OLEAN — The Olean Unitarian Universalist Community, whose faith is guided by its Seven Principles, has adopted an Eighth Principle concerning racism.

Members of the community said the Eighth Principle as such, “Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural ‘Beloved Community’ by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”

The Eighth Principle, written by Paula Cole Jones and Bruce Pollack-Johnson, members of Black Lives Of UU Organizing Collective, have passed it on to individual UU communities for consideration.

Jones states, “The Eighth Principle, like the other principles, becomes something by which we can guide and measure our thoughts and actions.”

Olean UU Board Member and local Black Lives Matter activist, Hannah Mills-Woolsey, recently brought the principle up for a board vote, which passed unanimously.

Mills-Woolsey said, “The Seven Principles that are the root of Unitarian Universalism strongly affirm the value and dignity of all people. The Principles encourage us to strive for compassion. “Those are all good and worthy things – but saying we care about everyone in general does not adequately convey that we side with people who have been marginalized. We need to be specific and direct in our support for oppressed people in the struggle against oppression, instead of letting it go without saying or assuming that it will be assumed. By affirming the Eighth Principle, we take the side of love, directly and unequivocally.”

Due to COVID-19, the Olean UU Community currently meets at 10 a.m. each Sunday via Zoom. For more information regarding upcoming virtual gatherings, leave a voice message at (716) 701-4144 or email them at oleanuu@gmail.com. Additional information about the Olean UU Community can be found on their website at www.oleanuu.org.

For more information regarding the Eighth Principle, visit www.8thprincipleuu.org.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at kates_th@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)

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