7 Principles of Black Lives

Queer Black lives, trans Black lives, formerly incarcerated Black lives, Black women’s lives, differently-abled Black lives, Black elderly and children’s lives. ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER and are creators of this space. We throw no one under the bus. We rise together. The Movement for Black Lives calls upon the Unitarian Universalist faith – a faith willing to make the bold proclamation that each person inherently matters – to live up to that claim by working toward a future in which Black lives are truly valued in our society. We call on UUs to actively resist notions that Black lives only matter if conformed to white, middle-class norms, and to challenge assumptions of worth centered around clothing, diction, education, or other status. Our value is not conditional.

Principle #2: Love and self-love is practiced in every element of all we do.
Love and Self-Love must be drivers of all our work and indicators of our success. Without this principle and without healing, we will harm each other and undermine our movement. The Movement for Black Lives seeks to build a society where Black people thrive instead of survive. We seek justice for those we have lost to police violence, we seek equity in housing, education, and healthcare, we seek compassion from our fellow UUs for the struggle we are called to be part of.

Principle #3: Spiritual growth is directly tied to our ability to embrace our whole selves.
A principled struggle must exist in a positive environment. We must be honest with each other by embracing direct, loving communication & acknowledgement of all we are and all that we hope to be. The spiritual growth of UUs of Color is directly tied to our ability to stand in the truth that Black Lives Matter, that our lives matter, both in the wider world and just as importantly in our UU congregations. We call on our UU congregations and the UUA to support our work towards wholeness as Black people. We must be honest with one another by embracing direct, loving communication.

Principle #4: Experimentation and innovation must be built into our work.
Embrace the best tools, practices, and tactics, and leave behind those that no longer serve us. Evaluation and assessment must be built into our work. Critical reflection must be part of all our work. We learn from our mistakes and our victories. The Movement for Black Lives works daily to expose the truth about Black life in this country and in the world. To uncover the layer of white supremacy that exists in this society. To bring light to Anti-Blackness that is present in our everyday lives. We call on all UUs to root out the Anti-Blackness that exists within our congregations and our faith.

Principle #5: Most directly affected people are experts at their own lives.
Those most directly affected by racial injustice & oppression should be in leadership, at the center of our movement, and telling their stories directly. We stand in the Movement for Black lives at a time in which voting rights are being threatened at every turn. Black people are being denied the most basic of rights – the right to vote and have adequate representation in our country. We work towards a society in which Black life is valued, in which Black life is not discarded, in which Black Lives Matter, and in which the work of Black people is seen as equal to their white counterparts. Black voices in our congregations, in our faith, and in the world must be valued.

Principle #6: Thriving instead of Surviving
Our vision is based on the world we want, and not the world we are currently in. We seek to transform, not simply react. We want our people to thrive, not just exist – and to think beyond the possible. Any work towards peace, liberty and justice must address racial injustice. Black UUs are calling our faith to join us as we work towards justice for ALL Black men and women and by extension for all people.

Principle #7: 360 Degree Vision
We honor the past struggles and wisdom from our elders. The work we do today builds the foundations of movements of tomorrow. We consider our mark on future generations. Acknowledging the ways in which Supremacist society diminishes us ALL is a critical part of the work of the Movement for Black Lives. When the most marginalized of our society is free, then we will ALL truly be free. We call on our faith to affirm the truth that only when Black Lives Matter will All Lives TRULY Matter. As Dr. King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”