The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland works with many organizations in the Cleveland area to promote intersectional justice in the areas of education, the environment, and hunger.

In addition, UUCC donates money through our Sunday Collection Plate to groups in our community that are doing work that furthers our Seven Principles. Most weeks the entire Sunday collection Plate is given to outside groups. Occasionally the Sunday Plate money goes to groups within the congregation.

Impact  Youth Enrichment Program needs a volunteer!

Hi, We are looking for someone who would like to volunteer with Impact youth for 45 minutes to an hour every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 2:30 to 3:15 when school lets out. This could also be done by more than 1 person if you are not available all 3 days. You will be working with Impact staff at UUCC when the children arrive after school. This position will be needed until Impact finds a new staff member. Please email Kim Littell at Kim or Nancy Allman at

What is impact?

The IMPACT Youth Enrichment Program is an afterschool prevention program for Shaker Heights Middle School 7th and 8th graders in collaboration with UUCC and the Shaker Heights Youth Center. The program promotes leadership, service, wellness and academics, and runs in Fellowship Hall on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3:30-5:30.  The program is always looking for church volunteers to share a talent or lend a hand to the 20 or so youth who participate. Please visit us on Facebook: more information, contact Program Director Sandy Troupe,

GCC Is Calling for a NO Vote on Issue 1!

Issue 1 would require a 60% majority from voters to approve an amendment to the Ohio Constitution instead of a simple majority of 50.1%, the same simple majority it takes for an official to be voted into office. The politicians are changing the rules to keep control over the people of Ohio.

We say NO to that! We say Power to the people, not only the politicians!

GCC’s commitment to democracy is long-term, and Issue 1 is a direct threat to our democracy. We say NO! We will not give up our power and we will turn out to vote NO!

Special elections have one of the lowest turnout rates of any election. Using our successful Neighborhood Captain model, GCC will push turnout in targeted low-propensity neighborhoods and, of course, push our leaders and supporters to vote as well!

We recommend vote-by-mail to ensure you get your vote in during your busy summer. We also recommend vote-by-mail because of recent changes to Voter ID requirements that many Ohioans are not aware of and may not be able to secure an ID prior to the August 8th special election. 

A Union of Concerned Scientist Report Shows GCC’s Neighborhood Captain Program Is Improving Voter Turnout: The report shows that GCC’s relational organizing, combined with data-driven outreach, can substantially increase voter turnout in marginalized or underserved communities. The report, Building Relationships, Building Power, includes these notable findings:

Organizing yielded positive results. On average, contact success — defined as getting the persons contacted to commit to voting — for each active neighborhood captain across elections was approximately 50 voter households.

Turnout inequalities were reduced. In the November 2022 election, overall turnout in Cleveland’s 5th Ward was just 15 percent — half that of the city as a whole. But among those who committed to voting through the neighborhood captains’ efforts, turnout was 42 percent.

Youth turnout increased. The youngest voting cohort in the Cuyahoga County voter file — born after 1992 — voted at an overall rate of about 17 percent, but younger voters who committed to voting through relational organizing were nearly twice as likely to vote, close to the average turnout rate for Cleveland in 2022.

Here is a longer analysis of the impact of how GCC’s Neighborhood Captain Model of improving voter turnout and building power in marginalized communities:

Thank You for Supporting FDR Partners!

As we have shared, UUCC has a supportive partnership with FDR Academy, a Cleveland Municipal School District (CMSD) PreK-8 school in Glenville.  This spring, there have been two important opportunities to support FDR:  The production of Disney’s musical, the Aristocats;  and the Attendance Incentive Program.

We are happy to announce the successful completion of both projects last week!

The Aristocats

Performances were on May 18 for students and May 20 for parents and the public.  The students did a great job, as those of us attending from UUCC can attest!  We appreciate UUCC’s contribution to this memorable experience for the FDR students – including funding for scenery and rehearsal-time snacks, John Bacon’s wonderful contribution as Videographer, and Laurie Albright’s offering of a delicious cake for the cast party.  Very special recognition goes to Beck Burns, who served as Music Director, tirelessly offering her amazing musical and teaching skills over many months!

Attendance Incentive Program

The goal of FDR’s two-month attendance program was to encourage the return of school attendance to pre-pandemic level, through weekly rewards to the grade with the highest attendance.  UUCC’s role was to provide the reward, goodie bags for the winning students.  The eight-week program is now completed, with the winning grades were at/near the target goal and excited to be recognized.  Again, we appreciate UUCC’s contribution to this important project – through funding for the prizes, much help decorating and filling the bags at coffee hour, and bringing them to FDR.

Thank you, UUCC, for supporting our FDR Partnership and for helping to make a difference for these students! 

Urban Hope Kids Garden Needs Volunteers

Urban Hope, the soup kitchen UUCC supports, offers a gardening program to neighborhood children at Kentucky Community Garden located at 38th and Franklin on Cleveland’s Near West Side.  In spring and fall, we work with children from the nearby Near West Intergenerational School. In the summer, the children are from the neighborhood.

