Advancing justice for women and girls and promoting their spiritual growth.

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SERMON Award for Justice for Women & Girls
Call for Submissions 2020

THEME: What They Dreamed Be Ours To Do

Because of those who came before, we are;
In spite of their failings, we believe;
Because of, and in spite of the horizons of their vision,
We, too, dream.
– Rev. Barbara Pescan

One hundred years ago, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution barred states from denying voting rights to citizens based on their sex. While white women gained voting rights nationwide, the right to vote was not guaranteed. Many states still denied voting rights to Black women based on their race. The suffrage movements leading up to the 19th Amendment were deeply divided racially, as well. Yet some women, like Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, an African American Unitarian suffragist and abolitionist, were outspoken in their message that “we are all bound up together,” calling on white women to wake up to our interconnectedness (1866 speech).

The 19th amendment is one of many historic, imperfect achievements that represented an advance for some, but not for all. Today, 100 years later, we still have work to do if we want to achieve our dream of intersectional justice. We are rooted in our history, aware of its successes and limitations, and this history inspires us to take action today. What can we learn from the history of women’s suffrage movements, and what role can our Unitarian Universalist faith have in gender and racial justice today?


We invite UU religious professionals and laypeople of all identities and genders to share your voice, responding to the world around us by addressing a topic related to the UUWF’s mission of advancing justice for those who identify as women and girls, and promoting their spiritual growth. The sermon must have been written by the entrant and delivered before a UU congregation prior to the UU General Assembly in 2020. We have assembled a judging panel of UU professionals and lay leaders.


The winner of the Sermon Award receives $500 and will be invited to share their sermon at the annual UUWF Breakfast, held in the morning of one of the days at the General Assembly 2020 in Providence, RI. In addition to the stipend, the winner will receive reimbursement of partial GA expenses including transportation, one-day registration, and two nights' hotel. If the winner is unable to attend GA, they will be asked to choose a person to deliver the sermon for them.


Submit your materials – as indicated below – by email to with the subject line “UUWF Sermon Award”. The deadline for entries is March 20, 2020. Submissions should either be Microsoft Word documents or Adobe PDF documents. Due to the need for applicant anonymity, only written sermon text will be accepted. You will receive confirmation of submission within 24 hours, and of the final award decision by early April.


  1. Cover page with your name, address, phone number, email address, sermon title, and the date and location where you delivered the sermon.
  2. Sermon with title and numbered pages. Please remove any identifying information (e.g. name, congregation).


Contact us at

Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


Tel: 414-750-4404

3322 N. 92nd Street ~ Milwaukee ~ WI 53222

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