Harnessing Love’s Power
to Stop Oppression

Stories of Courageous Love

Recognizing those whose words and deeds exemplify the values of inclusion, diversity, community, and equality.

Click on the hearts below to read stories of courageous love:
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Crystal Emery
New Haven, CT

"My sister-friend and colleague, Crystal Emery never fails to remind me that it is up to us – each of us -- to dismantle notions and..."
Phoenix, AZ

"In an aid station for deportees just inside the Mexican border in Nogales, I met Flor. She was eager and proud to practice her English...."
Bill and Dolores Deitz
Brewster, MA

"Courageous love really is everywhere. My partner, Jonathan, and I spent the holiday with his wonderful family. As a blizzard swirled..."
Bernice Melov
Kill Devil Hills, NC

"June 12, 1919 – December 18, 2010 This morning, my mother’s life came to a peaceful end at her residence at Spring Arbor of..."
Donna RedWing
Evergreen, CO

"I met Donna in 1992, just after a horrific anti-gay ballot measure in Oregon was narrowly defeated. The initiative would have inserted..."
Rev. Dan Larsen
Woodstock, IL

"The Rev. Dan Larsen is the usual suspect. Recently retired from a 19 year ministry at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Woodstock,..."
Eve Friedli
Rochester, MN

"A year or 2 ago my daughter Emma asked me who was the most inspiring person I knew. Without hesitation I said, "Eve of course." I..."
Zach Wahls
Iowa City, IA

"This February, the Iowa House voted 63-37 to approve House joint Resolution 6, a constitutional amendment that would ban not just marriage..."
Andrea Jones
Baltimore, MD

"One afternoon about four years ago my friend Andrea listened to a story told by a student at Johns Hopkins University. Andrea works..."
Linda Stout
Belchertown, MA

"Linda Stout grew up in North Carolina, daughter of a "mill-town girl" and a tenant farmer, later a mill worker. She is a 13th generation..."
Theresa (Schmidt) Liebmann
Akron, OH

"My grandmother grew up Catholic in Hungary, and given away in an arranged marriage to a man who beat her and expected her to maintain..."
Catherine Lynch
Hendersonville, NC

"PFLAG honored Catherine Lynch as a person who exemplifies the characteristics of what if means to stand on the side of love. Catherine..."
Helen Bishop
Hendersonville, NC

"The second award goes to Helen Bishop. She was one of the people who worked tirelessly to produce workshops sponsored by Love Welcomes..."
Michigan UU Social Justice Network
Royal Oak, MI

" On January 25th, the Michigan UU Social Justice Network (MUUSJN) LGBT Advocacy Task Force testified before the Michigan Civil Rights..."
Estavan Martinez
Rochester, MN

"Estavan is from Nicaragua. A living wage is difficult to come by in the poorest country of Central America, so he left his family..."
Brian D. Gumm
Silver Spring, MD

" Last fall, I received a letter from Brad Becker, who is the Executive Director of the California-based GLBT National Help Center...."
Lynne Jackson
Albany, NY

"We are giving the Award to Lynne Jackson who has been an activist in Albany for over 30 years. She was a co-founder of Save the Pine..."
Phil Kroner
Wauwatosa, WI

"On January 24, 2011, I stood with Philip Kroner, a member of the School Board of the Wauwatosa, Wisconsin Public Schools as he presented..."
Deb Hardy & Kerry Mullen
Gloucester, MA

"In May of 2004 the radio was full of retrospective on the struggles and events which led to the US Supreme Court decision in Brown..."
Joan Nelson
San Rafael, CA

"When Joan Nelson become a Unitarian Universalist she did it with her whole heart. She can't stand to see anyone hungry or homeless...."
Muriel Roberts
Pocatello, ID

"Muriel has been my mentor and role model since I became committee chair of the Welcoming Congregation Committee of the PUUF in Pocatello..."
Fred Richter
Statesboro, GA

"This "story" was included in the nomination of Dr. Fred Richter, who received our first Standing on the Side of Love Award on Saturday,..."
UUA General Assembly
Seattle, WA

"We seem to have somehow lost sight of the fact that the UUA General Assembly, meeting in Seattle, WA in June of 1970 affirmed Alternative..."
UUA General Assembly
Seattle, WA

"We seem to have somehow lost sight of the fact that the UUA General Assembly, meeting in Seattle, WA in June of 1970 affirmed Alternative..."
An 8th Grade Girl
North Wales, PA

"A long while back -- say circa 1973 -- a new student came to our school. His name was Greg. He was born without arms and wore the old-fashioned..."
Ben Conrad
Jersey City, NJ

"My son, Ben, was born to two people who were raised in Iowa in the 50s and 60s, where and when homosexuality was not a word! We didn't..."
Betsy Parsons
Portland, ME

"Betsy Parsons Receives “Love” Award As part of the Unitarian Universalist Association's Standing on the Side of Love celebrations..."
Betsy Parsons
Portland, ME

"Betsy Parsons Receives “Love” Award As part of the Unitarian Universalist Association's Standing on the Side of Love celebrations..."
Nancy Fordyce
Versailles, KY

