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UUA Staffing Changes to Support Racial Equity and Public Witness Work

Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) President the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray shared the following update on staffing changes at the UUA:

It’s my pleasure to share some exciting updates about new leadership for two of the most urgent areas of our faithful work: 1) countering white supremacy and advancing racial equity, and 2) public witness, organizing and activism.

Effective November 1, 2017, I am appointing Taquiena Boston, Director of Multicultural Growth and Witness, to the additional role of Special Advisor to the President for Inclusion, Equity and Change. She will work closely with me, with other Leadership Council members, and with all UUA staff to develop and oversee internal organizational changes to ensure that the UUA embodies multicultural inclusion, equity, and justice-centered relationships at all levels of staffing. This change provides executive leadership for the ongoing internal dialogue of how to decenter white supremacist culture and expectations within the UUA staff, a key priority of the first year of my presidency. As Special Advisor, she will address definitions and goals for organizational and cultural change, support the development of staff group and cross-staff learning plans and opportunities, and integrate wisdom from sources and organizations beyond the UUA. Taquiena will continue as the Director of Multicultural Growth and Witness (MGW) and a member of Leadership Council, and will retain direct oversight of the multicultural growth and leadership aspects of MGW’s work, including Mosaic Makers, Finding Our Way Home, Welcoming Congregations and more.

Concurrently, I am charging Acting Chief Operations Officer Carey McDonald with the oversight and direction of MGW’s congregational organizing and witness work for the time being, including Standing on the Side of Love and Love Resists. This will allow Carey to lead a review of the UUA staff’s public witness process over the coming months and make recommendations about our structures for advancing public witness priorities. The voice of the UUA is a critical way in which we carry our values into the world, and we need to update our strategies and processes to focus our impact in a world of 24/7 social media and weekly stories of oppression and violence across the country and the world. Also, note that collaboration with the Commission on Institutional Change and revisions to our hiring policies will continue under Carey’s coordination.

I want to raise up that these appointments are shifting work in a new way to invest more resources in our mission-based priorities. Rather than responding to organizational needs by simply creating a different set of silos, we are emphasizing cross-staff collaboration and valuing our staff’s individual gifts. These changes to Carey and Taquiena’s portfolios do not alter staff groups, formal supervision or organizational structure; instead, they give space and authorization for critical planning over the coming months that will be a foundation for the future structures and priorities at the UUA.

Please join me in appreciating Taquiena Boston and Carey McDonald and the entire Multicultural Growth and Witness staff!

Two people stand together smiling for the camera

UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray and Acting Chief Operating Officer Carey McDonald.

Head and shoulders image of Taquiena Boston

Taquiena Boston, UUA Director of Multicultural Growth and Witness