Members and Staff of the Commission on Institutional Change

Widening the Circle of Concern: Members and Staff of the Commission on Institutional Change Audio Reading

  • Rev. Leslie Takahashi, Chair (2017-2020), serves as lead minister at Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek, California; co-author, with Rev. Chip Roush and Dr. Leon Spencer, of The Arc of the Universe is Long: Unitarian Universalists, Anti-Racism and the Journey from Calgary (Skinner House, 2009); and a contributor to a number of collections, including Voices From the Margins (Skinner House, 2012); Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry (Skinner House, 2017); Lifting Our Voices: Readings in the Living Tradition (UUA, 2015); and WorshipWeb. She was the 2019 Berry Street lecturer.
  • Mary Byron (2017-2020) is a member of the UUA Audit Committee and President’s Council. She retired as an information technologies executive with Goldman Sachs and is now the owner of Cloud Nine Quilts in Montana.
  • Cir L’Bert, Jr. (2018-2020) is a writer based in Akron, Ohio; a Board trustee at Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron, Ohio; and a Knight Arts Challenge Award Winner (2019) for his project, Conjure Comics, a comic book publisher focused on justice, liberation, and equity.
  • Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore (2017-2020) is a member of the ministerial team at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, New York. She is a former president of the Liberal Religious Educators Association and is vice president of the Starr King School for the Ministry Board of Trustees. She is author of the curriculum Pride of Place: Affirming an African American Unitarian Universalist Identity, co-author with Gabrielle Farrell and Jenice View of the UUA Tapestry of Faith curriculum Windows and Mirrors, an author of UUA Renaissance Modules, and a contributor to a number of anthologies from Skinner House Books.
  • Dr. Elías Ortega (2017-2020) is the president of Meadville Lombard Theological School, a former member of the UUA Religious Education Credentialing Committee, and co-author of Common Goods: Economy, Ecology, and Political Theology (Fordham University Press, 2015).
  • Caitlin Breedlove (2017-2018) is the former campaign director of the Standing on the Side of Love campaign (now Side with Love) at the UUA, where she served as a bridge between grassroots social movements and the denomination. She is also the former co-director of Southerners On New Ground (SONG), where for almost a decade she co-led innovative intersectional movement building work in the LGBTQ sector. Caitlin currently serves as the vice president of movement leadership at Auburn Seminary and hosts the podcast Fortification, which interviews movement leaders and organizers about their spiritual lives.
  • DeReau K. Farrar (2017-2018) is director of music at First Unitarian Church of Portland, Oregon; president of the Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries; and a member of the Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism Advisory Team. He has previously served Unitarian Universalist congregations in Santa Monica and Downtown Los Angeles, California, and has contributed to WorshipWeb’s Braver/Wiser publication and the magazine UU World.
  • Rev. Marcus Fogliano, Project Manager, brings to their work with the Commission project management experience from public housing and community organizing, as well as a background in government and nonprofit boards and commissions. They have engaged in LGBTQ advocacy and community building across Illinois. They were raised and ordained as a Jehovah’s Witness engaged in deaf ministry in Central Illinois. They found Unitarian Universalism through the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington-Normal in Illinois in 2012 and found their national calling to service after serving as a General Assembly delegate for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Peoria in 2016.