The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) announces the appointment of Rev. Ashley Horan as the Organizing Strategy Director. The Organizing Director is called to strengthen the resilience of Unitarian Universalists, to organize for justice, and express our faith through action. She will lead the five-person Organizing Strategy Team, including the Side with Love campaign, in its collaboration with UU and movement partners to advance the UUA’s mission-based commitment to justice work and prophetic ministry.
“Ashley brings a depth of experience and relationships both within and beyond Unitarian Universalism. Her experience working with congregations and in movement spaces is a tremendous asset in this role. Additionally, her experience in organizing bold actions, taking risks for justice and weaving spiritual depth, growth and reflection for groups engaged in justice making mirrors the understanding that the work of justice is inseparable from our religious and theological foundations,” writes UUA president, the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray.
Rev. Horan comes to this new role after serving for five years as the Executive Director of MUUSJA, The Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance, and seven years as core staff with the Beloved Conversations program. She is also currently a member of the boards of Resource Generation and the Stolen Wealth Returns collective. In addition to her work at the intersections of faith community and social justice, Rev. Horan brings with her years of experience as a teacher and a facilitator in settings ranging from leading high schoolers on wilderness canoe trips to facilitating multi-faith racial justice cohorts to teaching French and Spanish in traditional classroom settings. Her call to ministry centers on nurturing political grounding in spiritual communities, and spiritual grounding in political communities. She has worked with nearly 100 UU, Christian, and Jewish congregations across the country to help faith communities build vibrant, effective justice ministries, grounded in the belief that people of faith have a crucial role to play in supporting and building mass movements for justice and collective liberation.
Rev. Horan grew up in St. Paul, MN, where she first felt the inklings of a call to ministry while participating in religious education as a child at Unity Church - Unitarian. After living for many years in a swath of cities from Boston to Seattle along the I-90/94 corridor, her heart and her home are once again in Minnesota. She lives there with her partner, the Rev. Karen Hutt; their two children (Zi - 19, and Aspen - 4); and a broad network of raucous, loving, chosen and biological family.
“In this political moment, in which our human siblings and our planet are in a life-or-death struggle for survival, Unitarian Universalists are being called more than ever to show up with courage, humility, skill, and spiritual grounding,” writes Rev. Horan. “I am so thrilled to join my talented colleagues on the Organizing Strategy Team as we work together to align and fortify the UUA’s prophetic work—both within Unitarian Universalism, and in partnership with all our kin who are fighting for justice and liberation. I am honored to build on the brilliant work of those before me who have brought us to this place, and to honor their legacy as we move toward ever more fierce, faithful, and fearless work to create the world we dream of.”
Rev. Horan begins this position on August 12.