DRUUMM Blog   

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  • 24 Jun 2017 9:51 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 12:46 PM | 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 3:21 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 3:36 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 5:46 PM | Joseph Lyons

    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.

  • 30 Mar 2016 9:17 AM | Joseph Lyons

    DRUUMM mourns the passing of Orlanda, who served our community over the years and recently as our Vice President.

    REV. DR. ORLANDA R. BRUGNOLA (1946 – 2016)

    The Ministries and Faith Development staff offer our condolences to the
    family, friends, and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Orlanda R. Brugnola who
    died on February 24, 2016 at the age of 69.

    Orlanda was born on April 1, 1946 to Anthony Brugnola and Kathrine
    Schwellenbach. She received a Bachelor of Arts from The University of
    California, Berkeley in 1966, and a Master of Divinity from Starr King
    School for the Ministry in 1979. She earned certification in mediation and
    conflict resolution, and in art therapy, and was registered as an art
    therapist by the American Expressive Therapy Association in 1989. In 1998,
    Orlanda received a Master of Fine Art in Painting from the City University
    of New York, and in 2014, a Doctor of Ministry from New York Theological

    Rev. Brugnola was ordained to the ministry in 1979 by the First Unitarian
    Church of Berkeley, CA. She served for over thirty years as a community
    minister. She was employed as a Unitarian Universalist Chaplain at Columbia
    University from 1988 to 2011; Chaplain for the Arts at Columbia University
    from 1989 to 1996; and Unitarian Universalist Chaplain at Union Theological
    Seminary from 2009 to 2011.  From 1981 to 2016, she worked as an Adjunct
    Assistant Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City
    University of New York), and taught Philosophy and Eastern and Western
    Religions. Through John Jay, she taught philosophy at both Rikers Island
    and a New York residential drug treatment program. Additionally, Orlanda
    spent several years teaching ministerial formation and conflict resolution
    courses for students at Skidmore College, Union Theological Seminary, and
    Meadville Lombard Theological School.

    Rev. Brugnola was called to serve as assistant minister to the First
    Unitarian Congregation Society of Brooklyn, NY in 1981. Between 1981 and
    2009, she was affiliated with and held a variety of ministerial positions
    at First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn. She was voted Chaplain Emerita of
    First Unitarian Brooklyn in 2009. She went on to hold interim ministries at
    the UU Fellowship of Poughkeepsie, NY from 2009 to 2011; the UU
    Congregation of Hudson Valley, NY from 2011 to 2012; and the UU
    Congregation of Queens, NY from 2013 to 2014. In 2013, she was named
    Affiliate Minister to the Community Church of Brooklyn, NY, and in 2014,
    she was named Interim Church Administrator. She held both positions until
    her death.

    Rev. Brugnola worked tirelessly to dismantle racism and oppression within
    the world. From 1991 to 2016, she sat on the Unitarian Universalist
    Association (UUA) Metro New York District Anti-Racism and Diversity
    Committee (formally the Racial Concerns Committee), and from 1997 to 2016
    she served as an active Board Member of the Clinton Association for a
    Renewed Environment, an organization that seeks to create affordable
    housing in New York City.  She served as co-vice president of Diverse,
    Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) from
    2013 to 2015. Committed to the betterment of the denomination, Orlanda
    served on the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Commission on
    Appraisal from 2003 to 2009, and the UUA Board of Review from 2013 to 2016.

    Orlanda was a strong supporter of interfaith dialogue and interreligious
    peace. She planned many conferences and programs to encourage such
    dialogue, including the Parliament of the World’s Religions. She served as
    President of the Institute for the Study of Genocide for nineteen years;
    and was a longtime supporter of both the International Association of
    Liberal Religious Women and the International Association for Religious
    Freedom (IARF).  She sat on the board of the IARF U.S. Chapter, and
    organized workshops for the International IARF Congress.

    A talented studio artist, Orlanda exhibited photographs, paintings,
    drawings and sculpture in New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.  She
    created art for most of her life, and her works were displayed in many
    group shows and over nine solo shows.  Orlanda had over twenty years of
    curatorial experience. Her aptitude and passion for the arts led her to
    spend over twenty years serving on the Board of Directors of the American
    Festival of Microtonal Music, and six years serving as President of the
    Society for the Arts, Religion and Contemporary Culture.

