Joanne Dingus

Joanne Dingus

By Joanne Dingus

I hope many of you saw the video the youth group made at their last meeting that was posted on facebook a couple weeks ago. It was also shown at Andrew’s service at the end of December. It was produced in response to all the violent incidences that have happened in our country recently against young black men.

We understand that people may have different opinions as to whether the police involved should have been indicted. We understand that people may have different opinions about whether the jurors did their job, whether justice was served. But we also understand that young black men, young black boys are being killed in our country and that goes against our UU principles.  And that calls for action!

So what could we do to make a difference? I asked myself that question over and over again. That’s when I came up with the idea to make the video.

It started with a phrase, “Don’t hate me, because I’m beautiful.” What if I got young black men and boys to record this message and post it on the internet? If people all over the country started seeing these images of brave young people asking not to be hated, claiming their beauty as human beings, would this make even the most prejudice people start to see them in a new light? That’s the hope. We are challenging other people to share our video and make their own. We would love to see videos springing up all around the country sharing the message that Black lives matter.

Our youth have concentrated on anti-racism and multiculturalism this past year. Their summer class was called Be The Change produced by the UUA, using video clips, games and activities to learn about privilege, stereotypes and oppression. The youth used some of the activities in Be The Change at their Lock-in in November, working with youth from three other congregations on these issues.

The middle school class this week will learn about UU minister James Reeb who fought for civil rights. In January, the youth group will go to see the movie “Selma” and learn more about the history of racism in America.

UU’s have a history of activism, rising for justice and standing on the side of love. I’m proud of our youth for carrying on this tradition!

See you in the RE!


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