Beyond Categorical Thinking Workshop at UUMAN

Taught by Keith Kron

October 31, 2015

UUMAN Attendees: 23

Keith distributed a Concerns and Benefits Worksheet for participants to list their concerns and potential benefits regarding the hiring of ministers who are members of a marginalized ethnic or racial group, disabled, LGBT, or of some other identity such as age.

This is what we learned. We are concerned that a minister who is disabled may not be able to fulfill her/his responsibilities. We are afraid that ministers from different racial groups may not be able to relate to our issues. It was helpful to us when Keith was able to show that UUMAN is right in line with most UU congregations in our concerns, as well as hopes for potential benefits. Like most congregations, sexual orientation was the area in which we had made the most progress. Also like most congregations, the area in which we had made little progress was discrimination based on disability.

It was very helpful when Keith suggested that we could talk to candidates, including candidates with a disability, about what they did to take care of themselves and ensure that they would be able to fulfill all their responsibilities. This was helpful because it opened up the possibility of speaking with potential candidates about these issues.

Several workshop attendees expressed a desire to continue the conversation. We look forward to guidance from our new minister in this process.