Hello Young Souls,
Happy Summer! We are ending yet another Young Souls Board year and transitioning to a new team of lay-leaders. You were invited to nominate and help the old YS Board find volunteer leaders of our group to fill any of the seven “official” YS Board Roles: President, Vice President, Communications Chair, Social Justice Chair, Social Chair, Membership and Welcoming Chair, and Spiritual Chair.
During the process, we received eight volunteer nominations to fill these seven roles, and thought, rather than go through a more complicated elections process like last year, it would be easier for these eight folks to meet with current members of the YS Board and discuss how all eight might be able to contribute their talents and time over the coming year. All eight names were sent to and approved of by All Souls’ internal church leadership as members of the church in good standing for leadership roles. As a result, instead of elections this year, we are happy to announce that a new “slate” of YS Board members has stepped forward and found roles by making the Social Justice Chair role into Co-Chairs to help us with both internal church work and external activism. In the future, if there are more volunteer leaders than can take on official roles on the Board, there exists an Young Souls election policy that can be used as needed.
As you will see below, this new group of lay-leaders are dedicated, caring individuals who want to see the Young Souls continue to be a thriving social, spiritual, justice-seeking group within All Souls as we progress through a challenging time in the church’s history. The Young Souls board group makes sure that we continue to organize ongoing and new events, bringing people together. Their work is done in partnership with the general Young Souls membership, too! If you have ideas that you’d like to see our group do, please feel free to reach out to the new Board so they can help you get it done.
During the coming year, a running theme is the desire to create a welcoming space for all, which means addressing elements of white supremacy culture that finds its way into our every-day interactions as well as the systems within All Souls. We hope you all will engage in holding our YS and All Souls leadership accountable to this goal and working to dismantle systems of oppression at all levels, within yourself and our communities. We hope to empower one another to do this difficult work together, and a part of this work is participating in the church’s Jubilee Anti-Racism Training, taking place this coming weekend, which helps build a common language around our anti-racism work. Scholarships are still available for Young Souls – click here to apply.
A big “thank you” to the outgoing Young Souls Board members embarking on new chapters – we hope you will all celebrate with us at our End of Year Party on June 15th! Another “thank you” and “congratulations!!” to our volunteers for next year’s Board. You will all do a wonderful job, through the easy and challenging moments to come.
I hope you will take the time to read the wonderful bios and the intent statements from our new leadership group below.
Thank you all and hope to see you soon!
Outgoing Young Souls President
The 2018-2019 Young Souls Board
President: Claire Adrian-Tucci
I am a cat mom of two, wife of one and science educator of many. I realized that I was a UU when Andrew and I wanted to find a spiritual home for our wedding, almost two years ago. I enjoy nerding out about books, cats, coffee, podcasts, and yoga. I am looking forward to being in community with Young Souls this year.
I am excited to continue to serve on the Young Souls Board. Over the past year, it has become clear that we need to seriously examine the role of white supremacy within Young Souls and the congregation at large. This year, I intend to work with existing committees and fellow board members in order to support this work. Additionally, I hope to create and expand upon opportunities for Young Souls to contribute to the congregation in meaningful ways.
Vice President: Neil Manzullo
I grew up in rural Illinois—spending lots of time in the garden and with cows—before coming to the DC area, and eventually going to high school in Northern Virginia. I left for college and studied English, but mostly spent hundreds of hours in the theatre. I then went to law school, worked for a federal judge, and ended up practicing employment law for a non-partisan office at the Senate. I’m an avid reader, runner, cook, and concert-goer. I think a lot about how to intentionally build strong communities, and love having friends with deep, weird interests. My favorite book is Marilynne Robinson’s “Housekeeping,” and I’d love for anyone to talk my ear off about their favorites.
I hope to improve the connection of Young Souls to other communities both within the church and without. It’s easy to get locked into seeing the same people over and over, and I hope that this coming year is a time for Young Souls to expand the people we include, the people we talk to, and the people we see in the communities around us. I’m excited to talk to anybody who has ideas for ways to do that. I also hope to make sure that All Souls is adequately including voices from Young Souls in its decision-making during the next year, when those decisions impact this group and its members.
Communications Chair: Justine Rothbart
The past two years I have been the Young Souls Communications Chair and I’ve decided to do it again! I grew up UU in Reston, VA and joined All Souls a few years ago after moving closer to DC. Now living in Silver Spring, Young Souls has become an integral part of my life and I am so happy for this community. The past few years I was an archivist in the federal government, and I recently switched jobs and joined the family business where we manage the archives/libraries of seven different associations in DC. As Young Souls Communications Chair I’ve been sending out the monthly emails, creating Facebook events, updating the blog, and organizing Circle Suppers. A lot has changed during my time on the board, but the mission of Young Souls has stayed the same. This position is all about bringing people together and that’s what I love to do. I’m excited to continue another year and I’m always looking for new ideas on how to improve Young Souls Communications. Looking forward to this upcoming year! : )
Social Justice Co-Chair: Maia O’Meara
After moving to D.C. in August last year, All Souls (and Young Souls, in particular) was one of the first places I went in search of a spiritual, justice-seeking community. When I came to the District, I didn’t have a job or a clear next step, so finding Young Souls was encouraging and empowering for me. I was raised UU in Kent, Ohio and lived in Chicago for 5 years (during and immediately after college). After some job/soul-searching when I moved to D.C., I started working at Child Trends, a non-profit research center focused on child welfare policy. Now, you can probably find me sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at weird hours, doubling back a stop on the metro because I didn’t bother to look up from my book, or writing letters/making phone calls to VA delegates who can’t seem to understand why women’s health care and right to choice should matter to them.
