The Radical (Unitarian) Life of Peter Clark

Did you know that America’s first black socialist was a Unitarian from Ohio? Peter Clark was an exemplar of such coalitions: like many African American religious liberals of his generation, he affiliated simultaneously with a Unitarian congregation (First Congregational of Cincinnati) and an AME church (Allen Temple).

He participated in multiple social movements, like the German workingmen (and other Socialist organizations), the abolitionist and educational reform movements, while receiving tutelage from
people with vastly disparate philosophies, like Frederick Douglass, August Willich, Moncure Conway, and William Howard Taft. The very complexity of his story can guide Unitarian Universalists in our ongoing work of building effective multiracial, multiethnic, and multireligious partnerships.

Please join historian Nikki Taylor, Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences and Professor of History at Texas Southern University as she shares the story of Peter Clark, the Cincinnati educator, activist and politician who is the subject of her 2013 biography, America’s First Black Socialist: The Radical Life of Peter H. Clark.

For more on Peter Clark read his on-line biography in the Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography. It was written by historian Walter Philip Herz who was a long time member of First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati, Ohio.

2016 Conrad Wright Lecture

Zen Buddhism as Universalism: A Historical Reflection

James Ford • Friday, June 24, 2016 • during UUA General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio

The 2016 Conrad Wright Lecture, “Zen Buddhism as Universalism: A Historical Reflection” will be presented by James Ford, a UU Minister, currently serving as Interim Minister of the Pacific Unitarian Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. He formerly served congregations in Providence, Rhode Island; Newton, Massachusetts; Chandler, Arizona; and Mequon, Wisconsin.

Among other books, James Ford has published, This Very Moment: A Brief Introduction to Buddhism and Zen for Unitarian Universalists. He is a Soto Zen Buddhist Priest, who in this lecture will discuss the various encounters between Unitarians, Universalists and Buddhists starting from the middle of the nineteenth century. He will then show how these encounters shaped the theology of what has become Unitarian Universalism.

CONVO 2016: UU History Convocation

will be held In Minneapolis/St. Paul at the Airport Hilton
from Thursday evening, October 27 to Sunday morning, October 30, 2016

  • Which boundaries have defined or still define UUism?
  • What can the 19th-century Western Controversy teach us about today’s controversies?
  • What are today’s controversies?
  • How do legacies of conflict and violence over “the frontier” shape us today?
  • Where are today’s “frontiers”?
  • How have we grown in the past?
  • What might enable growth today?

Speakers and conference schedule

Rosemary Bray McNatt, President of the Starr King School for the Ministry, will serve as the Distinguished Scholar for the 2016 Convocation.

Dr. Tisa Wenger, Associate Professor of American Religious History, Divinity School & American Studies at Yale will be the UU History and Heritage Society special speaker. Dr. Wenger is a historian of American religion with research and teaching interests in the discursive politics of religious freedom, religion in the American West, Native American religious history, and formations of race, religion, and the secular in U.S. history. Learn more about Dr. Wenger and her publications here.

Register and attend the Conference

Information on how to register and confirm your attendance at UUCONVO 2016 will be available once the program. On-line registration for CONVO 2016 can be found at

Go to UUCONVO.ORG or for more information.