The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Presidential Search Committee recently announced its nomination of Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt for UUA president for the 2023–2029 term.
In its announcement, the committee expressed that it was “unanimous in its belief that UUs are blessed by the candidacy of Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt,” noting that her ministry “centers on work that is empowering and counter-oppressive. Her academic work focuses on the environmental ethics of liberation through a womanist and Latina feminist frame.”
In accordance with UUA bylaws—which require that the group nominate at least two people—the committee explained it had nominated two qualified leaders to be candidates but one of them declined the nomination.
Additional candidates can run by petition; materials must be submitted to the UUA secretary between December 1, 2022 and February 1, 2023. The UUA General Assembly will elect the new UUA president this June.
Below is Betancourt’s response to questions UU World will be asking all candidates.
Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt
The Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt is a minister, educator, scholar, vocalist, poet, fiber artist, and change-maker. Her work in the world and her practice of Unitarian Universalism are informed by the belief that building mutual, accountable relationships with one another allows us to live our values more fully every day. Raised in New York City as the child of immigrants from Panamá and Chile, and the grandchild of a seventh-generation Unitarian, she knows the strength that comes from building lasting community at the meeting point of difference. She is an unabashed Universalist. The teachings of unearned grace, an all-embracing love, relational accountability, and dignity that surpasses all violent forms of oppression lie at the core of her understanding of life, living, and service in faithful community.
The Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt has served Unitarian Universalism for more than twenty years as a religious educator, minister, scholar, member of the UUA national staff and many volunteer committees at regional and denominational levels, and as interim co-president of the UUA in the spring of 2017. She holds a Ph.D. in Religious Ethics and African American Studies from Yale University as well as an M.Div. from Starr King School for the Ministry.
Betancourt has served congregations in Stockton, California; Norwich, Connecticut; Storrs, Connecticut; and Fresno, California; and has served on the faculty of Starr King School for the Ministry. She is currently serving as Resident Scholar and Special Advisor on Justice and Equity at our Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. She is the author of Ecowomanism at the Panamá Canal: Black Women, Labor, and Environmental Ethics (2022).
To learn more about the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt and her campaign priorities of communal care, collaborative leadership, and facing the unknown together visit her website at sofiabetancourt.com.