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Who We Are

New York Unitarian Universalist Justice - A State Advocacy Network

Our Vision

As UUs, we envision a Beloved Community that cultivates systems based in justice, equity, and compassion where all New Yorkers thrive

Our Mission

Building Justice and Power in New York together we:  

Connect Unitarian Universalists with one another and with partners who share our values

 

Learn from those most engaged in the struggle for justice and follow their lead

 

Activate collective power to advocate for a just New York

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Our History

NYUUJ is the Unitarian Universalist successor to Interfaith Impact of NYS, an interdenominational organization founded in 1995. Interfaith Impact forged a record as a progressive moral voice in Albany. Today, NYUUJ lives into this legacy and functions as New York's UU state advocacy network.

NYUUJ Board of Directors

Rev. Peggy Clarke (she/her) began her ministry at Community Church of New York the summer of 2019. Previously she served as solo minister at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester in Hastings on Hudson for eight years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and Peace Studies and a Masters in Historical Theology from Boston College. Her doctoral work was in American Religious History. Rev. Clarke has served on the board of the UUA’s climate justice initiative Commit2Respond, the UU Environmental Justice Collaboratory and as chair of the UU Food Justice Ministry. She was one of the denomination's Observer Delegates at the 2015 United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, represented our denomination at Standing Rock and most recently at the Mexican American border, calling attention to the crisis of separated families.

Claire Deroche (she/her) (Chair) is the Social Justice Coordinator for the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset. Claire supports congregational justice initiatives and collaborates with local faith communities and grassroots organizations to involve UUCSR in the concerns of the wider community. For the last eight years, with members of the congregation, she has worked with the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC) to advocate for the passage of the HALT Solitary Confinement Act. Previously, Claire worked as a teacher, religious education professional, and volunteer director at Catholic parishes and non-profits in Maine and New York. While teaching in Maine in the 1980s, she was state coordinator for NETWORK, the Catholic Social Justice Lobby. From 1986 to 1992 she served with the Maryknoll Sisters in La Paz, Bolivia. Claire has an MA in Biblical Studies from Providence College.

 

Rev. Sally Hamlin (she/her) received her Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for Ministry and was ordained in 2007 by the First Parish in Concord Massachusetts congregation after completing her ministerial internship. Born and raised in western New York, Rev. Hamlin had a lengthy career in health care as a nurse practitioner and an executive in several non-profit health care centers (while raising two daughters) prior to ministry. She has served UU congregations in Duluth, MN, Rochester, NY (First Universalist), and most recently in Fredonia, NY (UU Congregation of Northern Chautauqua). She is also the vice-president of the New York Convention of Universalists. Since retiring in July 2023 she is enjoying developing her master gardener skills, taking watercolor painting classes, singing with a local women’s group, and spending time with family. 

Rev. Kimberly Quinn Johnson (she/her) serves as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork, on Long Island in Bridgehampton. Kimberly serves on the Organizing Collective Board for BLUU (Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism). Kimberly also serves as co-chair of the UUA Appointments Committee and is a member of the Steering Committee for UU Class Conversations, and the Board of Trustees of the UU Women's Federation. She gets to work at the nexus of faith formation, youth ministry, and racial justice as a Program Leader with the UU College of Social Justice. And she's likely to be spending her summer working with youth through UU Summer Seminary, FaithLab, or Thrive, leadership experiences for youth of color. 

Peggy Sherman (she/her) (Treasurer) is a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, where she has served in a variety of leadership roles, and a past board member of Interfaith Impact of New York State. She grew up in Irondequoit and returned to New York to earn an MBA at Cornell University. Before she retired, Peggy held senior level public policy and financial management positions in several New York State agencies as well as the State Assembly.

Rev. Dr. Michael Tino (they/them) has served the Church of the Larger Fellowship as part of their Lead Ministry Team since 2020. Michael was born and raised in and around New York City, where they became an activist for justice and change at an early age. Michael has served Unitarian Universalism in numerous capacities, on UUA staff as well as on several local and national committees. From 2007-2022, Michael was the Minister of the UU Fellowship of Northern Westchester in Mount Kisco. Michael lives in Peekskill with their husband, Eric, and daughter, Nora. They enjoy gardening, cooking, and travel.

NYUUJ Staff

 Rev. Ashley DeTar Birt (she/her) is the Program Manager for NYUUJ. She also serves as the Co-Director of The Center for Jubilee Practice and is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Ashley obtained her Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, an MA in Theater Arts from the University of Pittsburgh, and a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.  An outspoken advocate for youth ministry and social justice, Ashley has worked as a youth leader, Children, Youth and Family Pastor, and artistic and justice minister. She has participated in a variety of justice based committees and task forces in her denomination and her broader community. Ashley lives in New York City with her wife Emily, who is  a UU minister.  

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