Unleashing courageous leadership and collective power

to realize a just and loving world.


Staff & Board


Staff

Rev. Ashley Horan
Executive Director

Ashley Horan is a Unitarian Universalist minister who most recently served for two years as the Consulting Minister at The Universalist Unitarian Church of Joliet, IL, after graduating with a Master of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, IL in 2012. She is a lifelong UU who grew up at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul, where she is still a member.

Ashley has had a lifelong passion for social justice, beginning when she co-founded a student-led environmental group called Students Against Pollution (S.A.P.!) when she was in the second grade. Throughout the years, she has done work for reproductive, racial, economic and sexual/gender justice, and many other issues. Most recently, she has been deeply involved as a member-leader of local and national work with Resource Generation, whose mission is to organize young people with wealth and class privilege to become transformative leaders working toward the equitable distribution of wealth, land and power. She believes deeply in collective liberation, and the idea that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." She believes that by nurturing spiritual practice, theological reflection, and accountable partnerships with other organizations and activists working for social change and liberation, Unitarian Universalists can play an important role in the intersecting struggles for justice that face our world today.

Ashley lives with her partner, the Rev. Karen Hutt, who is also a Unitarian Universalist Minister, and is a chaplain and Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. They have two children--Zi, and Aspen, 2.



Jack Gaede
MUUSJA Intern for Justice & Religious Leadership

Jack Gaede is a passionate student of life who loves bicycling, running, puzzles, reading, theater, fall foliage, 30 Rock, and dark chocolate. He often works as a server or bartender, and he is also pursuing his Master of Divinity at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He has attended First Universalist Church in Minneapolis for four years, where he very much feels at home. He has lived in North Minneapolis for the past 13 years in a community house, which currently houses five adults, a three-year-old, a dog (Roger), and a cat (Kiki).

Jack's love for literature, theater, and travel has inspired his sense of social justice, and he first entered into activism through work on LBGTQ causes. Last year, Jack served as MUUSJA's YoUUth SOALS Ministerial Intern, working with the high school youth in our signature high school program; this year, his portfolio will also include a focus on building resources for and relationships with and among our Unitarian Universalist congregations throughout Greater MN.  This year's MUUSJA Internship for Justice & Religious Leadership is made possible by an innovative partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee's Justice Building Innovators program, which is providing Jack with both skills-based training and opportunities to reflect on the work of social justice leadership with other Unitarian Universalists around the country.  



White Ash
Communications and Fundraising Assistant

Since 2001, White Ash has developed and maintained websites and trained clients in web and technological procedures, while being active with Radical Faeries, Quorum, and Patrick's Cabaret.  He has a communications degree from George Washington University.  White Ash lived in Bologna, Italy for five years, and in Brussels, Belgium as an exchange student.  He is passionate about music, yoga, vegan food, the Green Party, and the life he shares with his partner Greg.






Board Executive Team

Taylor Putz

Board Co-Chair

Taylor Putz attends the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis and joined the MUUSJA board in 2014 as its youngest member. He works for Prepare + Prosper in St. Paul as the Communications and Engagement Manager. His journey for social justice began in Wisconsin where he worked for Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County to reduce the growing problem of substance abuse. He then went to work for a national grassroots organization, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Taylor graduated with a BA in international studies from Marian University and studied abroad in Nicaragua.





Sherri Knuth
Board Co-Chair

Sherri Knuth attends Unity Church - Unitarian in St. Paul. She is inspired by the First and Fifth UU Principles: "The inherent worth and dignity of every person," and "The use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large." Sherri is a member of the Restorative and Racial Justice Team at Unity Church and works as Government Relations and Membership Engagement Director for the Minnesota State Bar Association. Sherri previously worked at League of Women Voters Minnesota where she was a lobbyist and advocate for voting rights. She received a 2014 Public Leadership Award from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota for her work in ensuring that all citizens have access to voting. Sherri holds a Masters degree in Public Affairs from the Humphrey School and a law degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.




Jeff Snyder
Treasurer

After living in Rochester for 38 years, and attending First Universalist Unitarian Church of Rochester for the last seven of those years, Jeff and his wife Karen moved to Minneapolis in June of 2014. While at First UU, Jeff served as a member and chair of the Finance Committee and was on the Board of Directors serving as Treasurer at the time of his departure. Jeff and Karen are new members of First Universalist Church where Jeff is now a member of the Community Investment Team. Jeff's primary interest in the social justice arena is in the area of environmental justice. He is currently retired and plans to stay that way after a long career with IBM as an engineer and project manager. Jeff and Karen have an adult daughter and son living in Los Angels and Minneapolis respectively.





Cheryl Moline
Board Secretary

Cheryl Moline is new to Unitarian Universalism, having become an active member of First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis in January, 2015.  Being a life-long advocate for social justice, her journey toward truly living her values began in 2013 when she left her career of 25 years as a Legal Assistant in a large Minneapolis law firm to begin writing a new chapter in her life based upon service, compassion and love.

