Ethics in Action Award – 2018

Each year our congregation recognizes a member who is living our ethics out in the greater community.  These are people who guide us, inspire us, and invite us along to participate more in public life.  Recipients of this award from over the years are displayed in the hallway between the Sanctuary and the Community Room.  They are individuals who have made a difference by living our Unitarian Universalist values out loud in the world.

The Board of Trustees received six nominations for the award and three of them were for this year’s recipient.  I am delighted to announce that Renay Allen Hitzrot is the winner of the FUUSE Ethics in Action Award.

Renay as Suffragette
Renay Allen Hitzrot — in a suffragette costume, adding a Black Lives Matter banner — receives FUUSE’s Ethics in Action award

Renay  has used her multiple talents to build community in aid of environmental, and social justice for a long time, but her efforts have gone into super-hyper-drive this past year.   The works she has championed this year alone are almost too numerous to name, but I am going to try:

Renay was a leader in gathering people to join the 2017 National Women’s March and she organized a “Virtual Women’s March” at FUUSE to share the progressive loving energy of activism with all of us shortly after.

You probably know that she was one of the members of the culture keepers/culture makers art group for racial unity in Exeter whose work has been displayed widely.  Her painting of a glowing goddess facing a line police in riot gear brings tears to my eyes.

Renay has been active in the program Energize 360, a solar panel initiative in which she has helped earn enough credits to be granted a free panel for a building in downtown Exeter.

Renay is responsible for helping to bring a host of great speakers to Exeter in her work with We the People.  The lecture series engages thousands of people every year in conversations around the intersections of religion and current events.

Renay is also a member of Exeter Rises, a new progressive group that focuses in local and state politics . And in her spare time, she is inviting Exeter area people to create a literary heritage trail.

Renay’s community activism is interwoven with her commitment to FUUSE.  She is an active member of the Social Justice Committee, the Green Team and the Artivists whose Clean Energy Mural has been displayed in numerous locations.  She is also the co-editor of the Active Hope Newsletter which keeps us updated on opportunities to get involved in all of the justice work our church members are connected to.

No one can match Renay’s brilliant energy as a community organizer and voice for change, however, she manages to multiply her efforts by encouraging all of us to partner with her.  We are inspired by how Renay puts her Ethics into Action and we are so grateful that she is a member of the FUUSE community.