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The REALL (Religious Education and Lifelong Learning) team and I are contemplating how we might incorporate commitments made in the resolution for the support of Black lives, approved by the congregation recently, into our programming. I believe that as well as comprehensive adult education about Blackness and the experience of racism in America, that there are many possible implications on our children’s program. The voices that constitute both our explicit and implicit curriculum at WUUC must be informed by this new racial justice focus. We can bring Black voices and those from other historically marginalized populations into our curriculum. There are stories of faith, folk legends, fiction authors and more written and created by persons of color that will enhance our programming at WUUC.

In our children’s program before I arrived, this church began the work of moving beyond the Eurocentric Christian Sunday school model to oneThomas Waterman Wood (American, Montpelier, Vermont 1823–1903 New York) that is more experiential, rooted in rituals of the world’s wisdom traditions, and full of the legends of Black and Brown people. We can go further by incorporating African and Indigenous storytelling methodology into our programming, ensuring that every lesson has a justice focus, and inviting people of color as guests in our program. We can also work to ensure that our program is fully welcoming to all persons of color who are a part of and visit on Sunday morning.

In 2017-2018 our children’s program will have flexible curricula that are able to incorporate the previously mentioned additions to our program. Preschool-1st grade will have “Spirit Play,” a montessori-based story-centered curriculum that is deeply rooted in Unitarian Universalism but leaves room for new stories to be told. Our 2-5th grade group will continue to do “Spirit Jam,” a hands-on, experiential learning workshop classroom that explores the theme through body, story, and the arts. Our middle school will likely continue with a world-religions focus that leaves room for exposure to African, Indigenous, and Middle Eastern religious traditions. Finally, YRUU’s curriculum is justice-project based and our youth choose to address topics that range from racial justice to gender justice, including the voices of people of color.

For adults, I announced last month that we will begin a series on anti-blackness (Black Liberation Series), this series will happen on what is now called Racial Justice Wednesdays. Beginning partially this Spring, each Wednesday, there is an opportunity to engage in an Adult education event around racial justice including: Mutuality Movement, Black Liberation Series, Witnessing Whiteness, The Third Reconstruction, and more. Check out our website for more details. (