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This collection contains the personal papers of Unitarian Universalist lay-leader, Norma Poinsett. Materials include correspondence, biographic profiles, newspaper articles, UUA flyers and ephemera. The collection dates from 1969-2007, with the bulk of the materials from the 1990s.
Dr. Norma Poinsett is a UU woman known for her work in the areas of antiracism, multiculturalism, and diversity. She was raised in central Mississippi, one of eleven children. She attended Tougaloo College where she majored in history and later pursued a graduate degree in librarianship at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She and her late husband Alex Poinsett have two children, Pierrette Mimi Poinsett, M.D. and A. Pierre Poinsett, Sr. She is a longstanding member of the First Unitarian Church of Chicago and has served on the church's Nominating Committee, as vice-chair of its Board of Trustees, and the church school teacher and librarian. Norma acted as delegate for the congregation at General Assemblies in Cleveland, Boston, Dallas, Toronto, and Minnneapolis between 1972 and 1978.
Norma has worked with the UUA for over 40 years: she served for nine years on the UUA Commission on Appraisal from 1972-1981, was one of the original members of the Black Concerns Working Group and its chairperson from 1991-1995, was a founding member of the Jubilee Working Group, a member of the Racial Justice Curriculum Team, and an At-Large Trustee on the UUA Board. As a member of the Commission on Appraisal Norma helped author several studies including "The UU Merger" and "Empowerment: One Denomination's Quest for Racial Justice, 1967-1972." Additionally, while on the Racial Justice Curriculum Team she co-authored and published "Rainbow Children," a UU curriculum for pre-school through second grade children, and published over 25 short stories for children. Norma was conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1999 in recognition of her work with the UUA in the area of racial justice, her service to Meadville Lombard as a member of its Board of Trustees, and her service to the First Unitarian Society of Chicago. In 2004 she received the President's Award for Volunteer Service from the UUA.
African American Unitarian Universalists -- Illinois -- Chicago -- 20th Century
Feminism -- Religious aspects -- Unitarian Universalist Churches
Norma Poinsett Papers
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