UUSC Expresses Solidarity with CEECCNA Partners Facing Authoritarian Crackdown

Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

← About UUSC

Mission and History

UUSC's work began in 1939 when Rev. Waitstill and Martha Sharp took an extraordinary risk, helping refugees escape Nazi persecution in Europe.

Our mission: UUSC advances human rights and social justice around the world, partnering with those who confront unjust power structures and mobilizing to challenge oppressive policies. Our work is grounded in the belief that all people have inherent power and dignity.

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Our work today continues a more than 80-year legacy of activism. 

Nazi Germany invaded the Sudetenland in 1938, occupying the northern part of Czechoslovakia. Lives immediately unraveled. Thousands of people migrated away to seek safety, and many ended up in the southern part of the country.

A Unitarian minister and a social worker living in Wellesley, Massachusetts, decided to live their faith and join the refugees in Prague. Reverend Waitstill and Martha Sharp intended to contribute what they could to the persecuted peoples escaping war. In 1940, the Unitarian Services Committee—the predecessor of UUSC—was established to coordinate humanitarian efforts and offer aid to European refugees during World War II.

For more than 80 years, UUSC has maintained a steadfast presence on the frontlines of social justice movements around the globe.

Although we continue to innovate in response to the rapidly changing landscape of human rights advocacy, our core values and vision of a world free from injustice where all can realize their full human rights remain foundational.

Our name, work, and approach have transformed in the last eight decades, but the flames of activism ignited within Rev. Waitstill and Martha burn brighter today than ever.

Image Credit: UUSC