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Inaugural UU Talks Speakers

It is our pleasure to introduce our speakers for our Inaugural UU Talks model event at the UUA on April 28th, 2017!


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Anna Huckabee Tull is an award winning Singer-Songwriter, a master level Life Coach of twenty years, and the founder of Make Stuff Up University. Anna has been commissioned to create over 250 original songs of loss, birth, growth, and celebration for people all over the planet. At MSUU and in her coaching work, she helps individuals become intentional about creating a life that consciously aligns with their deeper desires and offerings. She has five national albums, including the 2017 release, The Days of Your Opening. Her book, Living the Deeper YES: Discovering Your Finest, Truest Self, out this fall, offers a breakthrough look at deepening inner collaboration through cultivating more brave, beautiful and inclusive internal dialogue. Additionally, Anna teaches guitar in prison and gives regular psych ward lockdown unit performances. She lives with her husband Jim and her two teenage boys in a house in the woods in Concord, MA. http://www.customcraftedsongs.com/

Talk Title: Anna’s “Deep, Bright Secret” for Profound Collaboration

Anna shares the life-changing insight that helped her shift from being an ineffective and frustrated collaborator to an engaged community member who now collaborates regularly with others, with great success and deep joy. Her sharing culminates with an original song performed live, weaving the three recommendations in her talk into a musical message of encouragement and empowerment.

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Jim Tull is a Partner with CMPartners, a global leader in strategic negotiation, facilitation, communication and conflict management.  Jim has consulted and trained in over 70 countries, helping non-profits, governments and corporations deepen their understanding and heighten their effectiveness in the face of conflict. In the public sector, he has consulted to the governments of Bolivia, Guyana, Venezuela and Colombia on their national conflicts.  In the private sector, he has designed and delivered training workshops for many of the largest companies in the world. Recent projects include the resolution of a $135 million dispute between a South American government and two European corporations, and an executive education program for Palestinian, Israeli and international officials in the Middle East.  Jim received his Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and his BA with honors from Kenyon College.  He lives with his wife Anna and his two teenage boys in a house in the woods in Concord, MA.

Talk Title: Strategic Trust-Building
New approaches to Trust Challenges in Collaboration

Because almost every effort at collaboration requires some form of formal or informal negotiation, we will look deeply at one common obstacle to successful negotiated outcomes:

How can I trust them to do what they say they will do?

From friendly collaboration to overt conflict, traditional measures of trust are often insufficient or fragile. And once trust is broken, it can take a very long time to rebuild.

Working through the lens of trust-building in negotiations, or any similar interactive effort at influence, this talk will explore the benefits of approaching trust-building as a strategic skill – one that can be planned and implemented in even short-term simple negotiations or interactions.

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Matt Meyer is a UU musician and community organizer.  As an itinerant preacher, he has led hundreds of services for UU congregations across the country, speaking about the intersections of music and social justice work. Matt is a founding resident of the Lucy Stone Cooperative in Roxbury, a UU intentional community grounded in the values and tradition of Unitarian Universalism. He serves as Director of Community Life for Sanctuary Boston, a community of vibrant worship and real connection.    

Matt is also dedicated to building a cooperative movement for a more just and equitable economy.  He has organized cooperatives in manufactured housing communities, is a founder of the Boston Cooperative Investment Club, and works as a lead organizer for the Greater Boston Chamber of Cooperatives.

Talk Title: Congregating at the intersections of change.
Where do we locate our congregations and communities at the intersections of change?
Are we creating transformation through personal growth, shifting existing power structures, or building alternative institutions? What does it look like when these three roles intersect and support each other? Join us for an exploration of Unitarian Universalism in the sanctuary, in the home, and in the streets.

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Rev. Allison Palm is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist and a Minnesota native. She currently serves as the Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua, NH. Rev. Allison graduated from Andover Newton Theological School in 2013 with a Masters of Divinity and a Certificate in Pastoral Care and Counseling. She has previously served churches in Massachusetts and Long Island as a Student Minister and Religious Educator. Rev. Allison lives in Nashua with her husband, Tristan and their two cats, Odo and Thalia.

Talk Title: Co-Creating the Beloved Community
The way we build and run our UU communities is grounded in the notion that we are better and stronger together. Creating communities of love and justice is not a solo act; it takes all of us. What can we learn from Puritans and process theologians about co-creating the beloved community?

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Regie Gibson and Marlon Carey are award winning poets and performers who have been featured at several TEDx events as well as various NPR programs, most recently WBUR’s Radio Boston. Marlon has a BFA in creative writing and Regie has an MFA in the same discipline.

Talk Title: Shakespeare to Hiphop

Together they form Shakespeare to Hiphop: a literary performance group that uses poems, story telling, rap, songs and contemporary music to promote interest in the works,history and continuing influence of William Shakespeare and help students and audiences of all ages cultivate and nurture a love of words and an understanding of the power of language.



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Rev. Hank Pierce  (rhymes with nurse) comes from old Yankee stock and before ministry spent the 1980s as part of the Boston punk scene, including as a roadie traveling the US and Europe. Ordained in ’99 Hank has served our churches in, Auburn, Me, Medford, Westford, Milton and is the candidate at the UU Church of Reading.

Talk Title: Softball Star
How playing softball with a bunch of kids in a graveyard taught me not to take leadership styles so seriously and to learn to love the game.

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Lydia Edwards was recently appointed to be Deputy Director of Housing Stability for the City of Boston. She has worked on issues ranging from cooperative law to wage theft and discrimination to human trafficking, as an attorney for Greater Boston Legal Services, the Harvard Transactional Law Clinic, the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the Brazilian Immigrant Center and as a member of the Boston Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association, and the NAACP. Lydia was a contributor to the Community Enterprise Project’s manuals on immigrant entrepreneurs and cooperative business entities. She helped build a grassroots movement to support the passage of the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights legislation by organizing workers, employers, labor leaders, faith groups and immigrant organizations. In recognition of her legal and community contributions, Lydia has received several awards. Lydia has a BA in Legal Policy Studies & Political Science from Marymount College of Fordham University, a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law and an LLM in Taxation from Boston University School of Law.

Talk Title: Leading with Love

Lydia will discuss the Massachusetts movement for dignity and respect for domestic workers. She will discuss how women of many backgrounds collaborated built bridges and organized for a better future and passed sweeping legislation.


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Peter Bowden is the Emcee for the night as well as the lead advisor to the UU Talks project. Peter is a popular speaker, trainer, and coach working with faith, climate, and justice leaders across the United States.  The director of UU PLANET Ministry & Media, he is a long time innovator within the Unitarian Universalist movement. From producing one of the first UU videos on Youtube to founding the UU Small Group Ministry Network, Peter has helped launch a growing list of exciting projects.  This includes serving as an advisor on the UU Talks project. http://uuplanet.org

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“Twinkle” Marie Manning is the Host for this inaugural event and the Founder of the UU Talks project.  She is a seasoned TEDx organizer, publisher, and award winning TV producer, specializing in floor direction and live-studio audience productions. She lives in to the missions of Building Beloved Community and Growing Unitarian Universalism. www.TwinklesPlace.org

Twinkle looks forward to sharing the UU Talks model with many congregations and helping them enhance their fundraising, publicity, public relations and outreach.

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