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Rev. Peter Morales
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The Rev. Peter Morales was elected to a four-year term as president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in June 2009. As president of the Association, he is responsible to the UUA Board of Trustees for administering staff and programs that serve its more than 1,000 member congregations. He also acts as principal spokesperson and minister-at-large for the UUA.

Morales, the first Latino president of the UUA, was elected on a platform of growth and multiculturalism. Public witness is central to Morales’s presidency; he is especially passionate about immigration reform and environmental justice.

Prior to his election, Morales served as the senior minister at Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, Colorado, one the UUA’s largest and fastest growing congregations. From 2002 to 2004, Morales was the UUA Director for District Services. Morales has also served on the UUA Board of Trustees, as trustee from the Mountain Desert District, and on the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) Executive Committee, as the first person to carry its anti-racism, anti-oppression, multiculturalism portfolio.

Before entering the ministry, Morales was a Fulbright lecturer in Spain, a newspaper editor and publisher in Oregon, a Knight International Press Fellow in Peru, and a regional manager in California state government.

Morales grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated with a B.A. from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, in 1967. He earned his M.Phil. in American Studies from the University of Kansas in 1976 and his M.Div. from the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California, in 1999.

Morales and his wife, Phyllis Windrem Morales, have been married for 42 years. They have two adult children, Miguel and Marcela.

Entries by Rev. Peter Morales

Selma: Commemoration and Commitment

(1) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 4:33 PM

One day the history of this great period of social change will be written in all of its completeness. On that bright day our nation will recognize its real heroes. They will be thousands of dedicated men and women with a noble agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the...
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While Government Shuts Down, Immigration Reform Steps Up

(36) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 10:09 AM

As members of Congress continue to bicker and stall over the federal government shutdown, tens of thousands of people descended on the U.S. Capitol to redirect the conversation back to immigration reform.

On October 8, I was arrested along with faithful partners, committed organizers, and community leaders in Washington, D.C....

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5 Action Items for Obama

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2013 | 2:28 PM

On Jan. 21, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President Barack Obama will be sworn into office for his second term as the first black President of the United States of America. I am reminded of these words from Dr. King:

"One of the great misfortunes of history is that all...

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Fear of the Fiscal Cliff

(10) Comments | Posted December 3, 2012 | 4:28 PM

Fear of plummeting over the "fiscal cliff" is driving the political discourse in Washington right now. The conversation, however, needs to be framed not as a political or economic issue, but as a moral issue. The question should not be what group's particular interests are advanced, but rather as an...

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Be Not Afraid

(5) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 11:00 AM

Unitarian Universalists are one of the most politically active faith communities in the United States. Four years ago, as I served a large congregation in a swing state, I noted how attendance at Sunday worship services dropped in the month preceding the election. I quickly realized that scores of our...

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The Real Values Voters Summit

(26) Comments | Posted September 24, 2012 | 11:17 AM

I read that the "Values Voter Summit" recently took place in Washington. I went to the web site and looked at the list of speakers. Of the 73 speakers listed, only 13 were women. Only a tiny handful could be described as people of color. Even more amazing in a...

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Returning to the Scene of the Crime: Phoenix, Two Years Later

(10) Comments | Posted April 24, 2012 | 11:06 AM

Two years ago, on July 29, 2010, I was arrested in Phoenix for nonviolent civil disobedience during large protests against SB1070, Arizona's anti-immigrant law. As the president of the Unitarian Universalist Association and a man of faith, I knew it was my obligation to stand in opposition to this draconian...

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Unemployment as a Spiritual Issue

(65) Comments | Posted September 16, 2011 | 1:50 PM

In the current strident debate about unemployment, we hear politicians and pundits argue about economic policy. The talk is about deficits and economic stimuli and tax policy.

All of this rancor obscures a more fundamental issue: We choose the kind of society in which we live....

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Immigration in Arizona, One Year Later

(94) Comments | Posted July 28, 2011 | 12:45 PM

I am about to go on trial in Phoenix. One year ago, I was arrested during an act of nonviolent civil disobedience to speak out against anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona. Side by side with local activists and fellow Unitarian Universalists from across the nation, I was protesting Maricopa County Sheriff...

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What Is Universalism?

(79) Comments | Posted March 15, 2011 | 11:32 AM

The publication of Rob Bell's new book has incited heated discussions about universalism and what it means. I welcome this.

As president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, an association of more than 1,000 congregations that are proud to carry the universalist name, I am fascinated and...

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Poverty and Thanksgiving: A Call to Righteous Love

(140) Comments | Posted November 21, 2010 | 5:41 PM

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It calls forth the essential spiritual value of gratitude. I have precious memories of feasts shared with family and with good friends at congregational dinners. I eagerly anticipate this year's gathering.

Imagine inviting family and friends over for Thanksgiving dinner and feeding some...

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Handcuffs, Hangman and Jesus: Reflections on My Arrest at the SB 1070 Protests in Phoenix

(266) Comments | Posted August 7, 2010 | 10:16 PM

This is how ethnic cleansing gets started. It comes disguised as law enforcement, as a firm hand protecting social order during chaotic times. Ethnic cleansing is founded upon fear. It requires turning an ethnic or racial group into "the other." "They" are taking over. "They" are different and will destroy...

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Arizona Immigration Law: Why I'll be in Phoenix Thursday

(42) Comments | Posted July 28, 2010 | 4:14 PM

Thousands of people will gather in Phoenix tomorrow, July 29th, to protest the scheduled implementation of Arizona's harsh new anti-immigrant bill, SB 1070. The law's provisions require sweeping changes to current statutes regulating everything from vehicle impoundment to warrantless arrests. Today a federal judge blocked some of the most flagrantly...

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