Papers, Dissertations, References

We approach research as a form of activism, a liberating tool capable of transforming lives. Research is the telling of stories and unmasking various histories and narratives that depict various perspectives. Some researchers uncover the triumphs while others rally around those that “fall in battle, insisting that their fight, though unsuccessful, is valiant and therefore merits artistic attention.” We believe there is room for both kinds of stories and that it is the peaks and valleys of life that speak truth, so our failures and successes, our celebrations and tragedies, must be told and remembered.
Why research Black women and girls?
…someday somebody’ll 
Stand up and talk about me,
and write about me
Black and beautiful
and sing about me,
and put on plays about me!
I reckon it’ll be Me Myself!
Yes, it’ll be me.
– Note on Commercial Theatre
Selected Poems of Langston Hughes

How you can help…

Do you have a research paper, essay or thesis you want to be considered for publication? If so, please visit our Call and Guidelines for Submissions.

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A Brief History of the 1893 World Parliament of Religions and its Legacy by the Reverend Lynnda White

Where in the world can thousands of people of more than two hundred religions come together in harmony to express on a monumental scale, their wishes for peace, for fairness, and for interreligious dialogue: the Parliament of the World’s Religions. The genesis of the Parliament movement was the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, which was home to the first World’s Parliament of Religions. Unitarians and Universalists were instrumental in creating and planning the first event to bring together leading religious leaders from across the globe. This paper also contains information on Fannie Barrier Williams, the only African American of either gender to be asked to speak at “two of the most important of a myriad of International conferences at the fair.” (13 pages)

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Decolonizing Our Bodies, Minds and Spirits: Resiliency and Spiritual Practices Among Unitarian Universalist Religious Professionals of Color by Rev. Dr. Rebekah Savage

This research by Rev. Dr. Rebekah Savage focuses on the resilence of UU religious professionals of color and indigenous people through spiritual practices as a way towards liberation and intersectional justice. (115 pages)

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(Public Presentation of A Project Paper) Decolonizing Our Bodies, Minds and Spirits: Resiliency and Spiritual Practices…

This presentation by Rev. Dr. Rebekah Savage delivers the results of research with individuals’ choices and their ability to perceive the ways in which adjusting consumption as a spiritual practice can lead to greater resiliency. The researcher posed a number of questions to the participants who submitted written responses. They were administered a pre- and post-survey which reflected a 100% increase in the participants’ adjustments towards greater resiliency in recognizing and adjusting their consumption as a spiritual practice. (4 pages)

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Rev. E. Ethelred Brown’s Ministry in Jamaica: 1908 – 1920 by Angeline C. Jackson

Much of the existing literature on Rev. Egbert Ethelred Brown focuses on his ministry in Harlem, New York, with few scholars discussing his conversion to Unitarianism, his call to seminary and challenges beginning studies, his ordination and return to Jamaica, and his eventual arrival in Harlem. Even fewer discussed the eight years between 1912, after his seminary ordination, and 1920 when he immigrated. This paper by Angeline C. Jackson attempts to explore Brown’s Jamaican ministry during that time. It explores newspaper archives, Brown’s sermons, and other archival materials. (18 pages)

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Spiritual Odyssey (An Autobiographical Sketch) by Rev. William Chester McCall

Rev. William Chester McCall
(July 31, 1948 – November 16, 2020)

This brief autobiography (edited) provides a glimpse into the powerful personality of Rev. William Chester McCall and possibly some of the motivating factors that may have informed his ministerial formation and his ministry. There is a bonus testimonial at the end, “Finding Home in a White Faith” by Latoya Brooks. (8 pages)

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A Brief History of UU Clergy Sexual Misconduct by Sky Williams

Sky Williams is a member of Unitarian Universalist Justice Arizona where they serve as Queer Faith Worship Coordinator. Sky wrote this research paper for a UU History class taught by Rev. Meg Richardson at Starr King School for Ministries in 2018. Clergy sexual misconduct continues to be a compelling issue requiring both fiscal and human resources to tackle its tenacious roots ensnarled in issues of authority, power and control. (31 pages)

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We Have Come This Far by Faith: A Talk for Ministry Days by Rev. Dr. Kristen Harper

This powerful talk by Rev. Dr. Kristen Harper was delivered on Ministry Days on June 21, 2017 in New Orleans, LA. Her observations recounting the discimination she experienced at Meadville Lombard Theological School and  the racism she has encountered over the years reminds us of how far we have come and how far we still have to go.  (3 pages)

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Historical Overview of Women Preachers and Women in Unitarian Universalist Ministry by Rev. Dr. Qiyamah A. Rahman

I did this research to be able to understand and create the context for telling the story of Black UU clergy women, which meant I had to tell the story of white clergy women that preceded us. This is that story. (12 pages)

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25 to 1: People of Color Experiences in Unitarian Universalism 1980-2005 by Joseph Santos-Lyons

It takes deep observation, reflection and analysis to capture what is happening in present time while reaching back to inform the present and speak to the future. This is what Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons accomplished in his 2006 Masters of Divinity thesis titled, “25 to 1: People of Color Experiences in UUism:1980-2005.” (153 pages)

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Engaging the Sacred Wisdom of Our Sisters in the Wilderness: A Unitarian Universalist/Womanist Dialogue by Aaron McEmrys

Rev. Aaron McEmrys, a UU male minister demonstrates his scholarly and masterful understanding of womanist thought in this essay. He orchestrates a magnificent dialogue between womanist thought and UUism in an effort to help readers understand that UUism needs to become “more actively engaged, in solidarity with, and accountable to womanists, womanism, and with the womanist challenges of wholeness for all people and all communities in order to better live out our deepest beliefs and move ever closer to individual and collective transformation.” Amen brother! (17 pages)

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