Team Against Racism & Oppression

UUCGN / TARO Spring 2021 Small Group Discussion Groups
Registration opens Monday, March 22, for Session 2 which runs Mid-April thru May

TARO will open registration next Monday, March 22 until April 2, for the popular small group discussion series for spring.  In a survey of past participants, over 90% gave the materials and the program a Very Satisfied or Satisfied rating.  Session 2 will only get better with their input.


Session 2 topics include UUA’s Widening the Circle,

plus three important works on racism and oppression:


  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo 

  • ​​The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee 
  • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson    

Please don’t delay in selecting your preference(s).  To ensure plenty to time for everyone to ‘go deep’, group sizes will again be limited.  Three of the five topics in the last session were quickly over-subscribed.  We may have an abbreviated summer session and do plan to offer another session in the fall, depending upon your interests.


Registration instructions:  Please read the descriptions of the discussion topic and meeting details, below.  If you have questions specific to the topic or admin, just email a facilitator directly. 


When ready, please email your first, and second choice, if you wish, to: 

Annie Bilodeau ( and also to Cliff Welles ( 

This will get your registration request logged in the order of TARO’s receipt. 

We just need the subject title(s) you have chosen.


Once the limited available placements have been awarded, all participants will receive a ZOOM invitation with a link for the first and all meetings planned on the subject.  You MUST RESPOND to that ZOOM invitation to get the link, even though you manually requested a place on the group with TARO.  You may receive additional information from your facilitators after the registration closes on April 2nd.


That same link will be used throughout your class meeting schedule. You will receive reminder emails weekly.  Please plan to log into ZOOM five minutes before start to confirm connection, etc.  As always, keep distracting noises to a minimum.  The courtesy of muting your microphone when not speaking will be appreciated by all.

Small Group Discussion Topics


Widening the Circle — Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change


Description: The Unitarian Universalist Association completed a two-year study on issues of institutional racism within the UU denomination which was featured at our 2020 General Assembly.  The Commission brought in an outside group to do 1,000 interviews of ministers, other UU congregational staff, and members.  


Their 200-page report, Widening the Circle, encouraged all congregations go into a study mode on these issues.   Harriet Lancaster created a concise yet thorough ten-page summary of the report.   Drawing on the insights of Widening the Circle, our small group will reflect on how racism and white privilege have played out in our personal lives, our congregation and the larger UU movement.


Dates: Fridays, April 23, 30 and May 7, 14, & 21 from 1:00 to 2:30 PM, Virtual via Zoom

Facilitators: Kathie Gorski and Ann Fisher

Materials:  We will provide a copy of the ten-page summary report.  For those who would like to read the complete report, we have copies of the full report available.  And a PDF copy of the book is available on the UUA website (no charge to download).



The Sum of Us  

by Heather McGhee 


‘What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together’


Description:  The Sum of Us is predicated on the idea that little will change with racism in America until white people realize what racism has cost them too.  McGhee, who spent years working on economic policy for Demos, a liberal think tank, says it was the election of Donald Trump in 2016 by a majority of white voters that made her realize how most white voters weren’t “operating in their own rational economic self-interest.”  Despite Trump’s populist noises, she writes, his agenda “promised to wreak economic, social and environmental havoc on middle- and lower-class Whites along with everyone else.  It’s a self-defeating form of exclusion, a determination not to share resources even if the ultimate result is that everyone suffers."


McGhee writes with meticulous precision and facts about health care, voting rights and the environment and persuasively argues that white Americans have been steeped in the notion of “zero sum” — that any gains by another group must come at White people’s expense.  She writes that zero-sum thinking “has always optimally benefited only the few while limiting the potential of the rest of us, and therefore the whole."  Against “zero-sum” she proposes “win-win as she elaborates on how "social solidarity" between classes will lift us all up.


Dates: Tuesdays, April 13, 20, 27 and May 4, 11, & 18th.  2:00 to 3:30 PM, Via ZOOM. 

Facilitators: Kristin Muschett and Janet Nacu (UCC)

Materials: Upon request, a copy of the book can be ordered through the UUCGN office for participants and mailed to their home.  We will use a discussion guide for questions that will be emailed in advance to all participants each week.  Chapter assignments for discussion will be made each week and typically will not be more than 3-4 chapters.




So You Want to Talk About Race  

by Ijeoma Oluo 

Description:   In this discussion group, participants will be invited to deepen their understanding of race, racial oppression, and the systems that block people of color from opportunities and advancement.  The group will be covering several chapters each week, and topics such as privilege, police brutality, the school-to-prison pipeline, and microaggressions will be discussed.  Sharing our experiences and points of view will help us to examine our own biases and work toward behavioral change.


Dates: Thursdays, April 22, 29 and May 6, 13, & 20 from 2:00 to 3:30 PM.  Via ZOOM. 

Facilitators: Annie Bilodeau and Jen Walker (UCC)

Materials:  Upon request, a copy of the book can be ordered for participants and mailed to their home.  



by Isabel Wilkerson  

"The Origins of Our Discontent"


Description:  Through the lens of the book CASTE by Isabella Wilkerson, we will examine topics such as systemic racism, unconscious bias, the evil of silence, the intrusion of caste in everyday life, and the present-day race consciousness in America and our role moving forward as citizens.  We will compare caste systems in the US with those in India and Nazi Germany.


Dates:   Thursdays, April 22, 29 and May 6 & 13 at 7:00-9:00 PM. Virtual via ZOOM. 

Facilitators: Janet Hoffman and Joanne Huskey

Materials: Upon request, a copy of the book can be ordered through the UUCGN office for participants and mailed to their home.


A Video Message from Rev. Tony Fisher

Click Here  to view the message!

Dear friends, There is so much going on in our world that takes up our attention, but what can we be doing, even in these strange times, to live more deeply into our values and continue to grow together as a community of faith?

At this critical juncture, I hope today's message will serve as an invitation into a new adventure together!

Stay tuned for more information!


Love and blessings,