Economic injustice persists in spite of the longest period of economic
prosperity in our history. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to
widen. Tens of millions, particularly children, women, and the elderly live in
poverty, a disproportionate share of whom are ethnic and racial minorities.
Working for a just society is central to our Unitarian Universalist faith. An
economically just society is one in which 1) government and private institutions
promote the common economic good and are held accountable; 2) all people have
equal opportunity to care for themselves and their families; and 3) individuals
take responsibility for the effects of their actions on their own and others'
lives. Conversely, racism encourages people to perpetuate a system of privileges
and economic rewards that opens the door of opportunity much wider for some than
for others. This should not be tolerated.
We must look both inward and outward as we organize ourselves for action
within our congregations and beyond. Looking inward, the 1997 General Assembly
of the Unitarian Universalist Association urged Unitarian Universalists to
examine carefully our own conscious and unconscious racism and to work toward
our transformation to an anti-racist, multi-cultural institution. The Unitarian
Universalist community has only begun its soul-searching toward the goal of
becoming more inclusive and affirming. We acknowledge the lack of racial and
economic diversity within most of our congregations. However, having diverse
congregations is not the only way to understand injustice in our society.
Looking outward, our 1997 General Assembly also called upon Unitarian
Universalists to work for a more just economic community. We can learn much and
accomplish much by joining and creating community organizations in which diverse
groups of people work together on economic justice issues, hold community
leaders accountable, and monitor those leaders' efforts toward achieving
systemic improvements. Our work for economic justice must include support for
As Unitarian Universalists, we have a religious and moral obligation to
challenge complacency in ourselves and in our communities. We commit to fighting
injustice wherever we find it. We acknowledge that this may disturb our own
comfort and require us to broaden our interest to include the greater good of an
economically just and compassionate community. We will learn much as we do this
Historically, Unitarians and Universalists have often been in the forefront
of social reform. Our history teaches that social change does not come easily
and is not without risk. Nevertheless, at the beginning of this new century, let
us recommit to justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. Let us
embrace our responsibility to help create a more just world. Let us continue to
reflect and organize for action within our congregations and beyond our doors.
Let us not concede that economic injustice, poverty, and racism are tolerable.
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
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Last updated on Wednesday, August 24, 2011.
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