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Class in UU Settings

Here are some of the highlights gleaned from participants’ written input during and after the UU Class Conversations’ Exploring Class Workshop.

1. In what ways are UUs already responding effectively to class differences?

  • We are finally talking about the issue!
  • Activist/social justice work/service projects
  • Elimination of minimum pledge to become a member
  • Childcare provided for services/events
  • Scholarships for people to attend events like GA
  • Pledges are confidential
  • Changes to water ceremony
  • No-charge RE

2. What problems do you experience indicating that UUs need greater awareness of class?

  • Demographic homogeneity
  • Expensive exclusive events (such as auctions)
  • Expectation of/emphasis on higher education
  • Assumptions about people having cars/internet access
  • Minimum pledges in some churches
  • Resistance to sermons on class
  • Water ceremony
  • Having daytime meetings
  • Cost of becoming a UU minister
  • Use of “what do you do” as introductory question
  • Lack of childcare at events
  • Fundraising with suggested donation amount
  • Difficulty interesting congregation in class issues
  • Monetary contributions valued higher than other contributions
  • General sense of middle class privilege
  • Fancy/expensive attire at church

3.  What are some way UUs could change to become less classist and more class-inclusive?

  • Begin the conversation about class issues/more class workshops.
  • Don’t assume that people can travel for service or other events.
  • Make childcare more available.
  • Promote ride sharing/volunteer transportation.
  • Stop linking money to value.
  • Find ways to fund General Assembly so that it can be more democratic.
  • Change the water ceremony.
  • Have a time when people can come off the streets for food/other assistance.
  • Organize RE by age group, not school grade.
  • Provide more scholarships in general.
  • Change the language around bridging ceremonies.
  • Acknowledge the problem of a money economy in itself.
  • End the professionalization of UU leadership.
  • Stop assuming people are equal financially and educationally.