What has been happening with the recommendations from the Racial Justice Advisory Council – RJAC? They are not collecting electronic dust!
The board has approved the recommendations and identified stakeholders responsible for making each of them happen. The Justice Ministry Council has been charged to be an accountability partner so that the recommendations are fulfilled. Currently, the top recommendations being worked on are
1. Education about the 8th Principle in preparation for the vote to adopt the 8th Principle at the June 2023 Congregational Meeting.
Stakeholder: 8th Principle Team and congregation. Please participate in the 8th Principle Learning Circles being offered by the various groups and committees of the congregation. Of course, that means lay leaders have said “yes” to hosting them. We need all of us to make this happen!

UPDATE: The congregational vote on June 4, 2023 was Yes! to adopt the 8th principal. Thank you to the 8th Principal Team for your hard work:
Ed Prestemon
Nancy Bragg
Nancy Clark
Jensen Gelfond
Jeff Jones
Carol Buffum

Our work continues to build Beloved Community within and beyond our four walls.
2. Identifying a consultant to provide an Equity Audit of our policies, procedures and governance model. This will apparently be the first time a UU congregation has such an audit. Yeah, UU Asheville!
Stakeholder: The board has asked board member Mary Alm and Rev. Claudia Jiménez, Justice Ministry lead, to identify, interview and recommend consultants who will provide proposals for board consideration.
UPDATE: This proposal is on hold until our new minister arrives.

Racial Justice Advisory Council (RJAC) Report: What’s that?
We strive to become a radically inclusive and welcoming congregation as we are called to do if UUism is to be the liberatory faith it can be. This work started with an internal assessment led by a board-appointed small team of congregants working in partnership with our Minister of Faith Development, Rev. Claudia Jiménez. Their learnings and recommendations known as the RJAC Report were shared with the congregation and the board. One of the top recommendations was to engage the congregation in learning about the proposed 8th Principle which aligns with the work of liberation. The 8th Principle Team was formed and is actively hosting Learning Circles, tabling on Sundays and exploring other ways to prepare the congregation to vote in the June congregational meeting to adopt the 8th Principle. They are creating space for all to discuss hope, fears and dreams as we consider this important vote.

The Proposed 8th Principle:

“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.”

WHAT IS BELOVED COMMUNITY?

Beloved Community happens when people of diverse racial, ethnic, educational, class, gender, abilities, sexual orientation backgrounds/identities come together in an interdependent relationship of love, mutual respect, and care that seeks to realize justice within the community and in the broader world.