Media roundup: Antiracist activism flourishes as banner vandalism continues

Media roundup: Antiracist activism flourishes as banner vandalism continues

A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.

Rachel Walden


The Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains in Grass Valley, California, recently unveiled a Black Lives Matter banner above their entrance. The congregation’s minister, the Rev. David Usher, said this step was in line with the denomination’s distinguished history of racial justice activism and the congregation’s recent efforts to build a relationship with its local police department. ( The Union – 11.2.15)

After the Black Lives Matter banner at First Unitarian Society of Denver, Colorado, was vandalized with a splattering of red paint, members of the congregation prayed that the perpetrator would find peace and healing. Despite the incident, the congregation remains undeterred in working for racial justice. ( Colorado Independent – 11.3.15)

More coverage:

“Denver church to 'Clean Up Hate' after being vandalized” ( 9 News - 11.5.15)

“Community rallies to help Denver church targeted by vandals” ( Fox 31 Denver - 11.5.15)

In reporting on the installation of the first black leader of the Episcopal Church as a deliberate effort to heal racial divisions in that denomination, The Christian Science Monitor looks at the racial justice work of other denominations, including Unitarian Universalists. Quoting a recent story in UU World, the Monitor notes that, while racial justice activism may be growing within faith groups, it still receives backlash from the public. (Christian Science Monitor  – 11.2.15)

The UU World article referenced was "What churches learn when they proclaim Black Lives Matter."

Youth group holds Ray Bradbury-inspired Halloween event

Youth from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke, Virginia, held a successful Halloween event and fundraiser inspired by the story “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” by famed author and Unitarian Universalist Ray Bradbury. Proceeds from the event go to the group’s mission efforts, which include trips through Western North Carolina and supporting a local Head Start program. ( Roanoke Times – 10.31.15)

UU Pagan group explains their practice

Deborah Maynard, who made national news earlier this year by leading the morning prayer in the Iowa State Legislature, joins other Unitarian Universalist Pagans in an interview where they discuss what Paganism is and isn’t. The article notes the large and growing population of Pagan practitioners in the state of Iowa. ( The Gazette – 10.30.15)

Congregation, community offer condolences after mosque fire

After a mentally-ill man set fire to a mosque in Corvallis, Oregon, members of the community joined with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis to sign and read aloud a card with a message of condolence at the site of the fire. The arsonist was caught and found guilty of arson and other weapons charges. ( The Oregonian – 11.3.15)