“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



Unitarian Universalist Commission on Institutional Change

At the New Orleans General Assembly in 2017, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Commission on Institutional Change was established and charged by the UUA Board of Trustees to conduct an audit of white privilege and the structure of power within Unitarian Universalism, and analyze structural racism and white supremacy culture within the UUA. The Commission was in place for three years through the Virtual General Assembly in June of 2020.


Widening the Circle of Concern summarizes the Commission’s findings and recommendations.


Widening the Circle of Concern Study/Action Guide helps Congregations to engage in a similar process.

2020 UUA Virtual General Assembly

GA was devoted largely to the Commission’s Report and related racial justice topics. Follow this link and scroll half-way down the page to view the Commission on Institutional Change Presentation to the General Assembly

First Parish’s General Assembly delegation of 14 met during and following GA. They reached a consensus that it is important for the First Parish congregation to learn about the UUA COIC, and that First Parish could benefit from undertaking similar self-examination. Most delegates worked together to formulate an approach for a First Parish Commission, and submitted a proposal to the Standing Committee and Howard to appoint and charge such a commission.

The Standing Committee has approved the proposal, and Howard and the staff are on board. 

Next Steps:  Laying the Groundwork for a First Parish COIC (now through June)

Jan Power, Darien Smith, Holli White-Jones, Carl Proper, Lois Suarez, Wendy Holt, and perhaps you? will:

  • Inform the entire congregation about the UUA COIC and their Widening the Circle of Concern report by meeting with FP groups, speaking with individuals, and expanding the content on this website.
  • Introduce language and nomenclature about systemic racism and social injustice.
  • Respond to any questions and concerns parishioners have about the proposed work of a FP COIC.
  • Generate interest in serving on a FP COIC.

Please visit this page again.  We plan to expand content.