The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Janice Marie Johnson will become the Co-Director of Ministries and Faith Development (MFD) on January 16, 2019. She joins the Rev. Sarah Lammert, who has led the MFD staff group since 2010. Dr. Johnson replaces Jessica York, who became the UUA’s Director of Congregational Life in November 2018. Dr. Johnson is a religious educator who currently serves as the UUA’s Multicultural Ministries and Leadership Director. Her transition to the MFD staff group will shift some of the additional Multicultural Ministries staff and programs to be incorporated in MFD as well, including the Rev. Michael Crumpler, LGBTQ and Intercultural Programs Manager.
With a newly enhanced department, the Co-Directors of MFD will support, sustain, and advance multicultural, anti-oppressive, justice-centered, innovative Unitarian Universalist lay and professional leadership and ministry for all ages. Multicultural Ministries programs now located within MFD include the Finding Our Way Home annual retreat for religious professionals of color, connection with identity-based groups like Transgender Unitarian Universalist Religious Professionals Together (TRUUsT), the Welcoming Congregations program for full LGBTQ inclusion, and support for the Mosaic Makers cohort of intentionally multicultural congregations. “I am excited about building on the fine work that has gone before across the Association and to being a part of the current leadership team with its commitment to dismantling white supremacy culture and building the Beloved Community,” said Dr. Johnson.
“This mission-focused staff realignment will help put multicultural ministry and cultural change work at the heart of our support for Unitarian Universalist (UU) leaders,” said Carey McDonald, UUA Executive Vice President. “It emerged out of organic cross-staff conversations, and demonstrates our commitment to evolving organizational structures to best allow our staff to collaborate and thrive.” This re-alignment retains the same positions and resources focused on multicultural ministries in a new staff configuration.
Since joining the UUA in 2009, Dr. Johnson has previously served as Racial and Ethnic Concerns Director and Multicultural Growth Director in the Multicultural Growth and Witness staff group. In these roles, she has guided strategic initiatives, developed programs and services, and collaborated to support welcome and inclusion for developing significant cross-cultural and adaptive leadership skills.
Committed to making multiculturalism “real,” Janice is a Jamaican, a New Yorker, an internationalist, and a “third-culture kid” who grew up all over the world. She has worked with UU congregations worldwide. She supports the professional lives of religious professionals, especially those of color, those from the trans community, and other marginalized groups. As an educator. she previously served as Director of Lifespan Religious Education at the Community Church of New York for many years.Janice — mother, grandmother, aunt, sibling, and so much more — treasures a unique relationship with her twin sister the Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson, who also works for the UUA as a Congregational Life Specialist for the Central East and Southern Regions.