A glimpse into the work the editors are doing as part of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s commitment to dismantle white supremacy.
Like hundreds of UU congregations, the staff of the Unitarian Universalist Association accepted the charge last year to hold a “white supremacy teach-in.” The board and administration have made a priority of dismantling white supremacy within the UUA, implementing new hiring policies and training programs to transform the staff culture. The magazine staff takes this charge seriously. Here’s a glimpse into the work our five-member editorial team is doing:
UU World has featured articles about race and by people of color in every issue since Winter 2014. In 2015, we added a new position with a mandate to help us broaden our audience and to cultivate underrepresented voices; we hired Kenny Wiley, the first person of color on our editorial team since 2000.
At our fall retreat, we agreed that these steps are just a start. We counted every byline to find out what we know about our writers. In 2017, we published forty-nine articles longer than 1.5 pages. Of these, thirty-two were written by women. Only five, however, were written exclusively by people of color, with three more written by pairs or teams of writers that included people of color. One sobering realization: if we discounted Wiley’s work, only three longer articles appeared in our pages by people of color writing individually in 2017. One of our goals is to expand our roster of writers; we invite you to introduce yourself at uuworld.org/submissions.
Counting revealed that we do not know the gender identity, sexual orientation, or racial or ethnic identity of many of our contributors, because we have not asked. Reporters don’t always ask sources, either. So another goal is to ask, and to work to find a broad range of voices, so that our pages reflect a Unitarian Universalism that truly makes room for all.
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Christopher L. Walton is editor of UU World. He holds degrees from Harvard Divinity School and the University of Utah and is a member of the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
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