As Accessibility Resources Coordinator, Gretchen will provide virtual resources for Unitarian Universalist congregational and organizational leaders to create spaces, events, programs and communities which are accessible and inclusive to disabled participants.
Gretchen is a white, queer, autistic, blind, disabled UU living in Columbia, Missouri. She serves the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia (UUCC) as a Worship Associate, and has previously served on its Board of Trustees, and as a multi-time delegate to GA.
In 2017, Gretchen co-founded UUCC’s Disability Justice and Inclusion Team (DJIT), and has chaired it for over five years. UUCC’s DJIT seeks to foster an inclusively designed environment, with a congregational commitment to combating ablism, where all individuals feel radically welcome and are able to participate in every aspect of the church and community. She has consulted on accessibility for nonprofits, companies, and government entities across the country. She is excited to apply her experience and knowledge to help the UUA and its congregations do their work with a lens to disability justice and accessibility lens.
Gretchen holds a Master’s of Public Affairs from the University of Missouri’s Truman School of Public Affairs, and a Bachelor’s in English, also from MU. She’s worked as a Community Organizer in the fields of both economic and reproductive justice for GRO—Grass Roots Organizing, and for NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri. She’s also worked as a public education lobbyist for the Missouri National Education Association, the largest union in Missouri. Gretchen has been appointed to the Columbia Disabilities Commission, and the city’s Public Transit Advisory Commission. In addition, she has served as a board member with multiple nonprofits, and volunteers her time with Missouri Faith Voices, bringing a disabled perspective to their work.
In her free-time, Gretchen enjoys reading, playing D&D, and hanging out with her Seeing-Eye Dog, Royal.