UUA Board Statement Responding to 2022 Contested Elections

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Board of Trustees supports and affirms this year’s nominees for the Board put forth by the UUA Nominating Committee. We appreciate the time and effort of the Nominating Committee, in their vetting and selection of nominees for the many positions that they work to fill. We are also deeply grateful to those who have, year after year, volunteered to be considered for nomination by the Committee.

The Nominating Committee is independent of the Board. The Board does not select the members of the Nominating Committee; those members are elected by the General Assembly. The Board does have high-level discussions with the Nominating Committee so that they understand the Board’s goals and what skills and capacities are needed. Any name brought forward by the Nominating Committee is someone who has provided references, who has been vetted for past leadership experience, and conflicts of interest. They are the candidates determined to be most capable of doing the work that needs to be done.

This year, two candidates are running by petition for the UUA Board against nominees put forth by the Nominating Committee. Both of these candidates chose not to apply through the Nominating Committee for consideration. Running by petition entails gathering 50 signatures of individual members, with no more than ten individuals coming from any one congregation. There is no formal vetting of these candidates.

The Board enthusiastically endorses the Nominating Committee’s nominated candidates for the Board of Trustees. This includes the Rev. Suzanne Fast and the Rev. Justine Sullivan who are being challenged by petitioning candidates. The UUA Board is especially supportive of the re-election of current Board member Suzanne Fast, who brings tremendous skills, experience, and diligence including with her background as a CPA to the current Board. Additionally, Rev. Fast’s wisdom and expertise related to disability justice and accessibility is critically important as we move into this new age of multi-platform gatherings.

Additionally, the Board recognizes that the two petitioning candidates are running in direct opposition to the UUA Administration and Board’s approach to anti-racism and anti-oppression. We believe in this work. It is especially necessary in this time of devastating acts of racial violence and insidious political attacks on people because of their identity. Our faith, grounded in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and committed to liberatory practices of the Beloved Community, is essential.

As UUA leaders, we root our commitments in the democratic process of our Association. Two votes at General Assembly 2021 demonstrated the animating power and broad support for anti-racism and anti-oppression across our congregations: the delegates gave their overwhelming support for the Statement of Conscience “Undoing Systemic White Supremacy: A Call to Prophetic Action,” and for the Board candidate who endorsed this approach in last year’s contested election. This follows decades of resolutions and calls from the General Assembly for strengthening our anti-racism work within and beyond our own communities. It builds on the faithful leadership of so many who have gone before. Across our UU landscape, from our professional associations to our partner UU identity organizations, this work is embraced. We are proud of what we are witnessing across our movement, proud to be Unitarian Universalists and proud of the work our Association to meet this moment with love, courage and unwavering commitment.

We hope you will join us in this work and support the leaders, including Rev. Suzanne Fast and Rev. Justine Sullivan, who are committed to this calling and ready to move forward.