This graphic, by @restoringracialjustice, shows us what our aspirations look like in action. February’s theme, from our resource called Soul Matters, is Justice and Equity.
Equality is a tough one to reckon with, because making something legislatively equal does not always cure the problem. The Supreme Court granted equal access in the right to marry, but not every state automatically changed their laws around housing or employment or credit to reflect this. “I can legally marry my same-sex partner but my job can still fire me for it, or my landlord can choose to not renew our lease,” is what I heard from some of the couples I married as we celebrated equality. It is progress, and we should celebrate it, but equality alone is not enough without the larger framework of equality within a justice-seeking system.
Learning to accommodate a person’s needs so that they might fully participate in a community activity is the level I see UU Berks at. Space for chairs and scooters, zoom for folks at home, words on the screen for hearing impaired….these ordinary run-of-the-mill accommodations are already in place, and as we become aware of needs, we do our best to meet them. Equity is being sure that each person’s individual requirements (not likes or preferences, but needs) are met, and they may not be alike. At the same meeting, we might have a person who needs to stand, another who needs closed captioning, and another who needs a ramp to get to the meeting. Holding an awareness of equity within a justice-seeking system makes these actions happen.
Always having justice in mind, a time and place where there are no barriers to full inclusion, is where I see UU Berks at. When you see me at coffee hour, or even with each other, what are your thoughts on this graphic?
Happy Valentine’s Day and Black History month!