Rev. Dara Olandt

I am delighted to endorse Alison Miller for UUA President. I believe Alison has the capacity and gifts to lead our movement in these momentous times. Here is why: Alison is a courageous leader, skilled listener and is poised well to embrace the pluralism that enriches our faith in the 21st century. She is also a dynamic innovator, an institutional change agent with a track record to prove it. I see Alison as a creative “servant-leader” dedicated to the future of our living tradition.

One of the many reasons I am enthusiastic about Alison for President is because I believe in her ability to listen deeply. Time and again I have watched Alison open spaces for people to share about what is on their minds and to take the time to truly listen. Good community organizers know that the art of listening is how collective power is grown and shared. Now is a critical time to listen, reflect and collaboratively envision the future of our movement. When leaders hear collective insights and develop goals and vision based upon those reflections, collective trust can be built.

I also endorse Alison because I see Alison as a savvy, thoughtful, servant-leader who is committed to the pluralism that can unlock the future of our living tradition. As a life-long Unitarian Universalist of Jewish heritage, a former parish minister, and current Director of Spiritual and Religious Life on a diverse college campus, I believe that the next phases of Unitarian Universalism are yet to be born.

I earnestly believe one of the keys to unlocking our shared UU future involves explicitly embracing religious, spiritual, cultural, racial and lingual pluralism and “drawing the circle wide.” This means bringing skilled attention to doing things in new ways, that break old patterns and stifle the possibilities of our shared future as a faith. Alison, I believe, is uniquely poised to support, affirm and expand the future of the pluralism that enriches the Unitarian Universalist movement and leverage her leadership to support the multifaceted Unitarian Universalism that is relevant to the world today, and to tomorrow.

Rev. Dara Olandt
Chaplain and Director of Spiritual & Religious Life at Mills College

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