DRUUMM Blog   

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  • 13 May 2019 6:54 PM | Joseph Santos-Lyons (Administrator)

    DRUUMM Space Programming

    (All programs are POC-only spaces unless otherwise noted)

    (POC – People of Color – includes Black/African-American, Asian & Pacific Islander, Indigenous & Native American, Latinx, and Southwest Asian & North African)

    DRUUMM is a Unitarian Universalist People of Color Ministry. An all-volunteer, multi-generational collective, our lay leaders and religious professionals from every district and region, lead efforts within our UU faith to overcome racism through resistance, in order to transform Unitarian Universalism through our multicultural experiences.

    Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    Navigating GA as People of Color (2pm – 3pm)
    DRUUMM GA coordinators, Kia Bordner & Ben Gabel, will provide advice, support, and strategies with the “POC’s Survival Guide to the UU General Assembly,” to assist UU People of Color attendees in navigating General Assembly. Facilitators: Kia Bordner & Ben Gabel 

    “Theology of Survivorship” - Teach-In with J Mase III (5pm – 6:30pm)
    DRUUMM invites our white trans/non-binary/genderqueer siblings to join us for this special pre-Welcoming Celebration workshop with J Mase III. J Mase is a Seattle-based black/trans/queer poet & educator, and co-editor of #BlackTransPrayerBook, with Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi.
    Facilitator: J Mase III

    Ingathering Worship with J Mase III
    (8:30pm – 9:30pm)

    Following the GA Welcoming Celebration, DRUUMM will host an official opening and dedication of our UU People of Color space, with an ingathering led by J Mase III. Refreshments will be provided. 
    Facilitator: J Mase III

    Thursday, June 20

    Re-Imagining DRUUMM
    (Workshop 1: 1:30pm-2:30pm)

    What do you need? What resources, programs, community, and/or worship do you want to create? Join the DRUUMM Steering Committee for a conversation about how you – DRUUMM membership – can shape the ways in which we grow and minister to each other.
    Facilitators: Rev. Ranwa Hammamy, Sana Saeed, and members of the DRUUMM Steering Committee

    UU People of Color Chronicles
    (Workshop 2: 3pm – 4pm)

    This session will open with an interactive timeline activity that highlights some of the key milestones in the chronicles of UU People of Color. Participants will have the opportunity to add to this living timeline, locating their own story and contributing important moments. 
    Facilitator: Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons

    Intergenerational Circle Conversations (Workshop 3: 4:30pm – 5:30pm)

    Connect with DRUUMM elders to learn more about the history of People of Color in Unitarian Universalism, collectively explore the implications and possibilities in our community’s resilience, and build deeper multi-generational community through conversation. 
    Facilitators: DRUUMM Steering Committee & Elders

    DRUUMM Annual Meeting
    (5:30pm – 6:30pm)

    Please attend the DRUUMM Annual Meeting. The Steering Committee will share our annual report with membership and announce this year’s recipient of the Mel Hoover Award. Steering Committee elections will be held during This meeting. This is a perfect opportunity to renew your memberships. Celebrate your DRUUMM community! Dinner will be provided.

    (8:30pm - 9pm)

    After a long first two days of General Assembly, please enter into an intentional spirit of reverence and reflection with us at our Vespers Service.
    Worship Leads: Kia Bordner & Ben Gabel 

    Friday, June 21

    Join DRUUMM for small bites and community as we prepare to attend the Ware Lecture together. 

    Facilitator: Kia Bordner & Ben Gabel 

    Family Friendly Multi-Generational Variety Show and/or Game Night!

    Facilitator: Kia Bordner & Ben Gabel 

    Saturday, June 22

    Youth of Color Led Worship & Coffee Hour (Workshop 4+: 1:30pm – 3:30pm)

    Join our Youth of Color in the DRUUMM space for youth-led worship, followed by a Coffee Hour with snacks. This is an excellent opportunity for spiritual nourishment. As we approach the end of this year’s GA, come relax with DRUUMM.
    Facilitators: Sana Saeed & Sara Green

    DRUUMM Closing Worship “The Power of We” (6pm – 7pm)

    DRUUMM welcomes all to our diverse, revolutionary, multicultural worship service.
    Worship Leads: Kia Bordner & Ben Gabel 

    DRUUMM Steering Committee Meeting (9:30pm – 11pm)

    Pre Ware Lecture Reception (6pm – 7:15pm)

    Alternate Option to the GA Dance (9pm - 11 pm)

  • 10 May 2019 4:42 PM | Joseph Santos-Lyons (Administrator)

    “This is sacred work that shapes our UU faith and is part of a larger sacred vision that has theological depth and makes room for spirit.” - DRUUMM Values

    DRUUMM will be hosting a series of local gatherings in the Northeastern USA this June 2019.

