The Unitarian Universalist Association began publishing UU World as a membership benefit in 1970. Since then the UUA has mailed it to each member of every UUA-affiliated congregation, first as a newspaper and then as a magazine. In launching a periodical for all members, President Bob West saw that it could provide a shared experience and common point of reference for UUs in a tumultuous time. West wrote, “At its best our Unitarian Universalist World will be a tangible reflection of what we are and will provide impetus toward what we can be.”
We too live in tumultuous times. The faith community you find reflected in this magazine issue after issue may embolden you in living your values; it may dishearten and infuriate you. The same things we wrestle with in our movement at large—identity, music, politics, inclusion, equity—are the tensions that show up on UU World’s pages.
We editors do our best to grapple with these tensions, always imperfectly, but we have shifted our editorial approach in response to the UUA’s commitment to “center the margins.” We acknowledge the magazine has overemphasized what we have been, focusing on our movement’s dominant culture, and that we need to focus more on what we can be: a multicultural, antiracist movement that invests in historically marginalized communities.
Why is this shift necessary? On page 32 you’ll find apologies from me and contributing editor Kimberly French for an essay I commissioned from her for the Spring issue. Many transgender and nonbinary readers experienced that story as a painful example of being marginalized by their own faith community. So, starting on page 24, you’ll find trans and nonbinary UU leaders sharing their own stories. Moving toward what we can be starts with a fuller picture of who we already are.