By Mary DeVitt, Leader of Black Lives Matter
55 members of 7 area UU congregations, including First Church, gathered at Unitarian Church North in Mequon on Saturday, September 17, for the third in a series of workshops offered by Black Lives Matter to Wisconsin UUs (BLM2WUU). The daylong workshop, entitled Beyond the Banner 2.5 – Still Talking the Talk, focused on learning the language of the Black Lives Matter movement, and engaging in conversations about race from an anti-racism perspective. Using new shared vocabulary, participants processed recent events in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park and how they might inform our ongoing work. A mid-day public witness for Black Lives Matter, outside the church along Port Washington Road in Mequon, drew the attention of cars passing by and the approval of many. Stephanie Roades from SURJ-MKE (Showing Up for Racial Justice Milwaukee) provided further conversational training in “Calling In and Calling Out.”
BLM2WUU is the collaborative for Black Lives Matter formed by 5 Milwaukee area UU congregations, including First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, Lake Country Unitarian Universalist Church (Hartland), Unitarian Church North (Mequon), Unitarian Universalist Church West (Brookfield), and United Unitarian Universalist Church (Waukesha). The effort is “staffed” by Mary Devitt from First Church and Ann Heidkamp from UUCW. Their work as Justice Building Innovators is part of a UUSC initiative, which includes 14 projects across the U.S.
BLM2WUU maintains a Facebook page that spotlights relevant news, local events and opportunities. We also share educational materials from the vast trove of wisdom available from the online community of people and organizations working in the Black Lives Matter movement. Pictures and materials from the workshops are also featured on the page.
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee is a home for spiritual community, social justice, and intellectual freedom, active in Milwaukee since 1842. Unitarian Universalism is an inclusive denomination; core principles include recognition of the worth and dignity of every person; respect for the interdependent web of existence; and the goal of world peace, liberty and justice.