The 8th Principle



CHECK OUT THIS WEBPAGE to learn more about the 8th Principle and then FILL OUT this INQUIRY FORM to share with us your thoughts and questions.

WHAT does it say?

WHO is calling for it?

WHY the need to add an 8th Principle?

“We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward SPIRITUAL WHOLENESS by working to BUILD A DIVERSE MULTICULTURAL BELOVED COMMUNITY by our ACTIONS that ACCOUNTABLY DISMANTLE RACISM and OTHER OPPRESSIONS in OURSELVES and our INSTITUTIONS.

WHO is calling for it?

An 8th Principle was initially called for in 2013 by Paula Cole Jones (founder of ADORE—“A Dialogue on Race & Ethnicity”—and former president of DRUUMM—“Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries)—and her friend Bruce Pollack-Johnson, a member of the UU Church of the Restoration in Philadelphia. Together, they collaborated in writing an initial draft of the principle after Paula shared with Bruce why she felt an 8th Principle was needed. The initial draft was later refined by a larger group of UU anti-racist activists and then recommended for adoption by the UUA at the 2017 General Assembly. Since then, it has received a strong endorsement by Black Lives of UU Organizing Collective (BLUU), who encourage all Unitarian Universalists to advocate for the formal adoption of an 8th principle, articulating a commitment to the dismantling of white supremacy, within the stated principles of our faith. [] As of March, 2022, the 8th Principle has been adopted by over 150 individual congregations.

WHY the need for an 8th Principle?

The work of building a multicultural and diverse community and dismantling racism, white supremacy, and all forms of oppression, while IMPLIED in our current 7 principles, is not specifically NAMED therein. Thus, as Paula observed over her more than 15 years of working with numerous UU congregations on issues of racial and social justice, as our current principles rarely get tested around race, we have a tendency to follow them without the need to think about or deal with racism and other forms of oppression at the systemic level. The 8th Principle clearly names this work and asks us to recognize that it is not limited to the Social Justice arena alone, rather it is spiritual sacred work and is central to our spiritual journey in creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive world.

For more detailed answers to the above questions and other questions you may have, check out this extremely important and informative website:


The 8th Principle: What, Why, and What Next?

Recording of the March 5, 2022 Five Points Cluster Workshop
(1h 36min)

This two part workshop was facilitated by Meck Groot, Consultant for the New England Region of the UUA and members of the Five Points Cluster. We encourage you to watch the FULL recording and if you’re a bit short on time it’s easy to watch it in two sittings or go to the parts that most interest you. 

    • PART I (the first 46 minutes) includes 2 Slide Presentations:
      • A 16-minute Timeline of UUA History given by Meck Groot [Starting at 7:12 / Ending at 23:43]
      • A 15-minute excerpt of an interview of Paula Cole Jones by Satya Mamdani, explaining WHAT the 8th Principle is about and WHY it is being called for [Starting at 23:43 / Ending at 39:00].
    • PART II (50 minutes) includes:
      • Speakers from the First Parish UU of Medfield congregation describing the process they went through to adopt the 8th Principle at their congregation and answering participants’ questions [Starting at 46:06 / Ending at1:36:37]
      • Sharing of ideas regarding actions congregations have already taken/can take as part of their process in introducing/adopting the 8th Principle in their own congregations.

Interview of Paula Cole Jones by Satya Mamdani

Recorded April 2, 2021
(45 min)

In this interview, youth Commissioner Satya Mamdani, of the Article II Study Commission, interviews her fellow commissioner, Paula Cole Jones, on the history of the 8th Principle Project, and how it impacts the work of the Article II Study Commission. Paula is one of the originators of the 8th Principle. 

Waking Up to Oppression

UCS Sermon by Rev. Jolie Olivetti, April 3, 2022
(18 min)

Rev. Jolie focuses on the history and context regarding the call for an 8th Principle and invites us to consider this call as an opportunity to “stay on the journey toward spiritual wholeness.” In both her sermon and the talk-back afterwards she asked us to consider whether the 8th Principle can help us build a better world which more clearly reflects who we want to be? This is an important question for each of us to ask ourselves as we contemplate adopting the 8th Principle here at UCS.

Listen here: 

8th Principle Moment: Gare Reid

Personal reflections from a UCS member, May 1, 2022
(3 min)



Article II Study Commission and the 8th Principle

CLICK HERE for additional information and a FULL SIZE image

The Article II Study Commission is a commission which is intended to be established at least every 15 years to review Article II of the UUA Bylaws, Principles and Purposes. Article II is considered to be “the foundation for all of the work of our UUA and its member congregations and covenanted communities. It is the covenant to which all of our congregations and covenanted communities pledge themselves when they become members of our UUA.” [

Our current Principles and Purposes were last revised in 1987 and at GA that same year, there were discussions around amending some additional principles as well as adding an 8th Principle to specifically address racism.

In 2020, a new Article II Study Commission was fully seated and convened with the instruction to review Article II and, as stated in their mission, to “propose any revisions that will enable our UUA, our member congregations, and our covenanted communities to be a relevant and powerful force for spiritual and moral growth, healing, and justice.” 

Since being appointed in 2020, the Article II Study Commission has been actively conducting its study, part of which has been to seek participation and input from individual congregations and individual UUs. The Commission is scheduled to present its recommendations to the Board of Trustees no later than January 2023 and an official vote is scheduled to occur at the 2023 General Assembly. The recommendations will include ways to respond to the call within the 8th Principle to “accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”



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