Urban children who may not have much experience with nature have fun learning how their food is grown. We plant, water, weed, and harvest. Each session includes cooking with vegetables and a craft.

If you love gardening and children, the Urban Hope Children’s Garden is a wonderful volunteer opportunity. UUCC’s Jean Ellsworth-Wolk is a volunteer. The after school spring program runs from 3:15 to 4:30 pm starting in April on a day to be determined. The summer program runs from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on a weekday, also tbd. For more information or to sign up, please contact Cathy Ross at or 216-970-2854.

UU The Vote

UU the vote offers workshops and actions to encourage voting and voting awareness through out the country.  UU the Vote in Ohio is partially supported by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Here in Ohio, through Unitarian Universalist Justice organization (UUJO), we are partnered with a collaborative called Every Vote Matters in Ohio.  The focus is on Voter Advocacy (education, registration, and support).  Knowing your efforts are part of a coordinated plan helps keep the momentum going. Whether you like to call, text, write, go door to door, sponsor house parties, or other options, there is something everyone can do.

Laurie Albright is the contact person who can help you get involved, or you can go directly to the UU The Vote Website
Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio

Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio (UUJO) is a 501C3 organization that serves the 38 UU congregations and fellowships across Ohio. Their mission is to offer education, advocacy, and action consistent with Unitarian Universalist liberal religious principles and to witness with and on behalf of marginalized groups and individuals. Members of UUCC join this group to make our voices stronger. UUJO organizes and engages in the following:

  • Engage in Voter Advocacy: education, voter registration and support to get out the vote
  • Organize to amplify our voices for justice in public witness events
  • Engage in ongoing Ohio Statehouse education and testimony work to bring our UU voice to the state legislature
  • Support our Immigrant Transit Assistance teams in Ohio that greet asylum-seeking families with much needed food, water, diapers, and hygiene items
  • Coach and advise justice teams within congregations
  • Offer our Annual Assembly and Spring Justice Gatherings throughout the state
  • Expand our social media outreach to engage with more people within and beyond our congregations
  • Bring messages of  hope, justice and liberation to congregations and our wider  communities, Speaking Truth to Power in Ohio.

    Laurie Albright is a contact person if you want to know more. Tadd Pinkston is currently on the UUJO Board and Rina Shere is on the Nominating Committee.

    To receive the monthly “UUJO News” and timely updates on justice-related workshops, seminars, webinars and special UUJO “Calls to Action please sign up on their website.

Greater Cleveland Congregations

Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) is a non-partisan coalition of faith communities and partner organizations in Cuyahoga County working together for social justice. As a catalyst for systemic change, GCC challenges Greater Clevelanders to imagine the change we can accomplish, connect individuals and organizations to multiply our power, and mobilize our members by the thousands to make our voices heard. GCC unites people across lines of race, class, religion, and geography to promote public, private and civic sector actions which strengthen and improve the quality of life of our neighborhoods.

GCC is a Congregational membership-based organization, so individual people cannot belong (although they can certainly contribute individually!).  So, by default, anyone who is a member/friend of our congregation can participate in GCC activities. 

 Laurie Albright is the official delegate from our congregation and Pam Gibbon is our alternate delegate.  UUCC’s Core team members presently are Vern Sackman, Bev Austin, Pat Dillard, Pam Gibbon, Laurie Albright, Greg Nosan, Brandon Ruud, and Mark Weber.

For more information visit or contact Laurie Albright.

Urban Hope

Urban Hope is an Ohio City storefront soup kitchen that area Unitarian churches support. It provides a place for needy neighbors to gather inside for a few hours to eat a meal, talk, play cards and take a shower. Volunteer opportunities include buying ingredients, communally cooking in our church kitchen, serving the meal, and donating other items. Our congregation’s turn is the 4th Sunday of each month.

See it for yourself in this video filmed by West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River, one of our Urban Hope partners. 

Volunteers are welcome. Please contact us to get involved

The Urban Hope Team:
Jean Martin,  Laurie Holmes,  Jean Ellsworth-Wolk 
email us at:

The location is just a few blocks west of the West Side Market. Look for The Storefront sign over the front door.

4241 Lorain Ave
Cleveland, OH

IMPACT Youth Enrichment Program

The IMPACT Youth Enrichment Program is an afterschool prevention program for Shaker Heights Middle School 7th and 8th graders in collaboration with UUCC and the Shaker Heights Youth Center. The program promotes leadership, service, wellness and academics, and runs in Fellowship Hall on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3:30-5:30.  The program is always looking for church volunteers to share a talent or lend a hand to the 20 or so youth who participate.

Please visit us on Facebook:

For more information, contact Program Director Sandy Troupe,   

Coalition to Stop the Inhumanity at the Cuyahoga County Jail

The Coalition to Stop the Inhumanity at the Cuyahoga County Jail is a group of community activists organized to demand change and accountability from elected officials responsible for conditions at the jail. The group attends official meetings, organizes protests targeted at specific concerns, and promotes a list of demands. Newcomers are always welcome. The coalition meets monthly at the Khnemu Foundation Lighthouse, 966 E 105th Street, Cleveland, OH 44108.

For more information, contact Laurie Albright.