Papers and discussion transcripts from the Unitarian Universalist Association Consultation on Theology and Racism held in Boston in January 2001. Addresses such questions as: What theological or philosophical beliefs bind us together in our shared struggle against racism? What are the costs of racism, both for the oppressors and the oppressed? 264 pp. Published by Skinner House Books (Boston, MA) in 2002.
  • The Students are Watching: Schools and the Moral Contract, by Theodore R. Sizer and Nancy Faust Sizer. In this groundbreaking book, Theodore and Nancy Sizer insist that students learn not just from their classes but from their school's routines and rituals, especially about matters of character. They convince us once again of what we may have forgotten: that we need to create schools that constantly demonstrate a belief in their students. 160 pp. Beacon, 2000.
    • The Students Are Watching Discussion Guide by Julia Watts provides a framework for Unitarian Universalist discussion groups to share ideas. The three sessions consider: the principles and lessons we believe are most important for our life journey; the character and politics of schooling, including the unspoken lessons of institutions; and how we might build more meaningful relationships between the generations. This program encourages the reflections and contributions of young adults as well as parents, educators and other adults who have finished formal schooling.
  • Waist-High in the World: A Life Among the Nondisabled by Nancy Mairs. In a blend of intimate memoir and passionate advocacy, Nancy Mairs takes on the subject woven through all her writing: disability and its effect on life, work, and spirit. 224 pp. Beacon, 1996.
    • The Waist-High in the World Discussion Guide by Julia Watts outlines three workshops on the book. Discussions highlight the uniqueness of our own bodies and our own resources for adapting to illness, disability, change and loss; how the constructed world creates problems for people with disabilities; the challenges and spiritual benefits of giving and accepting care; supporting and respecting people with disabilities; and acknowledging our own potential for living with a disability. Encourages the reflection and contributions of all people, whatever their experience with disability.
  • What Are You? Voices of Mixed-Race Young People by Pearl Fuyo Gaskins. In-depth interviews with 80 mixed-race young people. In their own words they address issues such as dating, family life, prejudice from white and minority groups, and identity struggles. At the same time, they celebrate the unique hope and possibility that come from living life in multicolors and multicultures.

Additional Print Resources

  • Considerations for Cultural Borrowing: Questions to Ask (and Answer): This document offers a comprehensive set of questions to consider when potentially integrating culture specific practices into Unitarian Universalist worship and teaching. Prepared by the 2003 Unitarian Universalist Association Cultural (Mis) Appropriations Ad Hoc Committee, Judith Frediani, Chair.
  • Cornrows, Kwanzaa and Confusion: The Dilemma of Cultural Racism and Misappropriation: This article opens a dialogue on the complex issue of cultural racism. Is it possible to honor the need and the right of each culture to affirm and celebrate its own heritage and traditions, while inviting others to join in? Rev. Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley.
  • Empowerment (PDF, 104 pages): One Denomination's Quest for Racial Justice (1967-1982): A study of the Unitarian Universalist Association by the Commission on Appraisal. This report is of our denomination's response to the black empowerment issue.
  • Disability Awareness—Do It Right! A Handbook. Edited by Mary Johnson. Simulation exercises—activities in which participants get into wheelchairs, tie on blindfolds or stuff earplugs into their ears to "simulate" having a disability—have become a popular "Awareness Day" event. But they've also come under fire from disability activists and educators, who criticize them as demeaning and inaccurate.

    Recommended by UUA's accessibilities specialist, Rev. Dr. Devorah Greenstein, Disability Awareness offers you an all-in-one how-to guide from the Ragged Edge Online community, with tips, techniques and handouts for a successful Awareness Day. Short background articles and planning lists help you organize fun and effective Awareness Day activities that disability rights activists support. Concise, easy-to-read chapters show you how to carry out 6 specific types of activities, how to handle follow-up discussion and even how to spur social change.
  • Lessons from the Kwanzaa Candles: How can a white Anglo-American Unitarian Universalist respectfully address Kwanzaa? This award-winning worship service addresses this question as well as the history and meaning of Kwanzaa. The author writes, "The Kwanzaa candles encourage me to learn what it means to be white in the United States, learn what my forebears exchanged for a place in the American melting pot. I must search for and claim the red, the past, my past, before I can truly envision a fair world, a world of justice, equity, and compassion in human relations." Gail Forsyth-Vail. 
  • MAVIN: A quarterly print magazine dedicated to the celebration of the mixed race and transracial experience in America. MAVIN Foundation, 600 First Avenue, Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98104; (888) 77MAVIN.
  • Reckless Borrowing or Appropriate Cultural Sharing: The author writes, "It is important that we learn to differentiate between drawing from the wisdom and appropriating rituals, artifacts, and other elements of the spiritual traditions of other religions." Jacqui James.
  • Witness for Justice: A weekly email list and column that appears in many community newspapers nationwide. Articles are also online. United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44145-1110; (216) 736-3704.


  • GroundSpark: This national organization produces documentary films and videos that offer a perspective on economic and social justice to inspire diverse audiences to put their values into action. Videos include It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School and That's a Family! Resource for Kids on Family Diversity.
  • A Love Story: In the Face of Hate from SuMoe Productions. In 2004, over the protests of the Governor of Virginia, the state legislature went further than any other in the country by prohibiting contracts which "purport to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage" between two individuals of the same gender. This 38 minute educational, inspiring and disturbing documentary looks at the impact of the law through the lives of one couple, forced to leave the state when the discriminatory and arguably unconstitutional legislation went into effect. DVDs may be borrowed from your District Office.
  • Syracuse Cultural Workers Catalog: Tools for Change: This educational and cultural organization works to help sustain a culture that honors diversity and celebrates community; that inspires and nurtures justice, equality, and freedom. P.O. Box 6367, Syracuse, NY 13217; (315) 474-1132.


  • The Caring Congregation Program by Barbara Meyers. This congregational program of seven workshops focuses on welcoming and supporting people with mental disorders and their families into our congregations. An eighth workshop trains leaders to be teachers of the curriculum. Will to Print Press, 2005.


  • Cross Cultural Communication Centre: 965 Bloor Street, W. Toronto, Ontario M6H 1L7, CANADA; (416) 530-4117.
  • Cultural Connections P.O. Box 1582, Alameda, CA 94541; (510) 538-8237.
  • Diversity Resource Center: Resources include Talking to Our Children About Racism and Diversity, a brochure that helps parents and children talk together about racism, prejudice, and diversity, and All Together Now, a diversity curriculum for teachers of young children. 1629 K Street, NW, 10th fl, Washington, DC 20006.
  • Educators for Social Responsibility: Catalog and resources for children, youth and adults. 23 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138; 1-(800) 370-2515.
  • MAVIN Foundation: The nation's leading organization that builds healthy communities that celebrate and advocate for mixed heritage people and families. 600 First Avenue, Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98104; (888) 77MAVIN.
  • Oyate: Anti-Indian Biases Resource Center & Clearinghouse: Workshops, resource library, and resource materials by and about Native peoples for children and adults. 2702 Matthews Street, Berkeley, CA 94702; (510) 848-6700.
  • World of Difference: Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith: Provides workshops, videos and materials to help parents raise non-biased, non-prejudiced children, focusing on developing positive inter-group relations. 823 United National Plaza, New York, NY 10017; (212) 490-2525.

For more information contact adultprograms @

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Monday, November 28, 2011.

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