    Orlanda was honored throughout her life for her many contributions to the
    ministry, academia, social justice, and the arts. She was elected fellow of
    the Society for the Arts and Religion & Contemporary Culture in 1993, and
    she was elected as the Artist-in-Residence for the Henry Street Settlement
    in 1999-2000 and 2001-2002. John Jay College of Criminal Justice awarded
    Orlanda with a Performance Award for Teaching Faculty in 1999; and a
    recognition for twenty five years of teaching at the college in 2006. She
    received a recognition of outstanding service from the International
    Association for Religious Freedom, U.S, Chapter, in 2006, and was the
    recipient of the Caribbean America Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.,
    Business Visionary Award in 2008.

    To Orlanda, dear friend Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson writes:

    My Friend, you became one of my Teachers, and then became one of my
    Students, while still being one of my Mentors, and of course always my
    Colleague. You became one of my Sisters. (And did I remember to say
    Teacher???)  It was really complicated, but nothing was ever easy, or
    simple, or uncomplicated with you Orlanda: Minister, Shaman, Chaplain,

    Of Orlanda, dear friend Dr. Janice Marie Johnson writes:

    Our world lost a bright light, one whose deeds spoke of a generosity of
    spirit that knew no bounds. Orlanda has been a source not only of
    inspiration, but indeed of transformation. A woman of many gifts, she had
    an extraordinary understanding of the complexity of the human condition.

    She defined and demanded excellence. Her gentle yet sharp eyes and her
    patient yet unyielding ears were meant to bring confidence and surety.
    Orlanda hoped to shepherd us to our best selves.

    Her commitment to persons of all ages, from all walks of life and -- of
    diverse abilities -- touched us in ways that we are just beginning to
    comprehend. We recognized the generosity of spirit, joy, love, and hope
    that she gave those with whom she came in contact. She embraced life and
    she would want us to do likewise. Orlanda will live on through the many
    hearts and minds whose lives she touched. Our lives will reflect her legacy.

    A memorial service will be held on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 3:30 pm at The
    Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist.

    Notes of condolences can be sent In Care Of Rev. Bruce Southworth, The
    Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist, 40 East 35th Street
    New York, NY 10016.

  • 22 Jun 2015 9:50 AM | Joseph Lyons

    DRUUMM Nominating Report 2015

    The Nominating Committee is pleased to provide this report to the DRUUMM Membership for action on Friday June 26, 2015.


    March - DRUUMM SC appointed Nominating Committee (Rev Takahashi, Rev Di Bona, Rev Turner, Rev Santos-Lyons)

    April - Public Announcement for Nominations

    May - Interviews with interested candidates

    June - Finalize Nominating Report & Election

    SC Position

    Current Term

    Current Office Holder

    Nominee/Ongoing Holder



    Rev. Maria Cristina Vlassidis

    Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons (2 year)

    1st Vice President


    Rev. Marisol Caballero

    Rev. Marisol Caballero

    2nd Vice President


    Rev. Orlanda Brugnola

    Ranwa Hammamy



    Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons

    Adam Dyer



    Rev. Darrick Jackson (appointed to fill vacancy)

    Rev. Darrick Jackson (1 year)

    Outreach Coordinator


    Christopher Sims

    Christopher Sims

    Communications Coordinator


    Raziq Brown

    GA Coordinator


    Elandria Williams (appointed to fill vacancy)

    Elandria Williams (2 year)

    UUA Liaison


    Rev Elizabeth Nguyen

    35 people considered

    • Received 10 public/self nominations

    • Identified 25 prospective candidates

    10 followup interviews

    Other positions may be appointed by the Steering Committee


    Section 2.  Composition.  The Steering Committee shall be composed of the following members:

    a.   President
    1st Vice President/President-Elect
    2nd Vice President

    d.  Secretary

    e.   Treasurer

    f.    Outreach Coordinator

    g.   Communications Coordinator

    h.   GA Coordinator

    i.    UUA Liaison

  • 23 Apr 2015 7:30 PM | Joseph Lyons

    Pursuant to the DRUUMM By-laws, we are notifying members of proposed by-law amendments intended to improve the operations of DRUUMM and clarify current practices.  The DRUUMM Steering Committee will be establishing a Policies & Procedures Handbook to support the day-to-day management of DRUUMM.  Current DRUUMM Members will be asked to vote on these by-law amendments at our annual meeting Friday, June 26th, 2015 in Portland Oregon. 

    Please send any comments in advance to DRUUMM Secretary Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons  jsantoslyons@post.harvard.edu.