"Doris Niles is a mentally challenged woman who lives in a group home with others who can not communicate on her level. She loves coming..."
Rebecca Self
Lexington, KY

"Rebecca is the Education Director at Seedleaf where her focus is on education and community outreach. After starting her teaching..."
Geoff Young
Lexington, KY

"Our SOSL honoree Geoff Young is a strong advocate for human rights issues, environmental awareness, and most of all, pacifism. He..."
Chartis Tebbetts
Cohasset, MA

"February 13, 2011 Standing on the side of LOVE at First Parish in Cohasset, Massachusetts, five members of the congregation stood..."
Mildred Chestney
Brewster, MA

"My grandmother, Mildred Chestney, was a young woman then, and along with the times, she was married to a verbally abusive husband who..."
no one person
Hyattsville, MD

"Members of Paint Branch UU Church join with other community residents of the greater Hyattsville, Maryland area in support of students..."
Carina Morris
Miller Place, NY

"My sister Carina has been a tireless source of support to my family and me. When my mother’s parents moved to Long Island to be closer..."
Katie Miller
Findlay, OH

"A study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law found that roughly 14,000 service members have been discharged since the..."
Laura Arnold-Andrade
San Diego, CA

"My name is Karlynn Keawalani Arnold-Andrade. I am a native of Southern California, currently residing in the United Kingdom. If you..."
Melissa Myers
Selinsgrove, PA

"This is a story about two women, Juli and Melissa. We were married on 28 September 2007 in Niagara Falls, NY, one year and three..."
Dean Genth
Mason City, IA

"Two good friends from northern Iowa (Mason City) got married in the town park when same sex marriage became legal in Iowa. The whole..."
CRUNNY Cluster
Albany, NY

"I just left the NY State Capital. Our cluster's Standing on the Side of Love campaign has been working in support of passing legislation..."
Debra Vigliano
Greensboro, NC

"Debra Vigliano created the Young Peacemaker Award because it is her belief that there are many middle school-age youth who exemplify..."
Bull Run Unitarian Universalists
Manassas, VA

"I am so proud of my church, proud of the members and friends who make up the congregation of the Bull Run Unitarian Universalists in..."
Standing on the Side of Love
Salt Lake City, UT

"This is a followup to a Story you ran quite some some ago about my wife being in deportation. I had the oportunity of speaking at your..."
Phoenix, AZ

"Today was a day I felt the justice system actually worked. A fair ruling was made towards several "criminals" who participated in civil..."
Hallberg, VA

"This is a story of possibilities, as well as a cry for help. My friend, Julie found a KKK flier in her predominantly white neighborhood...."
Tania and Deborah
Savannah, GA

"At the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Va., we had a service honoring all our veterans the Sunday after the repeal of Don't..."
Judy Rickard
San Jose, CA

"Because I cannot sponsor my wife for immigration, we have to be separated - torn apart - for months at a time. Many others have our..."
Chicago, IL

"As the time of the holidays quickly approach, I think back on this story, the same way I do every year at this time. All my life it..."
North Georgia
Conregations, GA

"Seven of North Georgia's UU congregations organized a float for the Atlanta Gay Pride Parade held Oct.9, 2011. The float had the Standing..."
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II,
Greensboro , NC

"Rev Dr Barber spoke at the NC Equality Dinner last Saturday night 11/12/2011. He tore the roof off the place with his sermon (I don't..."
Robert E \\
West Union, OH

"My son wrote my Dad's eulogy in 2006 and told a story I had never heard. In the mid-nineties, Rob was driving Daddy's surveying station..."
Dustin Pearce
Fullerton, CA

"I was raised in a strict religious household. I turned 18 in 1998 and always took advantage of my right to vote. In 2000 I had the..."
Stephen H. Fritchman
Los Angeles, CA

"In 1950, First Unitarian Church from LA hosted the Mattachine Society, one of the first gay support groups in the country. Stephen..."
Gordon Hartman
San Antonio, TX

"Excerpts quoted from the Morgan's Wonderland website - "The inspiration for Morgan’s Wonderland originated in 2006 when philanthropist..."
First Unitarian Church of Alton
Alton, IL

"News article at http://www.thetelegraph.com/news/church-65636-phelps-zandt.html Names..."
UU Congregation
Green Valley, AZ

"“Standing on the Side of Love”, Green Valley UUs support the local Samaritan organization whose primary mission is to save the..."
Mary McClary
Andover, MA

"After working tirelessly to create and support a domestic abuse hotline (See below) Mary McClary is now setting up a clothing shop..."
Zach Wahls
Iowa City, IA

"On April 22 Zach Wahls received the Courageous Love Award from his home congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City..."
Melva Okun, Kathy Jooss and Laurie McDonald
Chapel Hill, NC

"Even before the Coalition to Protect All North Carolina Families was formed, members of the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian..."
Pablo Cruz
Phoenix, AZ

"Immigrant In Phoenix construction business, illegal Mexican workers are often referred to as amigos. (friend). This is a story..."
Unitarian Universalists
Bloomington, IN