    As part of our faith journey as Unitarian Universalists, we are regularly challenged by the ways race and racism affect our lives and our spirituality. Within our congregations we are creating space to build a community of care among UU People of Color, opportunities to explore deeper questions around race, culture and our religious values.

    DRUUMM is hosting a series of local gatherings in the New England/NYC area this June 2019. Our goal is to nurture new relationships between UU People of Color in the area, discuss some of the historical developments of UU People of Color and anti-racism efforts, and learn more about what the community needs and interests are. The sessions will include a meal, and are facilitated by Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, DRUUMM consulting minister and area UU Religious Professionals of Color including Rev. Hope Johnson, Rev. Danielle DiBona, Rev. Adam Dyer, and Rev. Adam Robersmith.

    Please RSVP with jsantoslyons@uuma.org or +1(503)512-0490 ideally by May 31, 2019.

    DRUUMM New York City Gathering
    Saturday, June 1, 2019
    10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
    Community Church of New York
    40 E 35th St, New York, NY 10016, USA

    DRUUMM Boston MA Area Gathering
    Monday June 10, 2019
    6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
    First Parish in Cambridge
    1446 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

    DRUUMM Hartford CT Area Gathering
    Tuesday, June 11, 2019
    6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
    Unitarian Society of Hartford
    50 Bloomfield Ave, Hartford, CT 06105, USA

    DRUUMM is the Diverse & Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries, a volunteer led national organization dedicated to serving the spiritual growth of UU People of Color and fulfilling the our vision of an anti-racist/anti-oppressive/multicultural faith. Learn more at www.druumm.org

    DRUUMM recognizes every Community of Color is impacted differently, and each community maintains their own unique identity and culture. People of Color/Person of Color/Community of Color is a political identity of survival and being in resistance to racism and colonialism, one that builds solidarity and create positive change.

  • 16 Apr 2019 7:21 PM | Joseph Santos-Lyons (Administrator)

    Inviting DRUUMM members and UU People of Color supporters to take our 3 question survey

    DRUUMM is conducting a brief survey of members and friends who identify as UU People of Color to learn more about our community needs. We are seeking to better understand the gap between "what is" and "what should be". We expect this survey will take about 15 minutes. All information shared is utilized only for DRUUMM purposes and will not be shared without permission. We'll share a bit about the DRUUMM Mission and Values, ask about who you are, and then we have 3 questions we'd love to hear your responses on. These will help inform the next phase of our organizing and base building work.

    This survey is part of a new Organizing Project initiative intended to strengthen DRUUMM’s work at the local and regional level. Special thanks to our Project Advisory Committee: Sana Saeed, Joseph Santos-Lyons, William Lester, Rhonda Brown, Dinandrea Vega, Hope Johnson.

    Click here for the DRUUMM 2019 Survey: Deadline June 20, 2019

    For more information contact jsantoslyons@uuma.org


  • 15 Mar 2019 1:42 PM | Anonymous

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilahi raji'un

    Translation: From God we come and to God we return.

    This morning, we woke up to the horrifying and heart-breaking news of terrorist attacks on two New Zealand mosques. Our hearts are with the communities of Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in this time of traumatic shock and unimaginable grief. The violent claiming of 49 lives, the indiscriminate attacks on people of all ages during a time of community worship, and the deliberate choice to broadcast these attacks in real-time is one of the most reprehensible violations of human dignity.

