We Are Family!

I am often asked why we are called the “Urban” Ministerial School? I believe the word “urban” in our name throws people off. According to Wikipedia, urban means “relating to, or characteristic of a town or city.” That sounds simple, but that doesn’t seem to be the first thing that some people think of when they hear that word. In fact, for years some well-meaning, yet uninformed, Unity folks referred to UUMS as the “Black” school. When Rev. Mark Hicks joined the UUMS board, he had lots of questions about the name–why it was called “Urban” and whether or not it was a reason some people would not choose UUMS as their path to Unity ministry. Mark made it his personal mission to get answers, asking board members, staff, alumni, and students, for their definition of the term “Urban” in the School’s name. Their responses led him to coin this slogan: “Unity Urban Ministerial School–Come for the education; Stay for the community.” In a word, “Urban” in our name characterizes community. That begs the question, what is meant by “community?” Wikipedia calls it “a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” WOW! Now that says a lot about who we as the UUMS community really are. There is a certain familial atmosphere about our program. Many of our students and alumni give generously of their time, talents, and treasures to UUMS because they feel a certain kinship to the School. As for me, it is here that I received most of my ministerial training and it is here with my tribe, my community, and my family, that I feel most at home within the Unity movement. Our UUMS family is diverse, multicultural, multilingual, multinational, global, expansive, inclusive, and caring. So if someone asks you why the word “Urban” is in our name, just tell them it represents us, because in the words of Sister Sledge, those famous R&B siblings of the 1970’s, “We are family. I got all my sisters (and brothers) with me.”

1 comment on “Message from the Executive Director October 2023

  1. Thank you for this beautifully written message. I was a member of West Side Unity wen Reverend Ruth Moseley started the Urban School. It is a community. There was and still is a distinct need for the Urban School. I have had many Ministers of color tell me of the negative experiences they had at Unity due solely to their color and not their character.

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