“We can never be the bearers of love and justice that the world so desperately needs if the foundation that sustains us is still perpetuating the very problem we long to solve.”

Sofia Betancourt, GA 2018



I want to read the First Parish COIC Report to the First Parish Standing Committee (April 2023).

I want to read the BLUU 2022 Report on it’s origins and accomplishments.

I’m looking for COIC Anti-Oppression Resources

I want to know more about COIC History

I’m interested in Past Updates (2021, 2022)


February 23, 2024 UPDATE

The hot economy in the United States has resulted in a job boom for people of color. Read The Economist article to learn why. 

February 22, 2024 UPDATE

Interested in learning more about our state’s role in the slave trade?

Prof. Sean Kelley

Massachusetts in the Transatlantic Slave Trade, 1644-1865, an online lecture (through Atlantic Black Box) by Dr. Sean M. Kelley, Professor of History at the University of Essex, UK, is scheduled for this week, February 28, 2024, from 4-5 PM. You must register in advance HERE to get the link.

February 6, 2024 UPDATE

Take a deep dive into the personal, transformative, spirit-growing work each of us needs to do around issues of race, identity, and justice. Registration is open through February 29, 2024 for the next 12-week session of Beloved Conversations/Within/Part II. The spring term begins March 12, 2024. Register here.

January 20, 2024 UPDATE

Were you intrigued by Rev. Seth’s sermon series on the First Parish Benediction? Do you have thoughts you’d like to share? Interested in discussing options?

The First Parish Commission on Institutional Change (COIC) is hosting two opportunities for our church community to share thoughts. We hope you will participate in whatever way is best for you:

Via Zoom: Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 7:30 – 8:30 pm

ZOOM Link 

In person: Sunday, February 4, 2024, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm in the Bulkeley Room.

Don’t Miss the First Parish Benefit Concert, “A Celebration of Inclusion” with our own Anna Huckabee-Tull and friends, on February 17, 2024 at 7:30 pm. Doors open at 7 PM. Light refreshments will be available. Funds raised will support the Welcoming Walls project. 

Parishioner Katharine Esty wrote a thoughtful blog about her own journey to understand the new choices surrounding the term LGBTQIA+. COIC recommends everyone read her article. The timing perfectly coincides with First Parish discussions about listing pronoun preference on our church name tags. 

January 16, 2024 UPDATE

COIC recommends a new resource for those who are interested in learning more about the topic of reparations. In December 2023, 170 people joined an online workshop entitled Call to Repair: Justice Healing and Reparations in Massachusetts sponsored by The Reparations Interfaith Coalition. Seven individuals, representing different faith traditions, made rich and thoughtful presentations. A video of the entire session is now available as in the slide deck

January 11, 2024 UPDATE

This coming Sunday, January 14 from 2-5 pm, please come to church to view the PBS documentary “The Busing Battleground“, following by a panel discussion with Sam Williams (Exec. Director, Concord Prison Outreach) and Eric Van Loon (an attorney for the Black families that took legal action against Boston’s segregated schools. Sponsored by RJAG, The League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle, Communities Organizing Against Racism, and the Town of Concord Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Commission. Register here.

December 29, 2023 UPDATE

How much do YOU know about the complex issue of reparations?

The COIC recommends we all watch AMERICA REFRAMED on two nights — Mondays, January 8, 2024 and January 15, 2024, at 10 pm on WGBH (Channel 2). This special program entitled “The Cost of Inheritance” uses personal stories to take a thoughtful look at our history and where some of today’s social inequities got started. For more information, click here. Please direct any questions or comments to either Toby Smith Ropeik at tobyasmith@gmail.com or Darien Smith at darien@smithquest.com.

December 12, 2023 UPDATE

COIC recommends an essay published December 9, 2023 in the Financial Times entitled The Culture Wars Dividing America’s Most Liberal Church which explores our denomination’s struggle balancing. DEAI political correctness, equity, and free thought.

December 3, 2023 UPDATE

On December 5, 2023 at 1 PM, you may want to attend a Massachusetts Statehouse hearing on Senate (S.1050) and House (H3921) bills supporting the creation of a Massachusetts Reparations Task Force. 

On December 10, 2023, 2-3 PM – The Reparations Interfaith Coalition is sponsoring an “Action Hour”. Register NOW.

An interesting article about reparations: “Movements of hope: Abolition and reparations in these times” by Trevor Smith and David Ragland, as printed in Prism, Aug 28, 2023. At the end of the article, there is also a list of additional resources with links.

Advocacy Ideas for supporting reparations:

• Call your state legislators and voice support for both the Senate bill (S.1050 – Miranda) and House bill (H.3921 – Fluker Oakley) which would create a Massachusetts Reparations Task Force. Find contact information for your legislators here

• Support the Mass Indigenous Legislative Agenda.

• Support the Building Up People Not Prison Campaign.

• Attend events sponsored by the MA Black Reparations Collective. 

Interested in making a donation to organizations that support reparations?

• Truth Telling Project’s “Rapid Repair Fund” (National)

Fund for Reparations Now! (National)

RIC & The Resource Organizing Project Collaboration (Greater Boston)

• The Resource Collective’s Community Reparations Fund

September 19, 2023 UPDATE

Carlos Hoyt PhD LICSW Photo from his website

Don’t miss our upcoming program, “Raising Consciousness and Confronting Social Bias in Concord: with noted therapist, social worker, and Assistant Professor at Wheelock College, Dr. Carlos Hoyt.

Coming Thursday, October 12, 2023, 6-8:30 PM, at Concord Academy, 166 Main St. in Concord

The First Parish Commission on Institutional Change (COIC) and the Racial Justice Action Group (RJAG) are co-sponsoring a special event, to provide an opportunity for us all to learn more about bias within our own community.  

This is a unique opportunity to hear neighbors recount their personal experiences and we anticipate an enriching discussion. 

September 10, 2023 UPDATE

Only 17 spots left!

Registration is open for the next session of JUBILEE THREE anti-racism training, co-sponsored by First Parish, along with other area churches. 

Event format: online & on-site

Dates & times:

  • Friday, October 20, 2023, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
  • Saturday, October 21, 2023, 9:00 am – 8:00 pm EDT
  • Sunday, October 22, 2023, 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm EDT

Paula Cole Jones will lead an updated version of this powerful, unique and acclaimed program, partnering with experienced UU trainers Dr. Leon Spencer and Lutricia Callair. Registration is required. Financial reimbursement is possible by contacting Rev. Paul Langston-Daley at plangston-daley@firstparish.org.

If you wish to speak to someone about the value of the training, contact Darien Smith at darien@smithquest.com.

September 2, 2023 UPDATE

What do you know about Concord’s indigenous people, frontier settlers, farmers, militia, merchants, enslavers, authors, researchers, authors, immigrants, mothers, lovers, and friends? 

COIC and RJAG are co-sponsoring CONCORD STORIES, a five-session in person history course led by Rev. Dr. Jim Sherblom. 

Over five Tuesday evenings, from 7 pm to 9 pm we will explore some of Concord’s saints, rogues, freemen, servants, and chattel.  What might life have been like depending upon your sex, gender, race, and social class?

September 19, 2023:                 indigenous Musketaquid and Concord settlers

September 26, 2023:                 Frontier and Colonial Concord

October 3, 2023:                       Provincial and Revolutionary Concord

October 17, 2023:                     Transcendentalist and Patriotic Concord

October 24, 2023:                     Modern and Post-Modern Concord

To register find Rev. Dr. Jim Sherblom at coffee hour or email him at jimsherblom@gmail.com


Older COIC Updates Are Available HERE.

Please visit this page again.  We update regularly.