    We on the DRUUMM Steering Committee pray and mourn with our siblings in New Zealand. The 49 lives lost, and the dozens more that will never be the same, are the latest known victims of the violent cost of the white supremacist, Islamophobic, and anti-immigrant vitriol that has become increasingly institutionalized and sanctioned by those in political power. We are angry and grieving this latest instance of the ongoing harm caused by racism and xenophobia that is so regularly inflicted on black and brown, immigrant, and Muslim lives.

    We on the DRUUMM Steering Committee pray and mourn with our Muslim siblings all around the world, and especially in nations where Islamophobia and anti-immigrant rhetoric is on the rise, not the least of which is the United States. We know that to move through the world as a black and/or brown person is to move without the guarantee of safety and security. To have a place of sanctuary, community, and worship desecrated by the sin of white supremacy is a trauma that exacerbates this reality and fear. We bear witness to the pain that this white supremacist terrorist act has also caused our UU-Muslim and UU-adjacent Muslim siblings, many of whom are part of the spiritual struggle to stop the spread of xenophobic violence. And we recognize that for Muslims who are not part of a mosque or community, this fear is potentially intensified by isolation. We see you and we love you. 

    In this time of grief, shock, and ongoing violence against black, brown, immigrant, and Muslim lives and communities, we hold our beloved siblings at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in our hearts. In this time of global mourning and prayer for the lives lost and traumatized, we call upon our Unitarian Universalist siblings to put that prayer into faith-rooted, committed actions. Should you choose to reach out to any Muslim and/or immigrant individuals and/or communities, use this time not only to react to the violence they encounter, but to build a long-lasting relationship that collaborates in preventing it from happening again.

    We lift up the words and prayer of our ancestor, Jamaican Unitarian Minister, Rev. Egbert Ethelred Brown:

    "As we face a troubled and puzzled world, we too are troubled and puzzled. As our fond dreams remain unrealized and our bright hopes of yesterday wither in the bitter disappointments of today, our courage fails, our spirits droop, our faith trembles, and, frustrated, we bow our heads in despair.

    Nevertheless, we come to God in this hour...

    As we pray for peace in our time, O God, may we ourselves be at peace with the world, with ourselves, and with Thee. May we know that without love there will never be peace. Teach us therefore to love. What does this world need more than love?"

    Amen, Ashe, Amin.

    Rev. Ranwa Hammamy & Sana Saeed

    DRUUMM Steering President & Co-Vice President

    DRUUMM Steering Committee

    Rev. Theresa Soto, Janell Hill, William Lester, Rhiannon Smith, Tyler Coles, Kaitlin Dey, Noel Burke, Kia Bordner, Ben Gabel

  • 12 Dec 2018 2:35 PM | Anonymous

    Statement from DRUUMM (Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries) Steering Committee regarding the resignation of Christina Rivera from the UUA Board:

    The resignation of Christina Rivera from the UUA board demonstrates the need for movement toward lived justice; we call for a restorative justice process.

    Christina Rivera offered the UUA Board her resignation, effective December 31, 2018 in the face of repeated threats, both to herself and to her children. Of course, human reactions like anger and frustration are natural and needed. DRUUMM offers this statement to direct Unitarian Universalism toward the next right actions.

    Current threats arise in connection with racial discrimination in hiring that Christina Rivera and other women of color exposed in Spring 2017. While there has been discussion on racial discrimination, speaking of justice in terms of pros and cons, the actions the UUA has taken both to create and demand equity leave room for growth. DRUUMM and Christina Rivera ask openly and specifically for a restorative justice process, with which the UUA Board engages, as the threats to Christina and her family relate to her movement leadership, as a woman of color.

    Restorative justice is a process by which the harm caused by injustice is identified and the actions needed to repair the harm are taken. We believe that Unitarian Universalism can do more than feel outrage.  We call on UUA leadership to take the lead of Christina Rivera, in establishing justice and taking action to repair the harm and bring healing.

    For questions or comments:

    DRUUMM Steering Committee


    (Letter drafted by Rev. Theresa Soto, Co-Vice President)
  • 24 Jun 2017 7:51 PM | Anonymous

    Our blessings on our new UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray. Thank you for your intentions and commitment to issues affecting UU People of Color, and we look forward to organizing together.

    Gratitude as well to Jeanne Pupke Candidate for UUA President and Alison Miller. 

