Tracy Burrows

I support the 8th Principle because it calls us to the important work of building a diverse multicultural Beloved Community. The phrase “Beloved Community” in the 8th Principle was originally popularized by Dr. Martin Luther King, who used it to describe a spirit of love that is founded in goodwill, inclusion, and reconciliation. The Principle describes the building of a Beloved Community as a spiritual journey that will require growth and change from each of us.

This congregation has long supported my journey of adopting new (for me) perspectives, expanding my cultural competence, and stretching my empathy muscles. It is a life-long journey that has challenged me to rethink what it means to be truly welcoming and inclusive. Inclusivity goes way beyond opening our doors to all who embrace the UU principles. It means actively seeking an understanding of how those who walk through our doors experience our community and being willing to change in order to improve those experiences for everyone.

It hasn’t always been comfortable for me to hear of the ways that I’ve fallen short of supporting a multicultural, Beloved Community at Westside. But these experiences have also spurred intense self-reflection and growth. I know I’ve made mistakes in cross-cultural communication. I want to be accountable for the times when I’ve said or done something that has caused pain. When someone tells me that I’ve diminished or tokenized their identity, they are calling me back to help me restore the fullness of my own humanity. The 8th Principle’s journey toward spiritual wholeness spurs us to work together to create a more humane community, without judgment and with love.

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