A mosaic is a thing of beauty, a complex piece of art created by assembling pieces of many different sources, shapes, and colors. It echoes our Unitarian Universalist living tradition: a work of art, always in progress, made by many hands.
The Unitarian Universalist Association is excited to announce a new online Mosaic Hub for antiracism and inclusion in UU congregations, scheduled to launch in early 2023. Through the hub, UUs will be able to access resources and connect to supportive networks for dismantling racism and oppression in ourselves and our institutions.
In response to the recommendations of the Commission on Institutional Change’s 2020 report, Widening the Circle of Concern, UUA staff across departments have brought together multiple programs under a single unified approach to resourcing intersectional efforts for antiracism and full inclusion in UU congregations and communities. It is explicitly intersectional: with a commitment to dismantling white supremacy at the foundation, we recognize the roles that gender, sexuality, ability, and other aspects of identity also play in shaping our experiences. This mosaic of Unitarian Universalist theology and practice gives shape to our commitment to antiracism, anti-oppression, belonging, and liberation.
The Mosaic name is also a throughline from the past. In 2009, there was a Mosaic assessment project on the ministry needs of UU youth and young adults of color. From 2012 to 2018, the UUA also hosted Mosaic Makers Conferences, offering a dynamic learning community for congregations deeply engaged in creating intentional multicultural communities. Building on these experiences, the new Mosaic initiative hopes to expand its reach and impact within Unitarian Universalism and beyond.
The Mosaic Hub initiative will provide a full range of resources and opportunities. The anchors of the Mosaic Hub will include a resource library, curricula and programs for all ages, and inter-congregational learning and practice community offerings.
The library, integrated in the LeaderLab collection, will be a quick, searchable reference for books, curricula, conferences, and trainings specific to a congregation or community’s size, stage, and needs. It will grow and be updated over time.
The hub will feature a new, accessible approach to curricula and faith development.
The hub will feature a new, accessible approach to curricula and faith development. The Widening the Circle of Concern report recommended creating lifespan antiracism curricula, echoing similar requests made by religious educators for many years. The hope was expressed that these antiracism curricula could be similar to the Our Whole Lives lifespan sexuality education curricula, offering a common experience which grounds us in our values as UUs, and potentially becoming an outreach opportunity in the wider community beyond Unitarian Universalism as well. Recognizing the importance of current and relevant information on race and power, the UUA is developing these Mosaic curricular resources in a flexible and accessible “playlist” style, which can be easily updated over time. The beta version of these “playlist” lesson plans will be made available to leaders who complete an online training. The UUA will also pilot test a program for youth groups committed to dismantling white supremacy culture.
The third anchor component will be the Mosaic Learning and Practice communities, which will offer drop-in opportunities for congregational leaders to connect, as well as deeper small-group engagements that will meet for several months. These will allow leaders to deepen their learning and share their practical challenges. Initial plans are to offer groups for Black, Indigenous, and people of color leaders (similar to the current Taproot program) and Skill Up groups for other congregational leaders. There are also future plans for Mosaic Conferences and gatherings to reconvene with more robust support systems for UU communities.
We imagine a shared faith that is radically inclusive and boldly prophetic, touching every congregation in widening circles of justice and belonging.
Over the past few years, it has been inspiring to see how many UU congregations have more deeply engaged in antiracism and anti-oppression as an expression of their most cherished values. The Mosaic Hub will help connect, deepen, and sustain those efforts for years to come. Rather than being isolated in our individual contexts, we are committed to building the community of leaders who engage in this work with mutual support. We imagine a shared faith that is radically inclusive and boldly prophetic, touching every congregation in widening circles of justice and belonging.
More information can be found at uua.org/multiculturalism, including webinars to orient people to the new Mosaic Hub once it launches in 2023. We hope you will join us in becoming a part of the Mosaic as we work toward a thriving multicultural and liberatory faith!
This article is based on the Mosaic Hub implementation plan developed by the UUA’s cross-staff Mosaic Team.