Sunday, October 28, 2012

"This is why I joined the Board"

Second in a series of posts about the October 2012 UUA Board meeting

The above quote from one of our newer board members summed up the general sense of the UUA board.  For many of us, it felt like our focus was on the right things.

One of those "right things" for me was the full day spent on multicultural training, with Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training.  I have been in multiple trainings of this type, and found this the most useful of any I have experienced since I joined the board.  It gave me a framework (my strong N on the Meyers-Briggs) for navigating the complexities of really being a multicultural faith.  Crossroads compared the institutional values underlying cultural dominance with those of one with what they called "critical cultural competencies":
  • From "either/or" to "both/and"
  • From a scarcity mentality to an abundant worldview
  • From competitive individualism to collaboration and cooperation that nurtures individual creativity
  • From secrecy to transparent communication and decision-making, while safe-guarding person integrity
  • From Institutions of cultural dominance that are focused on self preservation with a bias towards efficiency, to institutions with cultural competencies that are focused on their mission with a bias towards effectiveness. 
Though we all know that being multicultural is not as simple as doing a service that incorporates Dia de los Muertos, including readings by African Americans, or including Jewish High Holy Days, there is real utility to me in thinking of our congregations as having a dominant culture (which most of us can easily identify), and then thinking about who is inside of that "box", who is outside of it, and how we might blur the separation.  I am not suggesting we try to be all things to all people, but rather that we choose who we want to be and who feels included on the basis of our values, not our style of worship or music.

Next post:  creating new Ends   

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