BLUU Best Practices for engagement with Black Organizers in UU Spaces
Have someone onsite during the gathering to answer questions and troubleshoot, but not to observe.
Ensure that the Black members of your congregation are aware that your are opening your space to Black organizers.
If you are white, resist the temptation to have it as an internal or external promotional opportunity. That would be centering the needs of white people for validation over the needs of black people for community
If you are white, resist the temptation to interrogate, explain, equivocate, etc. That would also be centering the needs of white people rather than the needs of black people.
Offer to have some refreshments available, or at least water.
Have someone follow up with your primary contact with the organizers a day or two later to see if there’s anything else that would be helpful.
Listen carefully to their requests, and do as much as you can to fulfill them.
If there’s any change in plans or anything that needs addressing, keep the people who need to know informed as far in advance as possible.
Be prepared to answer questions about Unitarian Universalism and the ongoing involvement of Unitarian Universalists in justice causes, or, if you cannot answer such questions, make a note of them and let us know so that we can help you respond later.
Make it clear how the space needs to be left when they are done, and spell out any support needed in advance.
Send an email to the organizer contact with all the essential details and expectations before, during, and after the gathering.
If the connection goes well, be open to additional gatherings and events with the organizers in your building.
If the group offers to compensate somehow, generously accept it, not as a payment but as a sign of mutual support and appreciation. If so inclined donate the funds to a Black-led local organization.