Live the Pledge

In October 2016, UUCA launched our Pledge to End Racism. Senior Minister Rev. Aaron McEmrys gave a sermon (Take a Knee) that introduced and challenged everyone to “Live the Pledge.”

The origin of the pledge comes from Birmingham, Alabama, where a young attorney by the name of Jim Rotch had a moment of inspiration. More than thirty years after Birmingham became ground zero in the Civil Rights struggle, the city still suffered deeply from racism. Rotch decided to create a pledge for the people of Birmingham to eliminate racism and prejudice in the community.

The Birmingham Pledge is a statement of principles that commit those who sign it to work every day to eliminate racism. By 2008, when the pledge celebrated its 10th anniversary, there were more than 120,000 signatures. Its influence has been felt in all fifty states, and more than 20 countries – churches and other communities all over the country have adopted similar pledges. First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond, Va., developed the Living the Pledge Program based on the Birmingham Pledge and have made it available to UU congregations around the country. Visit for information about their program.

To better enable us all to “Live the Pledge” in our everyday lives, UUCA has special trainings and activities scheduled throughout the year.


  • Live the Pledge to End Racism Spring Workshop. Sat., March 25 and Sat., April 1. These two days will challenge you to invest in your learning about anti-racism with literature, training, and other activities, putting you on the road toward increased intercultural competence. Childcare provided. Register here.
  • Living the Pledge: Sharing Through Books. Fri., March 24, 7:30 p.m. The LTP Book Group will discuss Jesmyn Ward's The Fire This Time. Ward used Baldwin's The Fire Next Time as her inspiration "to call on some of the great thinkers and extraordinary voices of [her] generation to...reckon with the fire of rage and despair and fierce, protective love currently sweeping the streets and campuses of America" in the time following Trayvon Martin's death.  Contacts: Pat Findikoglu or Linda Lutes Corsoro.
  • Living the Pledge: Early American Black Woman Writers. Tues., Mar. 21 and Wed., Mar. 22 7:15-8:30 p.m. Want to know more about the rich legacy of early American black women writers? How did individual women, enslaved or free, fight racism and slavery through their songs, poems, speeches, and short essays? Contact: Gay Gibson Cima.

To receive information on future activities, please sign up for email notifications here.

If you are interested in becoming a facilitator for a "Living the Pledge to End Racism Workshop" or simply wish to volunteer as our efforts get underway, please email Jessi Huffman

To join our #LiveThePledge email list and receive future announcements and events, you can sign up here.

Annual Pledge 2017-18

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