One of the most common responses to a Person of Color in our congregations learning about DRUUMM is that they wish they had known about our community and programs earlier. Too often, People of Color are isolated and disconnected from our larger multicultural ministry. DRUUMM is launching a campaign called “We Count What Matters,” focused on improving how we collect and utilize racial/ethnic data in Unitarian Universalism. This builds on our vision that every Person of Color in Unitarian Universalism has the opportunity to learn and engage with DRUUMM and other People of Color ministries.
Data collection has long been an anti-racism goal that has never been fully realized. Our faith is one of the few that lacks any meaningful racial demographics. Other faith traditions make systematic efforts to conduct a census that provides them with insights into who their community is and identifies important trends. Good data can show us where we’re growing or declining and where we may have opportunities and challenges.
One of our only consistent tools is Congregational Ministerial Search Packets, which recently added explicit questions on racial demographics. A sampling of feedback from our members reveals wild inconsistencies in how this data is collected, including some who fail to participate fully.
DRUUMM will be hosting a meeting of members interested in participating in a data collection pilot this March. We’ll recruit and train members to conduct a simple count in their congregation. We’ll provide orientation and support for best practices. This will help us gather more information toward our larger goal of establishing standards with all our congregations. Please contact [email protected], and we’ll update you on our meeting schedule.