Link to UUAA Multi-Cultural Outreach

Unitarian Universalist (UU) Racial Justice

History of UU Involvement in Anti-Racism




Challenging Racism supports members of this Congregation in their journey toward spiritual growth and self-knowledge about their own racial, ethnic, and class privilege. We present programs that affirm the worth and dignity of all and build meaningful connections with others on this journey. Our evolving mission is to assist UUAA by engaging in conversations about race, ethnicity, and class; and to provide opportunities for reflection and action.

Currently the Challenging Racism Group is engaged in conversation about how UUAA should begin living into our Congregational Vision. Throughout the Vision 20/50 process, the congregation expressed deep concern about the existence and impact of racism. This concern has been heightened by
the recent rise in racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and anti-immigrant incidents, actions in opposition to the inherent worth and dignity of all that we affirm in our UU principles.

To join this group, and take part in learning about and actively dismantling institutional and systemic racism, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You may use the same email address to share your ideas and what inspires you to this challenging work.  Thank you!

To keep up through Facebook, go to UUAA CRG on Facebook.



We acknowledge The First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor sits on the original homelands of the Council of the Three Fires, the Ojibwe (Chippewa), Odawa (Ottowa), and Potawatomi Tribes.  Today, Indigenous peoples throughout Michigan continue to protect and remain in relationship with the land of their ancestors and will do so until the end of time.  We honor these beginnings and recognize the ongoing dedication and importance of Indigenous culture within our communities and within the land that we gather, live, learn and work on.  (Indigenous History of the Council is below.)


**June 12th 2020 - A Letter to the UUAA Congregation  (Full Racial Justice Statement here

"It is with profound heartache that we recognize that our nation, and our broader world, is at an inflection point related to the pernicious harm of individual and systemic racism....We recognize, in our heartache, that the dream of that civil rights movement was never fully realized...Racism was not built in a moment....We support and affirm that impulse toward building the world we need, as has our congregation: UUAA’s visioning process has lifted up our collective commitment to racial justice as one of our congregation’s core priorities....We pledge our leadership to the long haul work that is needed, and invite you into that work with us. It will take all of us.  Black Lives Matter - to each of us personally, to our families, and to our entire UUAA community.

In love, faith, and solidarity in that shared commitment to justice,

Mr. Erik Stalhandske, President
Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti, Senior Minister
Ms. Quiana Perkins, Coordinator of Social Justice and Pastoral Care





... Indigenous History of the Council of Three Fires ...

Originally one people, or a collection of closely related bands, the ethnic identities of Ojibwa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi developed after the Anishinaabe reached Michilimackinac on their journey westward from the Atlantic coast. Using the Midewiwin scrolls, Potawatomi elder Shup-Shewana dated the formation of the Council of Three Fires to 796 AD at Michilimackinac.

In this Council, the Ojibwe were addressed as the "Older Brother," the Odawa as the "Middle Brother," and the Potawatomi as the "Younger Brother."  Consequently, whenever the three Anishinaabe nations are mentioned in this specific and consecutive order of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi, it is an indicator implying Council of Three Fires as well.  In addition, the Ojibwa are the "keepers of the faith," the Odawa are the "keepers of trade," and the Potawatomi are the designated "keepers/maintainers of/for the fire" (boodawaadam), which became the basis for their name Boodewaadamii (Ojibwe spelling) or Bodéwadmi (Potawatomi spelling).

Though the Three Fires had several meeting places, Michilimackinac became the preferred meeting place due to its central location.  From this place, the Council met for military and political purposes.  From this site, the Council maintained relations with fellow Anishinaabeg nations, the Ozaagii (Sac), Odagaamii (Meskwaki), Omanoominii (Menominee), Wiinibiigoo (Ho-Chunk), Naadawe (Iroquois Confederacy), Nii'inaawi-Naadawe (Wyandot), Naadawensiw (Sioux), Wemitigoozhi (France), Zhaaganaashi (England) and the Gichi-mookomaan (the United States).

Retrieved April 24th 2020



The Indigenous Peoples History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and published by Beacon Press.