Cheryl’s primary social justice interest is in environmental sustainability. She is an active member of the Animal Rights Coalition as an advocate for the ethical treatment of animals and is a committed vegan. She is currently working as Assistant Producer of a cable access show entitled “Freethinking Forum,” which is a talk show dedicated to interviewing social justice activists, politicians, artists and educators. Cheryl is a life-long resident of the Minneapolis area, and has an adult daughter who lives in South Minneapolis.




Gail Bishop

Gail Bishop has been a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Rochester for 25 years, having served as a past president of the congregation as well as in other leadership capacities. At First UU she currently is Chair of the Social Justice Council, a member of the Finance and Stewardship Committees, member of the Disability Task Force and serves on one of the church Hospitality Teams. She is an advocate for the disabled, serving for the past eight years on the Board of Directors of PossAbilties, an organization that creates opportunities for children and adults to contribute and connect with the Rochester community. Her family consists of one husband, two daughters and three Westie dogs! When not serving for causes on the ground she is in the air as an instrument rated, private pilot. "At altitude,” she says, “there are no differences - we all appear the same!"





Judy Foster

Judy Foster has been a member of the St. Cloud Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (SCUUF) since 1979, having served in numerous leadership positions, including two terms as president of the Executive Board. Now retired as an English professor at St. Cloud State University, she is active in the community, currently serving on the St. Cloud Area Regional Human Rights Commission. At SCUUF she serves as newsletter editor and chairs the Community Garden and Technology committees. Her current social justice focus is justice for ex-offenders, a joint project with Spirit of Life Unitarian Universalist Church in St. Cloud.





Judy Goebel

Judy Goebel lives in Minneapolis where she is a long time member of First Universalist Church. She has served that congregation on the Board of Trustees, as vice president and secretary. She has served on a series of Faith in Action strategic guidance committees tasked with discerning methodology for managing shared justice work. She has been active in environmental action work within the congregation. Retired from a career in information technology and in the software industry, she now works as a fiber artist and teaches a variety of adult classes in fiber techniques and Android through community education and the Weavers' Guild of Minneapolis. She also works with African immigrant women who have a background in hand spinning in their native countries to transition their work to materials and techniques available here in the US. Judy is married and has three adult daughters, two granddaughters and two rescued pug dogs.



Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer

Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer serves as Assistant Minister at White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church in Mahtomedi, MN, after serving as Coordinator of Youth and Campus Ministries at Unity Church – Unitarian in St. Paul for three years, and as Intern Minister at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis. He is a native of southern Minnesota, and a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He and his wife Jenna, and their daughter Louisa, live in St. Paul’s East side.









Naomi Olive

Naomi is a recent transplant from the rural MN prairie to the big city of Minneapolis. She brings the perspective of an energized UU queer millennial, filled with a passion for process, and a history of local and international social service and social action. Naomi attended the University of MN - Morris, where she studied Political Science and Environmental Studies with a focus on food systems. In the transition of post-college life, she found the Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka, where she currently serves on the Worship Arts Ministry, and as the Social Justice Ministry facilitator. In her work life, Naomi is a Food Rescue Specialist with the local food bank Second Harvest Heartland. When not rescuing food or doing justice work, Naomi is an animal lover-video gamer-hobbyist painter-traveler who spends time with her wife and home zoo (two mutt rescue dogs and two rescue cats, snake, crested geckos, fish, housemate and housemate's cat).   





Ozzie Mayers

Ozzie Mayers has been a member of Spirit of Life UU Congregation for the past 15 years. He is an Emeritus Professor of English from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN and was employed there for 34 years. He has served on the Social Justice Committee and is on the Spirit of Life Board. He also organizes the annual Silent Auction and chairs the book discussion group. He volunteers as a cook for the Quiet Oaks hospice and participates in a monthly community meal. His interest in Unitarian Universalism stems from a need to pursue spiritual and moral questions without the dictates of a single faith system. He and his partner, Stephen, live in St. Cloud, MN and have a blended family of 6 children and 11 grandchildren.



Sue Dailey

Sue Dailey is a cradle UU from suburban Boston. She came to Minnesota to attend Macalester College where she received a BA in Anthropology and went on to pursue paralegal training at the University of Minnesota. She served low income clients while working at a Legal Aid office on the Iron Range until she was laid off in the late 1980s. After she and her family moved to Duluth, she received her MSW degree and pursued a career in social work. Now retired after 25 years with St. Louis County, Sue is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth - the first Green Sanctuary congregation in Minnesota, which features a green building that includes a grass roof and ethical eating dining policies - where she has served as president and is a current board member. She has been active with its Peace and Justice Committee, Escalating Inequality Team and Climate Action Team. She has two daughters, one in St. Paul and one in Duluth.


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