LREDA Letter to Membership

On behalf of LREDA, we want to recognize and support our colleagues who are courageously speaking truth to power and leading another round of critical conversations about intersectional issues of oppression within our Association.

We are writing this message so that LREDA members, colleagues in shared ministry, UUA Administration & Staff, UUA Board and the Unitarian Universalist community knows we are paying close attention to the communications that have been shared in multiple ways this week. LREDA leadership is aware of the urgent need for diligence in affirming the importance, expertise and comprehensive scope of the service of religious educators and in particular, religious educators of color.

We hold up this excerpt from the UUA funded report of the Joint Task Force on Excellence in Shared Ministry of the LREDA/UUMN/UUMA in 2013, “There are relationships of authority and accountability among us and with the people we serve. Against an historical backdrop or power-over oppression, and ignorance, we encourage a rigorous re-examination and re-formation of relationships that are respected, tended and framed in a spirit of justice as well as in the shared goal of mutual support. This requires being mindful of the use of formal and informal power and an acute awareness of power dynamics.”

A LREDA observer will be present to witness the UUA Board deliberations in April and see if and how they take advantage of this potent opportunity in our Association’s history. We are also in direct communication with other stakeholders.

We are painfully aware of the realities of unfair practices in our own organization, our Association and beyond. LREDA Board will be meeting in April to review our own policies and practices in order to further hold our role in dismantling institutional oppression.

We will continue to communicate as we stay rooted in this hard, essential and deeply spiritual work.

Cathy Seggel, President LREDA & Annie Scott, President-Elect

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Gaia Brown - Thursday, March 30, 2017
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As I am researching the history of credentialing in religious education, I have been reminded how much of a bias the UUA has had historically for ministry over lay professional religious educators. And I am wondering if in this case the choice was made not because one candidate was white and male and straight, but because the other candidate was a religious educator. Actually, I would be willing to put money on this.

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