Advancing justice for women and girls and promoting their spiritual growth

Ministry to Women Award

Our Ministry to Women Award honors individuals or organizations that have ministered to women in an outstanding manner.  The first of the award’s distinguished list of recipients (scroll down) – selected by the Board of Trustees – was Ms. Magazine in 1974.  Others honored include May Sarton, Marian Wright Edelman, Tillie Olsen,  Bernice Johnson Reagon, founder of  Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Dr. Jean Baker Miller.

2018 Ministry to Women Award

The 2018 Ministry to Women Award is being given this year to Rev. Dr. Deborah Pope-Lance and Rev. Gail Seavey in recognition of their  prophetic persistence over the years that has kept the issue of clergy sexual misconduct within Unitarian Universalism within our public consciousness. They both have named and educated on the existence of  sexual harassment and abuse in our faith communities, and helped develop safe congregation practices.

They will be honored at our UUWF GA breakfast gathering:

UUWF Presents 2016 Ministry to Women Award



June 27, 2016 –At the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in Columbus Ohio, Dr. Kirstie Lewis, President of the UUWF presented the Ministry to Women Award to Monica Simpson of Sister Song, and Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood. Rev. Debra Haffner moderated the panel discussion, Building Bridges from Reproductive Choice to Reproductive Justice.

Watch the Video

Listen to the Audio

Watch The Future of Women workshop

Kay Montgomery

126_MontgomeryKay2013 Our 2013 award recipient served as Executive Vice President of the Unitarian Universalist Association from 1985 until her retirement in June 2013.  She is honored for introducing feminist process to the UUA leadership.

Rev. Debra Haffner


Our 2011 award recipient is honored for her outstanding contributions in the fields of sexual education, reproductive justice, and sexual abuse healing in support of women and girls.  In particular, we recognize her for her leadership role as Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing.

Read UUWF’s press release on the 2011 award

Dr. Cynthia Grant Tucker


Dr. Tucker received our 2010 Ministry to Women Award at the 2010 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association, which met in Minneapolis.  She was honored for her book Prophetic Sisterhood:  Liberal Religious Women Ministers of the Frontier, 1880-1930. The book is truly prophetic in that it looks forward by looking back:  the picture Dr. Tucker drew of the challenges facing women ministers then is just as true today.


Recent Recipients

2007 – Dr. Riane Eisler,  eminent social scientist, attorney, social activist, and author of the international bestseller The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future

2006 – Shirley Ranck, Ph.D., author of the ground-breaking adult religious education curriculum, Cakes for the Queen of Heaven

2005 – Sarah Weddington, lead attorney in Roe v Wade, and women from the Alliance of the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, for their support of landmark case during its early stages.

540_newdalllasRev. Laurel Hallman, minister of the First Unitarian Church in Dallas, with four of the women from the church’s Alliance who supported Roe v Wade during its early stages and received our 2005 Ministry to Women Award. Left to right: Virginia Whitehill, Mary Lou Hoffman, Pat Cookston Davidson, Rev. Hallman, Linda Coffee.

Complete List:

1974 – Ms. Magazine
1975 – The first 11 women ordained as Episcopal priests
1976 – Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Gray Panthers
1977 – Dr. Pauli Murray, lawyer and first black Episcopal woman priest
1978 – Lt. Governor Thelma Stovall of Kentucky, who vetoed the Kentucky legislature’s bill to rescind their Equal Rights Amendment ratification vote
1979 – Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights
1980 – Tillie Olsen, author
1981 – Tish Sommers, pioneer advocate for the rights of older women and displaced homemakers
1982 – May Sarton, author, poet, diarist, feminist
1983 – Sarah McClendon, Washington, D.C.-based journalist
1984 – Marian Wright Edelman, founder, Children’s Defense Fund
1985 – Women in the Pews (UU Laywomen)
1986 – Justine Merrit, founder of The Ribbon peace project
1987 – Dr. Jean Baker Miller, psychologist and author
1989 – Women of the UU Service Committee, in honor of the UUSC’s 50th Anniversary
1990 – Planned Parenthood of America, Inc.
1991 – National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
1992 – Studio D of the National Film Board of Canada
1994 – Bernice Johnson Reagon, founder and artistic director of Sweet Honey in the Rock
1995 – The Rev. Marie Fortune, founder and executive director of the National Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence
1996 – New Moon Magazine
1997 – Carolyn McDade, songwriter and activist
1998 – Lucile Schuck Longview and Rosemary Matson, initiator and implementor of the 1977 UUA Women and Religion Resolution
1999 – The Boston Women’s Health Book Collective
2000 – Founders of the Ministry to Women Award
2001 – The Rev. Dr. Roberta Nelson, distinguished religious educator
2002 – Saira Shah, free-lance journalist and documentarian, for her production “Inside Afghanistan: Beneath the Veil”
2005 – Sarah Weddington, lead attorney in Roe v Wade, and women from the Alliance of the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, who supported Sarah during the early days of the case
2006 – Rev. Shirley Ranck, Ph.D., author of the ground-breaking adult religious education curriculum, Cakes for the Queen of Heaven
2007 – Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade
2010 – Dr. Cynthia Grant Tucker, author of Prophetic Sisterhood: Liberal Religious Women of the Frontier, 1880-1930.
2011 – Rev. Debra Haffner, founder and executive director of the Religious Institute for Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing.
2013 – Kay Montgomery, UUA Executive Vice President 1985-2013, for bringing feminist process into UUA leadership
2016 – Monica Simpson of Sister Song and Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood

Leaping From Our Spheres

Rev. Marti KellerDon’t miss the “little gems full of both passion and facts” in the Blog of UUWF’s Affiliated Minister, Rev. Marti Keller.

UUWF’s Affiliated Ministry