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Board of Directors Gathers for Spring 2022 Meeting

by Tara Barnes

The United Women in Faith Board of Directors gathered virtually for its spring 2022 meeting Saturday March 26. Directors heard reports from National President ‘Ainise ‘Isama’u, General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Harriett Jane Olson and Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Tamara Clark.

“Where we have been equips us for where we are going,” Olson said in her report to the board. “The call of God and putting faith into action has been a constant for more than 150 years. The heart-to-heart connection with women and children in our neighborhoods and around the world is also a constant, as is the willingness to color outside the lines and take steps to build for the future.”

Opening worship was led by director Doloris Carhee and the Rev. Sooah Na, pastor at Centenary United Methodist Church in Metuchen, New Jersey.

Directors also heard from auditors Crosslin PCCL and received investment updates from Wespath. Wespath also shared how shareholder advocacy is helping the economy move toward sustainability and a just transition to a low-carbon economy, with the goal of net-zero emissions before 2050.

Climate commitment

In 2021, the board adopted a climate commitment to net-zero emissions, pledging that United Women in Faith achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 across its ministries, facilities, operations and investments, leveraging the gifts of its connection to center justice and equity. United Women in Faith Executive for Environmental Justice Elizabeth Chun Hye Lee updated the board on the connectional work being done to achieve these goals.

“Net-zero commitment is not just about reducing emissions. The commitment notes that we will work both to reduce the principal cause of climate disruption with greenhouse gas emissions and to support a just and equitable transition that dismantles structural barriers to racial and gender equity and builds resilient, flourishing communities,” Lee said. “We’ll be doing that in ministries, facilities, operations and investments so that we are putting equity and justice at the center as we build a net-zero emissions economy.”

Lee also let board members know United Women in Faith received a Founders Award from the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility.

Grants and scholarships

Directors also approved close to $275,000 in grants.

This included a significant new partnership with Girls Embracing Mothers in Dallas, Texas, an organization empowering girls in grades K-12 with mothers in prison to break the cycle of incarceration and lead successful lives with vision and purpose.

In 2021, United Women in Faith offered more than $4 million for national and international grants and scholarships.

“We have been called to be leaders. We are strategically planning for the future,” ‘Isama’u said. “And today we mean business.”

The board also approved 19 deaconesses and home missioners for consecration and the 2023 Reading Program list and heard updates about what’s happening around the denomination.

“Sisterhood of grace, these duties are important and not to be taken lightly,” ‘Isama’u said. “We celebrate the many opportunities to make mission possible through the work today. What a time to be a leader. What a time to be a faith leader and a woman of God!”

Tara Barnes is editor of response.

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