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Unitarian Church of Evanston: Black Lives Matter
From a press release
2015-04-25

This article shared 2817 times since Sat Apr 25, 2015
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On Friday, April 24, the Unitarian Church of Evanston, at Greenwood and Ridge Avenue in Evanston, installed a large lawn sign with the words BLACK LIVES MATTER. The installation follows a special meeting that resulted in the first unanimous congregational vote on a policy statement in living memory, according to Lee Bannor, who has been in the church for over 50 years.

The ten-foot-long sign came about as a result of recent nationwide incidents in which black children, youth and adults have been killed by law enforcement officers and vigilantes, and as part of a larger appeal for justice in our legal system. A national Unitarian Universalist group has asked churches throughout the country to make visible their call for accountability for these deaths, and their support for the right of black citizens to receive even-handed treatment by law enforcement and the judicial system. About 20 Unitarian Universalist churches have responded by erecting similar signs and banners.

The well-attended UCE congregational meeting included testimony in support of the sign by church members.

The youngest speaker, 14-year-old Elena Deamant, said "We have to say 'black lives matter' because police are saying that black lives do not matter when they murder black people without cause. We have to take action because that's what being Unitarian Universalist is about." Priscilla Ormes, age 87, declared "We must turn

Ridge Avenue into the road for justice. There are so many houses of worship along Ridge, and we must persuade others to join us." Senior Minister Rev. Bret Lortie responded to the vote, "This makes me so proud to be a part of this community."

Evanston community member Melissa Blount commented, "I think the Black Lives Matter banner is a huge and very meaningful symbolic gesture. It means a lot to me that a predominantly white congregation would place such a banner on its house of worship, in such a central and visible part of the Evanston community."

In a sermon two weeks prior to the vote, Minister for Lifespan Religious Education Rev. Connie Grant quoted Kenny Wiley, a young black man who serves as Senior Editor of the national UU World magazine: "You are a woman and your life matters just the same. You are gay or lesbian and your life matters just the same. You

have a disability and your life matters just the same. Right now we are being called to promote and affirm: You are young and black and your life matters just the same. You stole something and your life matters just the same. I have been taught to fear you, and your life matters just the same."

For More Information: Rev. Bret Lortie, Unitarian Church of Evanston, 847-864-1330


This article shared 2817 times since Sat Apr 25, 2015
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