Shaya French was the Unitarian Universalist's Women's Federation's Clara Barton intern working in the Multicultural Growth and Witness staff team in Boston, MA. Shaya's role was to mobilize Unitarian Universalists to fight for reproductive justice. She graduated from Bard College in May 2015 with coursework focusing on ecology, gender and sexuality, and human rights. A lifelong feminist, in college, Shaya studied workplace discrimination, welfare programs for women and children and how the criminal justice system impacts women. While at Bard, Shaya founded the Anti-Racism Collective to engage more white students in racial justice.
She grew up in the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Middleboro and attended district youth conferences as well as conferences at Ferry Beach and Star Island. At the same time, Shaya attended a Reconstructionist Jewish synagogue. Shaya also worked as an economic justice intern for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. She currently volunteers with Black and Pink, which is an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies who support each other. For Black and Pink, she’s researched and written newspaper articles about transformative justice—a community based approach to sexual violence. She has worked on feminism, LGBTQ issues, environmental justice, disability justice, prison abolition and anti-racism organizing.