UU Women's Federation Report, General Assembly 2018

UUA General Assembly Off-site Participation: Kansas City, Missouri | 2018

Part of General Assembly 2018 Event 303: General Session III

The following final draft script was completed before this event took place; actual words spoken may vary. Unedited live captions for General Session III (TXT) were created during the event, and contain some errors. Captioning is not available for some copyrighted material.

Barb Greve: Founded in 1963 through consolidation of Unitarian and Universalist women’s organizations, the UU Women’s Federation [Slide #1] or UUWF, has evolved into an education, advocacy, and funding organization with a vital mission: To advance justice for women and girls and promote their spiritual growth. UUWF is one of two associate member organizations of the UUA (along with UUSC).

Please welcome UUWF President Claire Sexton.

Claire Sexton: Good morning! I am so happy to be here and so honored to be a part of the UU Women’s Federation.

It’s been quite a year! From the energy of the Women’s March, to the explosion of the #MeToo movement, to the smaller, quieter daily activities, millions of people have spoken out and called out gender injustice lately. We seek to push our society further and faster toward the end of the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.

As Unitarian Universalists, we are called to break the cycles of oppression within and beyond our denomination.

Our small & active board is comprised of passionate volunteers committed to gender justice and intersectionality.

As announced [Slide #2] at last year’s GA, we are proceeding for UU Women and Religion to become a key program of the UUWF, combining forces in our mutual quest toward diverse religious feminisms and gender equity.

The New Prophetic Sisterhood [Slide #3] a project of the UUWF, continues its work to amplify the voices and ministries of women-identified religious professionals and serve as a platform for sharing their sermons and other public acts of ministry. This year we expanded the scope of this project to include not only clergy, but all religious professionals, and now engage over 250 colleagues. One of the initiatives of New Prophetic Sisterhood is the annual Justice for Women and Girls Sermon Award, this year’s submissions most frequently addressing #MeToo, both inside and outside UU.

The award recipient [Slide #4] for 2018 is Clare Fortune- Lad, the Director of Religious Education in Haverhill, MA.

She will deliver sermon: “#MeToo, Now What?” during the next program slot at 11:15, where there will also be time for discussion.

Our Margaret Fuller Projects this year include major funding to document UU women’s herstory [Slide #5] in the Heresies special collection at Meadville-Lombard, one that was close to Denny Davidoff’s heart. She asked UUWF to contribute to the preparation of the HEResies archives to be converted to searchable online documents.

Additionally, we are providing funding for the authors of an upcoming Skinner House book project “Speaking Our Stories and Telling Our Truths: Black Women Clergy in Unitarian Universalism” to share their stories in person in promotion of this important, timely anthology.

An Equity [Slide #6] & Justice grant this year provided funds for a congregation in Harrisburg to offer childcare during the 40-day season of civil actions by the Poor People’s Campaign, Pennsylvania at the state capital as part of the larger Campaign, A National Call for Moral Revival.

The Marjorie [Slide #7] Bowens-Wheatley scholarship provides direct financial support to aspirants or candidates to the Unitarian Universalist ministry, or candidates in the UUA’s religious education or music leadership programs, who identify as women of color, Latina, or Hispanic.

This past year’s [Slide #8] recipients were Dianne Daniels of Norwich CT, and Sana Saeed of Arlington, MA. We are so pleased to support Dianne and Sana on their paths to ministry and encourage others to apply—The next application deadline for the scholarship is October 1st.

Our interfaith [Slide #9], intersectional equity and justice work in 2018 has included support of equal pay, with an ongoing commitment to recognizing the even greater disparity for women of color and women with disabilities, advocacy for a federal paid family leave policy, and continued fierce opposition to efforts to overturn reproductive rights and choices. Many thanks to the UUWF minister, Rev. Marti Keller for her expertise and energy for this important and ongoing advocacy.

And we [Slide #10] regularly post these actions and other information to our members through social media.

The UUWF seeks to amplify the voices of women in the Unitarian Universalist movement and the voices of UU women in our country. We are committed to engaging UUs in the work for gender justice in an intersectional way. For more information here at GA come talk with us at Booth 322 in the Exhibit Hall. Look for The Red Tent!

Like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter and see our website [Slide #11] for updates throughout the year. We invite you to join us in our quest of gender justice. Thank you!