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The Perversity of Diversityrev mark morrison reed

Fuzzy Aspirations & Hard Realities

Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed will be our Keynote Speaker in Bloomington Illinois at the Chateau Hotel and Conference Center

“Why has becoming more culturally and racially diverse been such a challenge for UUism? Why, when our intentions are so good, is it still a struggle? There is a surprising, and painful, truth behind Unitarian Universalist efforts to become more racially and culturally diverse. This truth must begin with taking an honest look at who we are and why we are who we are, and it ends in a conundrum but not without hope. If UUs really want to change, accepting the truth is the only place to start. Torn between our reality and our aspirations, what are we to do?"

This presentation with will include viewing the DVD: Black Pioneers in A White Denomination, music and singing that explores what music has and has not appeared in UU hymnals over the last 50 years, small group discussion in which hard questions are reflected upon and a lecture based upon the findings in the Rev. Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed’s just released book Darkening the Doorways: Black Trailblazers and Missed Opportunities in Unitarian Universalism. In the end we will not only consider why achieving diversity is challenging, but also talk about which congregations have become successfully diverse and how.

Join Mark Morrison-Reed for an inspirational exploration of these issues, combined with worship, music and fun! Saturday will consist of two sessions with our keynote presenter, including some small group breakouts. An extended lunch hour will offer 2 one-hour informal sessions for affinity groups, workshop-type presentations, resource sharing, or browsing the UUA bookstore and district vendors.

Raised in the Unitarian Universalist faith, Mark was ordained in the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 1979. For 26 years, he and his wife, Donna, served as co-ministers--first in Rochester, New York, then in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Morrison-Reed's graduate thesis, Black Pioneers in a White Denomination, was published in 1984 and is still in print. Now retired from full-time ministry, Morrison-Reed divides his time between writing and other interests. He has been working with Meadville Lombard Theological School to organize and build the library's archive of materials relating to African American involvement in Universalism, Unitarianism and Unitarian Universalism and is teaching at the school on his research.

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