It is with great enthusiasm that the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) welcomes the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt as the tenth UUA President. We also note that this is Rev. Dr. Betancourt’s second “first day” as a president of the UUA. She was appointed co-president for an interim period in 2017 and provided guidance and care during a significant moment in our history. This time, she will be in the presidential role for a six-year term and we are eagerly anticipating her leadership, working together to continue to advance Unitarian Universalism and live our values deeply in the coming years.
Her presidency comes with a number of historic firsts – she is the first openly queer person and first woman of color to be elected UUA president. She has served Unitarian Universalism for more than twenty years as a religious educator, minister, scholar, and member of the UUA national staff and many volunteer committees at the regional and denominational levels. She most recently served as Resident Scholar and Special Advisor on Justice and Equity at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
Rev. Dr. Betancourt holds a Ph.D. in Religious Ethics and African American Studies from Yale University as well as an M.Div. from Starr King School for the Ministry, where she also served on the faculty. She is the author of Ecowomanism at the Panamá Canal: Black Women, Labor, and Environmental Ethics (2022). You can learn more about her in a new Q & A with UU World magazine, including how early life experiences shaped her path to ministry.
As significantly, she also brings to the role theological depth, a commitment to communal care, and a pledge to continue to organize for justice. She has also expressed an appreciation for the diverse voices and leaders in our community as well as for the hard work that UUA staff does every day. We know that Unitarian Universalists (UUs) across the country and UUA staff will all benefit from her experience, wisdom, and sense of care.
Carey McDonald, our Executive Vice President, expressed his keen anticipation in this way, “we are excited to have the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt at the helm as UUA President to lead us in the next chapter of our faith’s journey. We are already inspired by her deep theology and commitments to community care and imagining the way forward together.”
We are entering an exciting time for both the UUA and Unitarian Universalism. Rev. Dr. Betancourt’s presidency and the General Assembly vote by delegates to continue consideration of changes to the Article II bylaws mark a key moment in our faith tradition. With her leadership, we are positioned to move forward in faithful community, in recognition of our shared values and the important work ahead.