Born and raised in Peoria Illinois Rev. Marcus Fogliano has stayed close to home, with the intent on making it better. They have spent considerable time advocating for safe and affirming schools, LGBTQIA rights in public policy, as well as criminal and economic justice for the black community in their hometown. Rev. Fogliano having been ordained as a Jehovah’s Witness, has become active in the Central Illinois Interfaith Alliance, and has began their journey towards Fellowship within their new found spiritual home in Unitarian Universalism.
Pastor Danny Givens, Jr (MN)
Pastor Danny Givens, Jr. is the Senior Pastor of Above Every Name Ministries, a young cutting edge congregation in the Twin Cities. Pastor Danny devotes much of his time and energy to the #BlackLivesMatterMpls movement in the role of Clergy Liaison and is is one of the Founding Members of Black Clergy United for Change (BCUC), a collective of black clergy committed to the work of Racial Justice and Social Transformation in urban communities and abroad. After receiving his B.A. in Christian Ministry from Bethel University in 2011, Pastor Danny completed a three-year residency as Interfaith Minister at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul in 2016. There, Pastor Danny began to explore and deepen his convictions as an inclusive, aspiring interfaith leader through the co-facilitation of Beloved Conversations, an experiential curriculum that provides a space to re-form/re-fuse the brokenness of racism into new patterns of thought and behavior.
Rev. Kimberly Hampton (MO)
Kim is a candidate for the ministry working towards dual fellowship with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the UUA. Splitting her time between Boston and St. Louis, Kim works as a consultant with churches and small nonprofits. In UU-dom, Kim has served on the GA Planning Committee and most recently finished a term as President of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship.
Rev. Kimberly Quinn Johnson (NY)
In August 2015, Kimberly became the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork in Bridgehampton, NY. Kimberly is also a program leader with the UU College of Social Justice, which offers experiential learning journeys and social justice training designed to help Unitarian Universalists deepen and sustain the work of justice in their congregations and communities. She specializes in youth programs. She also currently teaches Women’s and Gender Studies at New Jersey City University. Before ministry, Kimberly worked as a union organizer with the United Auto Workers. Kimberly is currently serving as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Metro NY District. To stay connected to the world, Kimberly blogs about race and culture.
Oshara Meesha (KS)
I love all things creative. I started painting with acrylic pastels and then acrylic paint. Art is a source of healing in my life. I have come from depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder to the road of Post Traumatic Growth. The hardest thing for me was to allow my light to really shine as the me that I am. I had allowed a childhood trauma to define my life and who I was. Since getting to the heart of it all, I see my life so much brighter. I recognize there are good days and bad days. I just know I can choose to focus on the creativity that is inside of me that I want to share with the world. I see art as a tool that can be used to bring healing, and I’m grateful to bring my gifts to this effort.
Renee Reed (IN)
Whryne (Renee) Reed - Actress, Dancer, Comedian, singer, random reference to Beyonce as a deity - bringer. Whryne is currently on her 45th trip around the sun and her personal themes for the year are set for Unapologetic Black Woman Representation Magic! Whryne is currently being held at facilities deep within in the red state of Indiana. However, she dreams of escaping to Black Mecca (aka Atlanta) everytime a 'Hoosier' touches her hair or otherwise exoticizes her person. Born into a heavily Pentecostal background, Whryne was early on indoctrinated by the Church of God in Christ, so one wonders how she ever found herself within the liberal fellowship of Unitarian Universalism. She is thrilled however to be a part of this amazing venture of bringing a UU Revival to the Midwest and is looking forward to sharing that joy with her fellow BLUU's!
Samuel Prince (OH)
My years in professional ministry and the IT industry served a good pathway when I became involved with Unitarian Universalism after leaving the Anglican faith. This journey took me to Connecticut, where my focus was on Adult Religious Education (chair) and Anti-Racism. I served in leadership in both these areas at the Unitarian Society of New Haven and years later at the UU Church in Meriden, where I also served on the Board of Trustees. I then became a member of the GRACE (Growing Racial And Cultural Equity) Team of the New England Region, leading congregations in AR/AO/MC (Anti-Racism Anti-Oppression Multicultural) initiatives. And then I relocated to Sandusky, Ohio, and made Oberlin UU Fellowship my spiritual base and served as Board President. One of my joys was organizing one of the first gatherings of People of Color (POC) in the Ohio Mid-Atlantic District, when ARE (Allies for Racial Equity) held their gathering in Cleveland in 2014. I also served on the General Assembly Planning Committee and currently on the Unitarian Universalist Funding Program.
More details coming soon - Join our mailing list to stay informed about this exciting upcoming BLUU event!