Read a letter from the 2022 UUA President

UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray

Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray

President (2017–2023)

Reflecting on the unprecedented challenges of the last few years—from a global pandemic that took millions of lives, to the largest racial justice mobilizations in U.S. history, to the growing anti-democratic movements in our country and an insurrection at our nation’s Capitol—I realize how the UUA’s mission has guided all that we have done.

Profile of 2023 UUA President

The Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt is the tenth president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. She was elected in June 2023. As president of the Association, she is responsible for administering staff and programs that serve its more than 1,000 member congregations. She also acts as principal spokesperson and minister-at-large for the UUA.

Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt’s twenty-year ministry has included serving as a parish minister, seminary professor, scholar and environmental ethicist, and public theologian. Rooted in her lived identities as a queer, multiracial, AfroLatine first-generation daughter of immigrants from Chile and Panamá, Rev. Dr. Betancourt has already helped Unitarian Universalism live further into its commitments to be a radically welcoming, counter-oppressive, pluralistic faith movement. In addition to her many years of service as Director of the UUA’s Office of Racial and Ethnic Concerns and on many denominational leadership bodies, she also has previous experience with the role of president—in early 2017 she was appointed interim co-president to finish a vacated term, making her the first woman to lead the Unitarian Universalist Association. She most recently served as Resident Scholar and Special Advisor on Justice and Equity at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

Rev. Dr. Betancourt has contributed to the education of future faith leaders at Yale Divinity School, Starr King School for the Ministry, and Drew University Theological School, teaching courses on topics such as ministerial leadership, theologies, womanism and Earth justice, and combatting oppression. Her own scholarship focuses on environmental ethics of liberation in a womanist and Latina feminist frame. She holds Ph.D., M.A., and M.Phil. degrees in Religious Ethics and African American Studies from Yale University, an M.Div. from Starr King School for the Ministry, and a B.S. from Cornell University with a concentration in ethnobotany. Rev. Dr. Betancourt is the author of Ecowomanism at the Panamá Canal: Black Women, Labor, and Environmental Ethics (2022). She lives in the Washington, DC, area.

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Banner parade during Welcome and Opening Celebration.

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Advancing UU Values

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Pro choice rally—advancing uu values

Leading Institutional Change

Justice, equity, diversity and inclusion are at the center of all the UUA does.

UUA General Assembly 2019 Public Witness

from 2022

UU the Vote Campaign Manager, JaZahn Hicks

Advancing UU Values: Protecting and Strengthening Democracy

UU the Vote is the UUA’s nonpartisan civic engagement initiative focused on strengthening democracy and organizing for justice, accountability, and healing. The UU the Vote Organizing campaign was present in all 50 states, with a special focus on twelve states during the 2022 election cycle: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Our Whole Lives (OWL): Sexuality for Older Adults

OWL: Sexuality Education for Older Adults is the only existing curriculum of its kind. This program is comprehensive and progressive, addressing sexuality with candor, sensitivity, and respect for older adults’ wisdom and life experience.

three women in congregation with their hands over their hearts
Ministers supporting each other

Compensation is About More Than Numbers

In 2022, the UUA rolled out a new Congregational Salary Program to advance equity, improve practicality, and model integrity. The UUA has set salary and benefit standards for congregations since 1995, equipping congregations for excellence as employers.

An Interview with Shige Sakurai

Shige Sakurai began as Director of Equity, Belonging and Change in February 2022. As Director, Shige works closely with all senior elected and appointed UUA leaders to guide, coordinate, and align efforts within the Association to create an anti-oppressive, fully inclusive organization. The Director is focused on leading the UUA’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) team, and on shaping organizational and cultural change efforts towards implementing the 2020 recommendations from the UUA Commission on Institutional Change.

Shige Sakurai headshot

Thank you

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