"For Immediate Release Date: 8-8-2012 Contact: Erin Hollinden 812-320-8607 ehollinden@yahoo.com Islamic Center and Unitarian..."
Robert Murphy
Falmouth, MA

"It's estimated that 80% of the cleaning crew workers in Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts, and New Hampshire are Latino immigrants...."
Theresa Petrey
Ellensburg, WA

"To see IWJ letter delivery story, please see comment section below the KIMA news video. KIMA: http://www.kimatv.com/news/local/Black-Friday-Walmart-protest-180651831.html KNDO:..."
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Falmouth
Falmouth, MA

"The climate change discussion is changing. Religious organizations are being called upon to respond to hurricanes, droughts, record..."
Elkhorn, WI

"I was waiting inside a public building with my mother and sister. We were there for our own problems, but this women walked in with..."
Esther Attean & Denise Altvater
Penobscot Nation, ME

"The Winthrop Area Ministerial Association, Senator Patrick Flood (R) and Representative Craig Hickman (D) host a MLK Speaker Breakfast. Speakers:..."
Don Morrison
Bismarck, ND

"Don Morrison currently serves as the Executive Director of the Dakota Resource Council. For years, Don has served as a courageous statewide..."
Helene Lightbourne
New York, NY

"Helene was a shining role model for me. She took a tough path, including doing the hard work to receive a nursing degree. This was..."
Elyce Picciotti
New Orleans, LA

"I have a story about an amazing woman who introduced my partner and I to the Unitarian Church. Oh that is so mundane a topic, you might..."
Hendricks County Alliance for Diversity
Danville, IN

"The Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Hendricks County honors the Hendricks County Alliance for Diversity with the Courageous..."
Toi Derricotte
Pittsburgh, PA

"What the hell am I doing hugging a white man in an apron? I said it to myself--but out loud!--so that he pushed me away slightly: What..."
Shevin, VT

"Dalia Shevin dreamed up, raised money for and manifested this beautiful, meaningful, powerful love-letter writing event for the people..."
Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach
Long Beach, CA

"During its February 3, 2013 services, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach, under the leadership of the Reverend Mitra Rahnema,..."
Man In the Waiting Room
New Orleans, LA

"RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS Well, I am not necessarily a compassionate type person naturally, although I think I do okay. But I sometimes..."
kim king
Sardis, MS

"My name is Kim and I am the mother a trans-female. She was born with all the male organs but always had very feminine traits from the..."
Enrique Morones
San Diego, CA

"The UUFSD Social Action Committee is partnering with Border Angels on an ongoing immigration reform project. The project involved a..."
Laura Juarez
West Des Moines, IA

"Hi, my story starts as a love story. I fell in love with a man who grew up in Mexico. We married and I got to travel to Mexico several..."
Dave and Joe McGrath
Idaho Falls, ID

"Dave and Joe McGrath are a father and son from neighboring Ammon, Idaho. Dave's a former Army Ranger and an Eagle scout, and a twin..."
Vashon Island Unitarian Fellowship
Vashon, WA

"Over the last two years a group from Vashon Island Unitarian Fellowship has supported the Washington New Sanctuary Movement in monthly..."
Clarisa Mesta
Denver, CO

"Today in Denver Clarisa Mesta Garcia, mother of 3, had a win of prosecutorial discretion in her 4th and final ICE hearing for removal/deportation...."
My family
Boston, MA

"I remember watching the March on TV with my family, I was a kid. I could not understand why my Grandmother was crying and my Daddy..."
Nancy Wilkinson and Liz Flanagan
Westfield, NJ

"After more than thirty years together and a civil union, Liz and Nancy received their wedding license the first week that New Jersey..."
Barb Poppe
Clintonville, OH

"The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (http://usich.gov/about_us/staff/) is led by Executive Director, Barbara Poppe..."
Brian Echols & Michael Hamm
Roanoke, VA

"My nephew, Michael Hamm, and his partner of ten years, Brian Echols, have adopted three Hispanic siblings, two girls and a boy. The..."
Jim Scott
Worcester, MA

"Pete Seeger was a legend among folk singers and political activists. He was "standing on the side of love," way back in the 1930s,..."
We Are Many Foundation
Hauppage , NY

"3 COURAGEOUS LOVE AWARDS earned and awarded: One to the Long Island based "We Are Many Foundation" a not-for-profit that raises awareness..."
the Bravo family
Costa Mesa, CA

"The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Fullerton, California presented a Courageous Love Award to the Bravo family on February..."
Plymouth, NH

"As a hospital chaplain, I visit many families who are vigiling at the bedside. It is a powerful moment to experience the mercy and..."
John Fenton Burkin
Rochester, NY

"John is the 10 year-old, older brother of Gregorio Vargas Jr., age 4 and Mariana Vargas, age 2. John waits tirelessly in upstate New..."
Arlene Goldberg
Fort Myers , FL

"Arlene Goldberg & Carol Goldwasser were childhood best friends. Arlene had no idea that Carol was the love of her life at first,..."
Lisa Kamuf
New Orleans, LA

"This year, the Standing on the Side of Love Campaign asked congregations to lift up stories of courageous love and recognize those..."
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