Transforming human rights into realities

UUSC believes that all people have inherent dignity, power, and rights.

In partnership with dedicated volunteers, tireless activists, and inspiring grassroots organizations throughout the world, UUSC aims to ensure that these fundamental human rights are realities for everyone — no matter race, gender, or class.

UUSC works specifically with people and communities who are denied their rights because of who they are — women, people of color, refugees, religious minorities, LGBTI individuals in Africa, and others. We seek populations who are not served by mainstream human rights organizations.

Every day, UUSC takes action to promote economic justice, bolster environmental justice, and protect rights at risk. No matter when or where, UUSC works to deliver aid with dignity and to advance the rights of people who might otherwise be left behind.

How we Work

Grassroots collaboration

People and communities have a right to make the decisions that affect them. In our global work to advance human rights and challenge injustice, UUSC works closely with local organizations to gather resources and build resilience.

UUSC places a high value on eye-to-eye partnerships. Instead of telling people what to do, we ask questions, listen to answers, engage in a dialogue, offer expertise, and develop creative strategies — all with deep respect for the strength, autonomy, and wisdom of everyone we meet.

  • We activate networks of volunteers, citizen watchdog groups, and other community organizations to join with our partners in delivering services, or to participate in joint advocacy campaigns.
  • We provide expertise in organizational management and operations, including finance, public relations, strategic planning, and ground-breaking research.
  • UUSC will also share our contacts with NGOs and funding organizations as part of our strategy for building our partner organizations’ success.
  • UUSC’s College of Social Justice lends hands-on support when volunteers are needed on the ground.

How does UUSC differ from other grant-making organizations?

There are many ways that UUSC’s grant making differs from the way traditional grant making organizations do their work.

  • We select partner organizations committed to making real efforts to address big challenges. Global change begins with small victories.
  • We are willing to cover critical operating expenses; many other funders will not.
  • We complement our financial support with training, networking efforts to create new coalitions, and activation of volunteers to enhance the work of our partner organizations.

We refer to the groups we support as “partners” rather than “grantees” because of the unique way we leverage our shared resources to accomplish social change.


UUSC develops creative, effective models for social change that are first and foremost effective in reaching specific and measurable goals. We then work to expand our partnerships and replicate successful programs in other communities to create change on a larger scale.

Whether our partners are advancing sexual orientation and gender identity rights in Southern Africa by fostering progressive religious voices, or safeguarding the water sources of 8.7 million people in Argentina and Chile via groundbreaking work on the protection of glaciers, UUSC seeks new ways to build foundations for self-sufficiency and success.

UUSC not only believes in the inherent dignity, power, and rights of all people. We believe in their creativity, too. Our annual Human Rights Innovation Fellowship – which includes a grant of up to $25,000 – is an opportunity to encourage new ideas for the systemic advancement of human rights. Learn more about the Human Rights Innovation Fellowship.

Grassroots Advocacy

In order to create a world free from injustice and oppression — where all can realize their human rights — you need a movement. And to build a movement, you need passionate people. That’s why UUSC actively engages its more than 40,000 members in taking action. Whether it’s calling our senators, signing petitions, or educating our communities and congregations, we have added our voices to the call for constructive change at critical junctures for maximum impact. Find out how you can take action at our Advocacy Center.