As Social Justice Co-Chair with Andrew, I hope to help Young Souls engaged in the actions and activism that surrounds us while also prioritizing self care and seeking justice in our own communities. Many of us are new to the city and transient, but even so, Young Souls are already involved in so many causes within the church, our city, and our country: I want to make it easier for us to support each other and grow as activists together.
Social Justice Co-Chair: Andrew Hall
I’m passionate about community, social justice, and technology. I discovered Young Souls about two years ago and it’s been a significant part of my life ever since. I’ve lived in a small studio between DuPont Circle and U Street for about 10 years. I often think the space is too small for a cat but for some reason it’s big enough for me. I don’t own a car so I walk everywhere and it puts me in touch with the city. Public transportation reminds me that we’re all in this together. I spend my days as a systems engineer at a software startup that partners with media organizations. I help direct traffic on customer’s websites before and after lunch from the food trucks in Franklin Square. I spend many weeknights drinking coffee at Busboys and Poets at 14th and V pushing buttons on my laptop. I grew up in Fredericksburg, Virginia so by DC standards I’m a native. I’m really into music, especially hypnotic techno. I’m pursuing a graduate certificate in data science from Georgetown where I stare blankly at slides with equations. A long time ago, I graduated from University of Mary Washington with a BA in political science. At All Souls, I’m a partner with the 8th Principle Task Force and Acting Against Racism.
I look forward to bringing valuable experience and connections to the role of Young Souls social justice co-chair. My work with the 8th Principle Task Force and Acting Against Racism teaches me about interracial solidarity and action. I want to apply what I’ve learned to a leadership position in Young Souls. I want to help make Young Souls a more inclusive space through education and open discussion and foster a culture of empathy and solidarity. Young Souls needs frank and open discussion of topics like white supremacy, microaggressions, sexual harassment, erasure, and social exclusion. From this discussion, we need to make action plans and involve as many people in the group as possible to address these issues.
Specifically, I want to put as many Young Souls as possible through the Jubilee Anti-Racism training. I feel this will help address hurtful racist microaggressions and prompt interracial dialog and friendships. I will work with my contacts in the 8th Principle Task force to facilitate this. Also, for white folks who’ve completed Jubilee, I’ll help facilitate their participation in Acting Against Racism (AAR), a group dedicated to following up with white folks on the concepts they studied in Jubilee. AAR’s intent is to have white folks examine how white supremacy operates in their lives and how to partner with people of color to dismantle white supremacy.
Also, I want to support the caucus concept Alice Kurima-Newberry spearheaded. I want to be an enthusiastic ally of the people of color caucus and other caucuses that might emerge and make sure these caucuses have adequate institutional support and promotion from the Young Souls board.
I want to promote and educate Young Souls on the 8th Principle and challenge Young Souls to create and maintain beloved community with the 8th Principle at heart.
Social Chair: Cora Henry
I am from St. Louis, Missouri, and went to school in Oberlin, Ohio, and Bloomington, Indiana, before coming to DC two years ago. Since graduating from college, I have worked at a struggling high school, two NPR stations, a retail store, an NGO fighting for press freedom, a daily student newspaper, two nonprofits focused on WMD nonproliferation, and (currently) a political polling company — it’s fair to say that I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. My current hobby projects are learning to monitor stream quality with the Audubon Naturalist Society in Maryland and going through the Sierra Club’s training to become a national outings leader. I am interested in environmental issues, social justice, and international relations, and I also love tipping canoes, learning languages, and traveling.
This year I am looking forward to taking on the role of social chair with the Young Souls Board to help provide the monthly activities that give us a chance to welcome newcomers and catch up with friends. I moved to DC for a job, as so many of us did, and Young Souls helped me meet people and feel more at home in a big new city; it will be a pleasure to make sure that the same monthly programming continues, in order to provide young people who are new to All Souls the chance to meet us. My plan is to work with the social justice chairs and spiritual chair to make sure that our events are welcoming and plan new activities throughout the year. Additionally, I hope to find out if Young Souls has appetite for a hike or outdoor walk in addition to happy hour, brunch, and potluck. The social chair role will allow me the chance to get to know many of you better, as I hunt for potluck locations — and on that note, please do not hesitate, feel absolutely and completely free, to email me any time the mood to host a potluck overwhelms you.
Spiritual Chair: Laura Schatzman
I am a landscape/urban designer and recently moved to the D.C. area and started attending Young Souls events last September. What I’ve enjoyed about the Young Souls Group is getting to meet and become friends with so many amazing people from various backgrounds. From potlucks to bookclub and also group retreats, I have enjoyed being involved with the Young Souls and wish to further my participation by becoming a board member. Among other things I love to read, bike along Rock Creek trail and nerd-out about plants.
Membership and Welcoming Chair: Abby Jones
When I moved to DC after graduating from college this past May, I was tasked with building my life from the ground up. I went to a happy hour to try and make some friends, and the rest is history! Young Souls is what’s made DC my home, and now I want to help others discover this wonderful community and ensure that everyone feels welcome.