Selina E. Reed


Photo from the private collection of Mark Morrison-Reed


Selina E. Reed
1921 – November 15, 1985
First Unitarian Church of Chicago

  • Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; attended Bucknell University Junior College (which later became Wilkes College, then Wilkes University); received the Eugene S. Farley Memorial Alumni Award
  • Graduated from Howard University in 1942; earned a master’s degree in social work at the University of Pennsylvania in 1945
  • Taught at the University of Chicago and Kennedy-King College; served as a caseworker, consultant and therapist with the Family Service Bureau, the Illinois Children’s Home and Aid Society, and the Mental Health Clinic at Jackson Park Hospital
  • Worked with the conveners of the Black Unitarian Universalist Caucus of Chicago in the 1960s; was active in Urban Gateways, a youth arts organization, and championed gun control in Chicago
  • Established a private therapy practice in Chicago, and founded the Chicago Center for the Society of the Samaritans, which provided a hotline for suicide prevention, and served as its executive director from 1981–1983
  • Served as president of the board, First Unitarian Church of Chicago, and as board member for many social justice and arts organizations including the Chicago Urban League, NAACP, Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity), and The Lincoln Center
  • Was mourned by over 500 attendees at her funeral in 1985, a fitting testament to the talents she shared throughout her life to invite individuals to be courageous in working toward a just and compassionate world