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Building covenantal relationships among Unitarian Universalist women that equip us all to be better co-conspirators and allies in the movement for collective liberation.

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monthly reads

Our Monthly Reads meet-up allows an entry point into our priority issues and supports individuals looking to build on their understanding to be better allies and co-conspirators. Join us in experiencing some of the latest award-winning books, life-changing articles, and dazzling other media as we use these tools for justice.

The UUWF Monthly Read meets via Zoom on the first Sunday of the month, unless it's a holiday, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Pacific / 5:30 p.m. Mountain / 6:30 p.m. Central / 7:30 p.m. Eastern.

During our Monthly Read gatherings, we will:

  • Create a Safe Space for Meaningful Dialogue: We offer a safe and inclusive environment for members to discuss complex issues openly. Previous themes include gender equality, empowerment, body positivity, intersectionality, and community building. We honor a space that fosters respectful conversations, allowing participants to challenge their perspectives and broaden their understandings, all while connecting to our UU values.
  • Amplify Marginalized Voices: We provide an opportunity to amplify the voices of marginalized communities, women of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those from different socio-economic backgrounds. By intentionally selecting authors from these communities, our texts help to center their narratives and lived experiences. This approach encourages empathy, compassion, and a deeper appreciation of the diverse challenges faced by these communities. It also serves as a powerful tool for raising awareness and dismantling stereotypes.
  • Provide Education and Self-Reflection: We engage in social justice literature to expose us to new ideas, perspectives, and historical contexts. Through reading and reflection, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of systemic issues, uncovering the root causes of social injustice. These discussions extend beyond the pages of the books into our online community, Mighty Networks, and empower individuals to advocate for change in their communities.
  • Cultivate Empowerment and Activism: We provide access to resources and community initiatives that support activism and advocacy. This joint effort strengthens the potential impact of the book club by connecting individuals to opportunities for community service, volunteering, and engagement in local and national social justice movements. It creates a sense of collective power and fosters a network of changemakers working towards a common goal.

The titles curated by the Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation encompass an array of perspectives, genres, and authors, ensuring a diverse and inclusive literary journey. Together, we can create a more just and equitable world.

Monthly Reads are open to women, femmes, and gender-expansive folks. No registration is needed, just join us at this Zoom link: Questions? Contact us at

November 5th

For our November Monthly Read, we will explore the 2023 Berry Street Essay by the Reverend Cecilia Kingman.

She begins with, "In this country, the impacts of fascism and authoritarianism have historically fallen most heavily upon our Indigenous and Black siblings and our other siblings of color. Far too often, we white Unitarian Universalists have asked our siblings of color to come before us and perform suffering for our consumption. I am unwilling to participate in that kind of harm. Instead, today rather than ask for more labor, we are going to resource those most historically impacted by systems of oppression."

December 3rd

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on "a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise." (Elizabeth Gilbert).

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings--asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass--offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.


Monthly Reads takes a hiatus this month. We hope you discover reading on your own that enhances your world.

February 4th

In A Fire at the Center, Karen Van Fossan takes readers behind the scenes of the Dakota Access Pipeline conflict, to penitentiaries where prisoners of war have carried the movement onward, to the jail cell where she was held for protesting Line 3, to a reimagining of decolonized family constellations, and to moments of collective hope and strength.

With penetrating insight, she blends memoir, history, and cultural critique. Guided by the generous teachings of Oceti Sakowin Camp near Standing Rock, she investigates layers of colonialism—extractive industries, mass incarceration, broken treaties, disappearances of Indigenous people—and the boundaries of imperial whiteness. For all those striving for liberation and meaningful allyship, Van Fossan’s learnings and practices of genuine, mutual solidarity and her thoughtful critique of whiteness will be transformational.

Karen Van Fossan will join us live on Zoom for discussion during this Monthly Reads.

March 3rd

For our March Monthly Read, we will explore 2-3 short articles on a topic. All will be available with no paywall. More details to come.

April 7th

American culture focuses on letting go of grudges and redemption narratives instead of the perpetrator's obligations or recompense for harmed parties. As survivor communities have pointed out, these emphases have too often only caused more harm. But Danya Ruttenberg knew there was a better model, rooted in the work of the medieval philosopher Maimonides.

For Maimonides, upon whose work Ruttenberg elaborates, forgiveness is much less important than the repair work to which the person who caused harm is obligated. The word traditionally translated as repentance really means something more like return, and in this book, returning is a restoration, as much as is possible, to the victim, and, for the perpetrator of harm, a coming back, in humility and intentionality, to behaving as the person we might like to believe we are.

Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


Tel: 414-750-4404

3322 N. 92nd Street ~ Milwaukee ~ WI 53222

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