Unitarian Universalists elect first woman president

June 27, 2017

Susan Frederick-Gray, 41, an Arizona pastor and immigrant advocate, recently became the first woman elected president of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

She succeeds three copresidents appointed after the resignation of Peter Morales in April amid controversy about diversity in the UUA as criticism mounted over hiring practices.

“It is clear to me that I am not the right person to lead our association as we work together to create the processes and structures that will address our shortcomings,” he wrote in his resignation letter.

Morales was the first Latino president of the liberal and mostly white association.

Frederick-Gray’s election took place at the association’s General Assembly in New Orleans with delegates from some of the 200,000-member UUA’s more than 1,000 congregations. She had put forward a vision of a “spiritually vital” movement “grounded in relationships” and “organized for impact,” ac­cording to UU World.

Two days after her election, Frederick-Gray, who led the Unitarian Universalist opposition to Arizona’s strict immigration law that was passed in 2010, issued a statement expressing disappointment in the Supreme Court’s decision to allow portions of President Trump’s travel ban to be enforced while the legal battle over it continues.

“We believe that these restrictions are examples of religious discrimination because they target travelers from Muslim-majority countries,” she said. “Our country should welcome people regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof.” —Religion News Service

A version of this article, which was edited on July 14, appears in the August 2 print edition under the title “People: Susan Frederick-Gray.”