A Bridge to Replacing Our Black Lives Matter/Side with Love Banner

Black Lives Matter banners at UU churches across America

Working together, the UUSM Communications Team, Facilities Development and Maintenance Committee (FDMC), and Faith in Action have coordinated an approach to replacing our Black Lives Matter/Side with Love banner that was vandalized (again) in January. Comm Team is purchasing two temporary “feather” banners that can be put out on Sunday mornings and during special events, beginning in March. These 12-ft, stake-mounted banners can then be furled and stored safely during off hours. Over the next 6 months the committees will explore options to display a banner or other solution that is less vulnerable to vandals.

The UUSM congregation voted for “permanent” placement of this important social justice statement. However, FDMC currently has a separate, longstanding proposal being considered by the City of Santa Monica. This is a replacement of our corner sign, which is aged and severely damaged. We have been advised not to complicate our corner sign application with new banners or other signage. Our sanctuary at 18th and Arizona is a landmarked building in a residential neighborhood, so a nuanced approach is required. We will be thoughtful about how we proceed, so that we are successful in communicating our values.

Abby Arnold has taken point to push through approval of the corner sign, so that we can complete construction and inspection this summer. As we look for a new, less-vulnerable solution, Faith in Action welcomes comments, suggestions, and donations from members and friends.

The church remains committed to the denomination-wide effort to support Black Lives Matter in an ongoing, fixed way. The moveable feather banners are only a temporary bridge. We will continue to lift up the stories of the individuals and communities embraced by Black Lives Matter and Side with Love.

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