Dismantling White Supremacy

As persons of faith living in 21st century America, we feel called to question how we might work, take action, do our part, to dismantle white supremacy. We seek to deepen our understanding of the role white supremacy has played in the development of our modern day society, take some inventory, and identify opportunities for collective action. We are inspired by the words of Rev. Mary Margaret Earl, Executive Director and Senior Minister of UU Urban Ministries in Roxbury:

“We must continue the work that many of us have been engaged with, to dig deeper into the ways that racism has infiltrated our subconscious, our hearts, and our educational, prison and government systems since our country was founded. The hate on display in Charlottesville, as grotesque as it was, is not disconnected from the rest of us. It is the most egregious, visible outgrowth of the racism we have all breathed in, like polluted air, our whole lives.”

We are all caught in that web. For those of us who identify as white, we work to become unstuck through listening and learning. Listening nondefensively to people of color who are willing to share their experiences and viewpoint. Learning about the history of racism in our nation.

Film Series

This film series was created in the fall of 2017 by the Social Justice Action Committee (SJAC) of First Church in JP-UU with the support of the Racial Justice Task Force of the Theodore Parker Church and the JP Forum.  All films are open to the public.  The film series operates on a gift economy basis.  In March, 2020, the series went online due to the COVID pandemic. Currently the film series is managed and supported by a growing coalition of community based co-sponsors, including:

  • Social Justice Action Committee, First Church in Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist

  • Racial Justice Task Force, Theodore Parker Church

  • Racial Justice Action Committee, First Parish Brookline

  • Acting for Racial and Economic Justice Committee, Boston Workers’ Circle

  • Racial Justice Committee, Friends Meeting at Cambridge

  • Mass Peace Action

  • North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB)

  • United American Indians of New England (UAINE)

  • Boston Ujima Project

  • Jamaica Plain Forum

Upcoming Events

Film Discussion: 

Film TBD, June 2021

Book Discussion: 

Thursday, June 10, 2021, at 7:30pm

Discussing Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown.

emergent strategy.jpg

Inspired by Octavia Butler's explorations of our human relationship to change, Emergent Strategy is radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help designed to shape the futures we want to live. Change is constant. The world is in a continual state of flux. It is a stream of ever-mutating, emergent patterns. Rather than steel ourselves against such change, this book invites us to feel, map, assess, and learn from the swirling patterns around us in order to better understand and influence them as they happen. This is a resolutely materialist "spirituality" based equally on science and science fiction, a visionary incantation to transform that which ultimately transforms us.


adrienne maree brown, co-editor of Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements, is a social justice facilitator, healer, and doula living in Detroit.

Current Year Films – 2020-2021, Offered Online:

Notes from the Field - Panel and Discussion April 10, 2021
Tony and Pulitzer Prize nominee Anna Deavere Smith brings her acclaimed one-woman show of the same name to the screen. The HBO Film presentation dramatizes accounts of students, parents, teachers and administrators caught in America’s school-to-prison pipeline, which pushes underprivileged, minority youth out of the classroom and into incarceration.

Healing from Hate - Panel and Discussion March 12, 2021 
This documentary film takes a deep dive into the minds of men who gravitate toward white supremacist hate groups. Focusing on the bold work of the group Life After Hate – an organization founded by former Skinheads and neo-Nazis now engaged in de-radicalizing violent extremists on the front lines - the film examines the root causes of hate group activity. Healing from Hate is at once a document of racism and white-male grievance in America, and a portrait of a group of people working together to heal communities torn apart by hate and division.

Fruitvale Station - Panel and Discussion December 4, 2020
The story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.

The Condor and the Eagle - Panel and Discussion October 16, 2020
Four Indigenous leaders embark on an extraordinary trans-continental adventure from the Canadian plains to deep into the heart of the Amazonian jungle to unite the peoples of North and South America and deepen the meaning of "Climate Justice". Their path through the jungle takes them on an unexpectedly challenging and liberating journey, which will forever change their attachment to the Earth and one another.

Previous Film & Discussion Offerings – live in our Church Social Hall:

  • Necessity: Oil, Water, and Climate Resistance

  • 1200+: A Documentary on the Epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls 

  • Dawnland: A Documentary about Cultural Survival and Stolen Children

  • Cooked: Survival by Zip Code   

  • Selma

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World 

  • This Ain’t Normal

  • Mountains That Take Wing -Angela Davis and Yuri Kochiyama: A Conversation on Life, Struggles, & Liberation 

  • The Cherokee Word for Water

Inaugural Year - 2018:

  • White Like Me 

  • I am Not Your Negro 

  • 13th 

  • The Canary Effect

Book Group

The book group began as a way for members of the Social Justice Action Committee (SJAC) at First Church in JP-UU to educate ourselves about the history of settler colonialism, racism, and white supremacy here in the Americas, and to learn from current voices and perspectives. Below is a list of our common reads for anyone wishing to do their own exploration. Upcoming books and discussion dates are announced in the church newsletter, and we welcome members and friends of First Church to join us in our book discussions.


2017 - 2021

  • An Indigenous People’s History of the United States - Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz 

  • The Fire Next Time - James Baldwin

  • Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates 

  • So You Want to Talk about Race - Ijeoma Oluo

  • The War Against All Puerto Ricans - Nelson A.  Denis 

  • Green - Sam Graham-Felsen

  • Killers of the Flower Moon - David Gann 

  • The Case For Reparations - Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • How to Be an Anti-Racist - Ibram X. Kendi 

  • There, There - Tommy Orange 

  • White Fragility - Robin DeAngelo

  • Breathe - Imani Perry 

  • Braiding Sweetgrass - Robin Wall Kimmerer

  • This Land is Their Land - David J. Silverman

  • My Grandmother’s Hands - Resmaa Menakem

  • Sacred Instructions - Sherri Mitchell

  • Emergent Strategy - adrienne maree brown