Leadership Transition in Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation
The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation (UUWF) board of trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Claire Sexton as our new President. Due to family illness care giving responsibilities, UUWF President Justice Waidner Smith has stepped down. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her husband Aiden at this difficult time.
We thank her for her contributions and conviction that “now more than ever the mission of advancing justice for women and girls and promoting their spiritual growth is imperative.” In her report to the UUA General Assembly last June in New Orleans, she noted that “we have not conquered sexism in our society or our denomination, and our work reflects our resistance to injustice, as well as the celebrations as we collectively take big and small moves forward.”
Claire Sexton has served as Vice President for Funding Programs since 2016, overseeing our grants and awards for bold, prophetic, gender justice work, as well as our Marjorie Bowens Wheatley Scholarship for women of color seeking UU ministerial fellowship or credentials as UU religious professionals. This past year, she worked on our behalf in a partnership with UU Standing on the Side of Love to provide direct assistance to women in the Black Lives Matter movement for their childcare and other dependent care needs.
Claire lives in Waco, Texas where she is program director for The Art Center of Waco. She is a member of both the UU Fellowship of Waco and the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
A lifelong UU, Claire held leadership positions in regional and continental Young Adult committees, including Southwest District Chair of the young adult network. She served as Metro New York District’s Young Adult and Campus Ministry consultant. She has taught religious education at the junior high level, using the Our Whole Lives (OWL) curriculum and others. She has also taught Young Adult OWL at the congregational and district levels.
Her involvement in the issues uniquely affecting women and girls is extensive. She says she “grew up in a feminist household,” attended Southwest UU Women’s conferences, and was involved in a small women’s group that was a spinoff of Cakes for the Queen of Heaven. Her current participation in actions around women’s reproductive rights was rooted in her early years of attending pro-choice rallies in Houston, including one that took place when the Republican National Convention was held there.
“It is such an honor to serve as the UUWF board president,” Claire says. “And so important now to lead the charge for our Unitarian Universalist movement to be a leader, once again, in gender justice.”