Social Justice Endowment Committee

The purpose of the Social Justice Endowment is to promote the social application of Unitarian Universalist religious principles. In accord with the policy of the Board of Trustees that discourages contributions toward specific, ordinary items in the operating budget, proceeds from the Social Justice Endowment could support the following programs and activities:

  1. Participation by Church members or youth in social justice programs operated by the Church;
  2. Participation by Church members or youth in programs operated by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee;
  3. Participation by Church members or youth in programs operated by other groups which are largely in sympathy with the social application of Unitarian Universalist religious principles;
  4. Proportional compensation for any Church staff member for whom social justice work is a primary responsibility;
  5. Expenses incurred by the Church in connection with providing space for meetings and other activities of social justice groups or social service groups from the larger community;
  6. Social justice conferences or workshops sponsored or hosted by the Church;
  7. Social justice lectures or speeches or presentations or sermons sponsored or hosted by the church;
  8. Training for church members or youth to enable their participation in organized social justice efforts;
  9. Other programs and activities that could be classified as 'extras and externals.'

Members of the Committee are:
Melissa Bell (December 2017)
Kate Luce Angell (December 2018)
Kathleen Parker (December 2019)
Rev. David Herndon, ex officio
Ward Kelsey, ex officio

The Social Justice Endowment Committee offers the following statement with regard to their grant-making process:

Social Justice Social Justice refers to the concept of a society in which justice is achieved in every aspect of society, rather than merely the administration of law. A just worlds affords individuals and groups fair treatment and an impartial share of the benefits of society, regardless of class, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, ability, or health.

Purpose The purpose of the Social Justice Endowment (SJE) is to promote the social application of Unitarian Universalist religious principles:

A Framework for Proposals: The SJE will make grants that are focused on high-impact projects that are aimed as seeding and achieving social justice. Proposed projects should create tangible shifts and/or systemic solutions to current injustices. There are several key features to systemic change. Most notably, systemic change:

Below are three indicators of social change, which the SJE Committee will use to evaluate all proposals. Does your project aim at achieving at least one of the following indicators?

  1. Changing how people are thinking and talking about an issue.
    By the conclusion of your project, you will have raised awareness, introduced new language, and reframed the discussion of the social justice issue you are addressing among both program participants and community members (the community may be defined as the church or the wider community).
  2. Engaging people and communities in civic action.
    You will have inspired people and communities to engage in civic action to eradicate or improve the issue your project addresses. You will have moved the community to join First Unitarian Church in ending a form of social injustice.
  3. Developing or changing public or corporate policy.
    Systemic obstacles to social justice will be overcome through the adoption of new laws, policies, or practices. These new policies, aimed at increased fairness and opportunities for individuals and groups in Pittsburgh, will be a result of your efforts.


The project must address a social issue that has been ignored by, or not impacted by, current efforts or traditional approaches.

Priority will be given to project that involve:

The SJE will fund projects in which objectives are defined and their accomplishment will be measured. These objectives may not be as widespread as the elimination of social injustice, but could instead address intermediate objectives of drawing attention to the problem, tackling one aspect of it, or preparing for a larger, more sustained effort.

Types of Support:

  1. Small grants (up to $250)
    Support for time-sensitive change projects; must be submitted 30 days prior to event or project.
  2. Project support grants (up to $1,000)
    Support for large-scale initiatives aimed at achieving social justice; must be submitted 90 day prior to event or project launch.

Apply for a Grant

To apply from a Social Justice Endowment grant, please fill out and submit the form below.

* Required

I am representing a committee.
I am representing an affinity group or covenent group or performing arts group.
I am a paid staff member.
I am a church member or friend pursuing a project on my own.

Small (up to $250)
Large (up to $1000)

Come to be moved and held in mutual embrace. Come and be made whole.
First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh
605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 621-8008     Map and directions
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