    DRUUMM Bylaws Proposed for 2015

  • 03 Nov 2014 4:18 PM | Joseph Lyons
    Please join the Church of the Larger Fellowship, the UUA, and DRUUMM for a one-hour online vigil, "We Who Believe in Freedom: A Vigil for Ferguson" on November 11, 2014 at 8PM EST (5p Pacific/6p Mountain/7p Central).
    This live gathering will be led by UU presenters of color giving voice to the depth of feelings that continue to rise up around escalating inequalityundefinedspecifically, racial inequality.  This vigil follows on the heels of the recent Mass Mobilization Call to Missouri and of mass vigils across the country.
    Attend this vigil to bear witness, to lend support and sanctuary, to offer and receive comfort. Attend this gathering to foster healing within a UU religious context led by UU religious professionals of color.
    Presenters are Rev. Maria-Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa, Christopher Sims, Adam Dyer, Rev. Sofia Betancourt, Emerson Zora Hamsa, Gregory Boyd, Duncan Teague, and Dr. Janice Marie Johnson.
    To register, contact Lesley Murdock at lmurdock@uua.org.  Log in details will be emailed the day before the event.  Please RSVP as soon as possible, as space is limited and we will be opening up registration to a larger audience on Thursday, November 6.
  • 15 Oct 2013 10:18 AM | Anonymous
    Jan Carpenter Tucker invites us all to a DRUUMM Regional Conference at First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Diego, CA. Here is the press release below. 

    “Creating Family in Community” Regional Conference 
    in January 2014

    FOR RELEASE October 8, 2013
    Media Contact: Jan Carpenter Tucker, roarwithsoul@cox.net

    Diverse, Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM)* will present a full weekend Regional Conference January 17-19, 2014 at First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Diego, California. “Creating Family in Community” is the theme that sets the stage for intergenerational exploration of the ways we examine, redefine and name ourselves in relationship to others. In a spirit of openness and welcoming we build the beloved community, sometimes grappling with the tough issues of oppression and privilege, but always circling back to the ways we celebrate together with love, joy and compassion. 

    Friday night opens with a joyous celebration open to everyone. Hosted by poet and spoken word artist, Christopher D. Sims, the evening will feature an all ages line-up of local and imported poets, spoken word artists, musicians, and dramatists. Performers will have an opportunity to garner donations for their organizations that are in alignment with the vision of DRUUMM as we seek to build a meaningful anti-racist, anti-oppressive multicultural, multiracial community. Refreshments will be served at a late evening reception. 

    Saturday will be a day filled with workshops and identity caucuses for DRUUMM members and friends. Anyone is welcome who self-identifies as a Person of Color (not considered “White” in the USA, such as people with African, Asian/ Pacific Islander, Latino/Latina/ Chicano/Chicana/ Hispanic, Native American/ Indian/ First Nations, West Indian/ Caribbean, Middle Eastern, or multiracial heritage), or who has encountered personal oppression in overt or subtle forms because he or she appears to be of a racial or ethnic identity other than White or Anglo/European.

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided. Saturday night’s family gathering dinner will give multicultural, multiracial families of many definitions and configurations an opportunity to relax and unwind together followed by some fun music and our best dance moves as we venture out to enjoy some of the sights and sounds of San Diego. 

    A bevy of DRUUMM ministers from across the country will preach at all three worship services on Sunday, 9:30 and 11:30 at the Hillcrest Campus and 9:30 at the South Bay Campus. All are welcome to attend. This remarkable event will reach even further in deepening our connections and understanding at a Sunday community luncheon and forum where the congregations will share their reflections with each other and then bid farewell to enjoy the beautiful San Diego region before heading home. 

    Registration fees and other details will be announced soon. The conference is partially sponsored by the church’s ROAR with SOUL (A Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Team) - We Resist Oppression And Racism with a Spirit of Openness, Understanding and Love. 

    Find out more by contacting Jan Carpenter Tucker, roarwithsoul@cox.net or 619-527-2850. Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/JTWSD

    * DRUUMM provides support and advocacy for Unitarian Universalist (UU) People of Color (POC) and works to build a community in UUism. We work for self-determination, justice, and equal opportunity; empower our various ministries; celebrate our diverse heritages; overcome racism through resistance; and transform and enrich UUism through our multicultural experiences. We strive for an accountable relationship with our allies of Anglo/European descent for the purpose of building a larger UU community committed to transforming UUism into an anti-racist, ethnically multicultural movement.

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