Building an alliance of South Carolina Unitarian Universalists who act for justice in partnerships that center the voices and authority of people experiencing injustice.


The new year is off to a full start, full of many pressing needs and new hopes, too. One pressing need you can act on right now is voting rights. Check out UU the Vote for details and to take action.

We will need one another for support and inspiration this year! This is why we are so excited to join you and other social justice leaders at our first statewide Social Justice Leaders Meetup on Tuesday, Feb 22, 2022 from 7 to 8:30 PM ET via Zoom. 

Register Here for the Zoom meeting 

This gathering will provide a much-needed opportunity to connect with UUs, share ideas, and discover how to form an issue cluster (or support one) to focus our energies statewide. We want to learn from you about all your social justice hopes and needs. So please register if you can and help build the foundation of the South Carolina UU Justice Alliance. We look forward to greeting you there! 

- Pippin & Jean, South Carolina UU Justice Alliance 

January News

Profile of a Justice Leader

  • Connie Quirk 


  • Newberry UU: Sanctuary Congregation 

30 Days of Love


Visits to Congregations

This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility

Picture of Board member Connie Quirk

Connie Quirk (full bio)

SCUUJA Board Member and Co-chair Social Action Committee at UU Congregation of Columbia


Profile of a UU Social Justice Leader

How do you tell your UU story? In 2001, about a year after becoming guardians of two nephews, my husband and I realized they needed a youth group to help extend their social horizons We discovered the UU Congregation of Gwinnett, GA and have been UUs ever since. My husband and I joined UUCC shortly after moving to Columbia in 2016. We now co-chair the Social Action Committee. 

What is at the heart of your social justice passion? 

As a child of a military family, I traveled the world, witnessing great discrepancies between those who have and those who have not.  As a special education teacher, the children's realities made injustices obvious and real. One of my young students, a US citizen with a non-citizen father being held in detention, died of medical complications. Our system refused to allow the father to join his family to mourn, despite the fact that he had been accused of no crime other than being undocumented.  It was a travesty.  I have been working for change in our immigrations policies ever since.

What excites you about the new SC UU Justice Alliance? Having been a member of two Social Justice committees and now co-chair of the UUCC SAC, I’ve seen us accomplish good works within our community.  Working together as 10 UU congregations and many partners, we have the potential to speak louder on behalf of greater equity and justice.

Image of front of Clayton Memorial UU Church in Newberry, SC

Clayton Memorial UU Church is a Sanctuary Congregation

Did you know that Clayton Memorial UU Church recently became a sanctuary church? They did!

When they announced their decision at a public meeting at the end of 2018, their pastor at the time, Rev. Michelle Robinson, shared the following statement: 

“For decades now, under the leadership of both parties, our country has conducted incoherent and often unjust immigration policy. In order to fulfill a principal of our faith, which affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and to carry out its call to challenge injustice with courage, we are today announcing Clayton Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church is a sanctuary church. Our intention is to offer sanctuary to a few carefully selected individuals from the immigrant community who have been ordered deported, and we feel have not received the full benefit of due process of the law.”

The congregation has already offered sanctuary to at least one family, although they chose another option. Clayton Memorial UU is the only UU sanctuary congregation in the state.

Banner ad for Side With Love 30 Days of Love campaign

30 Days of Love is the annual UU celebration organized by Side With Love national organizers. It is an opportunity to collectively nurture our spirits, deepen our understanding, and take action on our values for collective liberation! 

30 Days of Love will bring opportunities each week for communities and people of all ages to ground, grow, and act together for justice--including ways to Read, Watch, Act, Listen, and Worship. 

Want to be notified when materials on online and available? Sign up to receive 30 Days of Love text alerts!


  • Week One: January 17 - 23 – Reproductive, Gender, & LGBTQIA+ Justice
  • Week Two: January 24 - 30 – Democracy & Voting Rights
  • Week Three: January 31 - February 6 – Decriminalization & Racial Justice
  • Week Four: February 7 - 14 – Climate Justice
Image of state of South Carolina with county outlines.

Visits to Congregations: 

We got the year started right with a service and gathering at the amazing UU Church of Spartanburg on January 2. (See link to service). We may be coming to a congregation near you soon, too. Here is the schedule so far:

  • Jan 30: UU Congregation of Columbia
  • Feb 6: Clayton Memorial UU Church
  • Feb 27: Unitarian Church in Charleston
  • Mar 6: UU Fellowship of Clemson
  • Mar 20: Aiken UU Church

The list will grow as we continue to schedule visits (email to schedule). We hope to join you in-person or on-line during one of these visits as we build ways to act together for justice in South Carolina! 

Contact Us

South Carolina UU Justice Alliance

Follow Us

 Rev. Dr. Pippin Whitaker
 Executive Director & Co-founder

Rev. Dr. Jean Heriot
Director of Training and Organizing & Co-founder

Mr. Rick Hahnenberg
Board Chair

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