Women’s Leadership Alliance

Our Organization

The Women’s Leadership Alliance (WLA) began as the Female Samaritan Society in 1838 to assist the congregation and the community. Women were not allowed to attend annual meetings of the congregation until 1848. Since that time the WLA has continued as an independent organization within First Unitarian emphasizing the importance of women’s issues and voices, supporting local and national groups who advocate for women’s rights, providing educational and mentoring activities, and supporting women as ministers.

Women’s Leadership Alliance 2020 Annual Report.

Statement of Purpose

1. Fostering and encouraging the expression of women’s interests,

2. Developing women and girls to be leaders,

3. Assisting women in their growth toward self-realization,

4. Promoting the sisterhood of women,

5. Supporting the mission of the congregation and the UUWA.


Abby Grosslein – President

Kathy Ivans – Vice President

Pat Steele – Treasurer

Langdon Holloway – Secretary

Nancy Witherell – Member at Large

Cybele Raver – Member at Large

Board officers are elected each year. We can have up to three Members at Large, so if you are a current member interested in Board involvement, please email our President at abby.grosslein@gmail.com.


Membership in the Women’s Leadership Alliance of the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn shall be open to any person over the age of fourteen who shall pay the annual dues. Dues contribute to our advocacy and programmatic efforts. Church year 2021-2022 dues are voluntary because of the coronavirus pandemic. Should you wish to contribute, please do so through the Members page and indicate that your payment is for “Women’s Leadership Alliance dues.”


Biannual Meeting

Twice a year we hold a meeting of all our members to go over business, vote on our Board, and enjoy fellowship together. This year’s annual meeting was virtual due to the global pandemic. We missed dining together, but we still had a productive event. For a copy of the minutes of this meeting, please contact Abby at abby.grosslein@gmail.com

First Unitarian Book Group 2020

Our book club meets via Zoom on the second Monday of the month, 7:00 pm. Please contact Pat Steele (pmsteele@me.com) for the Zoom information. Dates and locations are subject to change; please watch the weekly e-announcements for more information. 2022 Book List

In the Company of Women

Currently on Hiatus.

Miriam Campobasso Fund

Please watch this space for more information about the Miriam Campobasso Fund and how it is used to support members of the Women’s Leadership Alliance.

Advocacy Work

We regularly support organizations that align with our statement of purpose. These include First U’s Minister’s Discretionary Fund, our Immigrant Solidarity Team, Planned Parenthood, the New York Abortion Access Fund, Troop 6000 for Girl Scouts in the New York Shelter System, and others.

We are also involved in the selection of Share the Plate organizations each program year.


The Women’s Leadership Alliance is committed to supporting our members and congregation in leadership efforts. We regularly support the Religious Education staff and Seminarians like Sara Gush and our current Director of Education and Family Ministry, Meagan Henry. We also assist congregational delegates to the annual UUA General Assembly.

We are seeking applicants and would love to hear from you. Our leadership grants help to fund research, conference attendance, classes, and other activities that promote the rights and well being of female identifying people. Please reach out to President, Abby Grosslein, at abby.grosslein@gmail.com to apply.” 

Spring Film Festival

Please watch this space for more information as we explore options for a virtual film festival. If you have ideas or would like to, volunteer your efforts, please contact Abby at abby.grosslein@gmail.com.

One Response leave one →
  1. Kay Corkett permalink
    January 4, 2017

    So interesting and informative to read an introduction to the Women’s Alliance and the programs offered in 2016-17. Look forward to attending those planned for 2017.

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