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Many People Ask: "But, Don’t All Lives Matter?"

Dear Members of the Groton Community,
On Friday afternoon June 5th members of First Parish Church of Groton installed letters inside the front windows of the church that spell out: Black Lives Matter. We also installed a sign in our sign board near Main Street with the same words.
     We would like the community to know that this did not happen overnight. This process began six years ago after the shootings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. A First Parish Racial Justice Ministry group was formed at that time and our education began.
     Many in our congregation have been reading books, listening to podcasts, learning and discussing. Over 70 of us have participated in an intensive class studying the history of American racism and learning about our own unintentional biases. After several years of this work, the Board of Trustees of the church voted to support the placement of the words Black Lives Matter in our windows as a public statement of support.
     Many people ask: But, don’t "All Lives Matter?” The answer is unequivocally, yes, of course they do! Saying Black Lives Matter does not mean that all lives don’t matter. Every life has value but not everyone experiences violence and discrimation due to their skin color. Saying "Black Lives Matter" isn't equivalent to saying other lives don't, but rather that black lives should matter as much as white lives.
     Members of our congregation were moved by the nearly 1,000 people who came out to support this basic principle of equality and justice on Sunday. We are grateful to the youth who organized the march and to the Groton Police Department for their support and on-going commitment to our community.
     Our Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to the worth and value of black and brown lives. Two of the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism are: # 1: We believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every human being, and #6: We work for the goal of a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
     Becoming anti-racist is not an overnight process and it does not end by putting up a sign. Our work will continue.
Board of Trustees Racial Justice Ministry Group
Rev. Elea Kemler
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