    - Rev Joseph Santos-Lyons, Outgoing DRUUMM President.

  • 13 Jun 2017 10:46 AM | Anonymous

    DRUUMM was founded out of a vision for racial justice, self-determination and guiding a radical, healing, and faith transformation. Established out of several POC UU organizing efforts during the intensive period of institutional self reflection of that led to the 1997 Journey Towards Wholeness Resolution, DRUUMM has grown to be an intergenerational, multiracial POC lay and professional, volunteer-led community.

    As a community minister and lifelong UU (and mixed race Chinese, among other identities), I have a lot of spiritual, political and emotional respect and admiration for any effort of fellow UU People of Color to create ministry. I wish to recognize and honor the establishment of BLUU, and continue to extend my full support for their critical work, care and contributions to Unitarian Universalism.

    We have made it a DRUUMM priority to be building relationship and creating ways to partner with BLUU. We've aimed to do what we can to amplify and support, and appreciate the mutuality with Black Lives of UUOrganizing Committee.

    I want to lift up the hard work to build BLUU, their public voice, and the historic gathering in New Orleans. I want to add my voice to commend the organizers and make visible DRUUMMs support.

    We have discussed and found consensus among the Steering Committee that DRUUMM has grown to be a hub, not an umbrella for UU communities of color. We have a track record of supporting, linking and partnering with other UU POC efforts. As an unstaffed organization, we do our best to be a resource.

    I want to encourage our members and ally friends to take time to understand the complexities of engaging meaningfully with UU communities of color, remembering there is no monolith, and that we have been historically pitted against one another by institutions that seek to undermine our inherent worth and dignity.

    While DRUUMM is still formally divested and disconnected from the UUA infrastructure, an issue we have named with the former, current and future UUA Presidents and staff, we know our mission is to find a new way, including restoring old ways of relationship and accountability.

    We look forward to joining with BLUU where and when we can to challenge the roots of racism in our UU culture and institutions, including anti-Blackness, bringing an intersectional approach to ministry and organizing.

    Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons
    President (outgoing)

  • 30 Mar 2017 1:21 PM | Anonymous member

    This past week, DRUUMM leadership has, with a heavy heart, been reflecting on the UUA’s Journey Towards Wholeness in light of the hiring practices being discussed. We lift up the leadership of Women of Color, in particular Christina Rivera who was directly affected, and Aisha Hauser who have broken silence and named patterns and practices that reinforce White supremacy. We believe that the UUA needs to re-establish structures of accountability to address racism, and to center the leadership of UU Communities of Color as part of the future of our faith. 

    We are angry, disappointed, and not surprised. We have deep respect and admiration for Christina and now others who are speaking out and telling their story.  Breaking silence and sharing our stories is consistent with our UU values, and a core part of transformational work. We are grateful to the UU People of Color and White folks who are sharing their experiences. Too often, UU People of Color are silenced and invisibilized, often masked in policy and practice. This is one of the ways racism is perpetuated. We are threatened explicitly and implicitly with loss of opportunity, damaging our careers or worse. 

    As a collective of UU People of Color, DRUUMM strives to be a hub for our communities, to support our faith, develop leadership, and help shape and lead for racial justice. Our primary goal is to center the Journey Towards Wholeness anti-racism/anti-oppression/multiculturalism transformational work, including in our hiring practices. We are in a spiritual moment of deep reflection, and are heartened by the responses emerging from leaders and organizations like Black Lives of UU, the UUMA, the UUA Youth & Young Adult Ministries Office, and more. These demonstrate the commitment and engagement envisioned by the Journey Towards Wholeness. We seek to affirm, complement and build on these.

    We join in expressing disappointment in our UUA leadership, in how they have held this moment. This comes after years of rolling back efforts to address systemic racism and cut investments in self-determining UU People of Color communities. These have removed structures of accountability and relationship that are essential to providing direction and evaluation for the Journey Towards Wholeness Resolution. We have been here before time and time again. UU should be angry at the denial of experiences, coded racial/gender language and tone-policing. We need a clear plan to move forward the Journey Towards Wholeness, and the ability for stakeholders to develop and support our strategy. We applaud the public statements from the three candidates for the UUA Presidency who bring hope for our struggle.

    Racism runs deep in Unitarian Universalist tradition, and although we’ve named it actively since the 1960s, as a predominately (98%+) White denomination, we must be intentional and strategic in order to transform the ways racism impacts us at the individual, institutional and cultural level. DRUUMM offers the following calls to action:

    * Sign our Call for Renewal and join DRUUMM in re-affirming our commitment to the Journey Towards Wholeness.

    * Support DRUUMM’s Global Majorities Collective, a new UU People of Color project to imagine and create new cultural, theological and liturgical resources that centers the UU People of Color experience, inspires, heals, and contributes to our living tradition. We welcome donations, and invite UU People of Color to participate by contacting Rev. Marisol Caballero [maricaballero79@gmail.com].

    * Direct White UU’s to join Allies for Racial Equity, and engage locally in racial justice work through groups like SURJ and their congregation’s or region’s trainings.

    * Participate in the BLUU Worship that is open to all people of color tonight, March 30th at 9:00 p.m. EST.

    * Join the #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn movement on April 30th or May 7th led by Christina Rivera, Kenny Wiley, and other religious professionals. For more information, check BlackLivesUU.com or email religious educator Kenny Wiley at KWiley@blacklivesuu.com

    Let us move forward in faith and truth,

    DRUUMM Steering Committee

  • 08 Jul 2016 1:36 PM | Anonymous member


    DRUUMM shares this prayer from the Reverend Darrick Jackson amidst these difficult times:

    Lament for a Broken World

    Holy One of Justice, World-Shaker, Righteous Fire, known by names spoken and unspoken.

    I call on you today in the midst of pain and sorrow. I cannot bear to see another black and brown body destroyed and discarded because of oppression-fueled fear. I cannot bear to see another murderer set free because of the systemic racism embedded in our legal system. I am tired of shaking in fear every time I see a police car, wondering if they might find something to fear in my body, and make me the next viral video on social media.

    And yet, I believe that there is something calling for change in this world. I believe that Black Lives Matter is more than a movement but the sacred catalytic force of human evolution. And this evolution is the only way we will survive as a species, or we will implode.

    We. Must. Change. We must change our perceptions, change our systems, change our ways of life, so that all is grounded in the inherent worth and dignity of EVERY being, that we live as if we all were images of God, of Love, of Good. No longer can we let oppressions define, divide, and destroy us.

    I am filled with hope that this prayer will be heard. That change WILL happen. Because the consequences are too dire if they don’t. May the holy power of justice use me as needed to be a part of the struggle. May the vision of a new world live and thrive in all of our imaginations, so that we can make it a reality.

    Blessed Be

  • 20 May 2016 3:46 PM | Joseph Santos-Lyons (Administrator)

    DRUUMM Nominating Report 2016


    1. March - DRUUMM SC appointed Nominating CommitteeApril - Public Announcement for Nominations

    2. May - Interviews with interested candidates

    3. June - Finalize Nominating Report & Election

    SC Position

    Current Office Holder

    Nominee/Ongoing Holder


    Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons

    Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons (2017)

    1st Vice President

    Rev. Marisol Caballero

    Rev. Marisol Caballero (2017)

    2nd Vice President

    Ranwa Hammamy

    Ranwa Hammamy (2018)



    Joseph Boyd


    Rev. Darrick Jackson

    Rev. Darrick Jackson (2018)

    Outreach Coordinator

    Christopher Sims

    Ashley Boyd (2018)

    Communications Coordinator


    Ellie Brown (2019)

    Steven Ballesteros (2018)

    GA Coordinator

    Elandria Williams

    Jacqueline Brett (2018)

    UUA Liaison

    Rev Elizabeth Nguyen

    Rev Elizabeth Nguyen (2018)

    CUC Liaison


    Asha Philar (2018)

    21 people considered

    • Received 8 public/self nominations

    • Identified 13 prospective candidates

    9 followup interviews

    Other positions may be appointed by the Steering Committee


    Section 3.  Term and Election.  The term of office shall be three years.  The Steering Committee shall make provisions to stagger the terms so that each year as close to one third of the terms shall expire.  A Steering Committee member may serve a maximum of 6 consecutive years.

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