DRUUMM Blog   

  • 30 Mar 2016 7:17 AM | Joseph Santos-Lyons (Administrator)

    DRUUMM mourns the passing of Orlanda, who served our community over the years and recently as our Vice President.

    REV. DR. ORLANDA R. BRUGNOLA (1946 – 2016)

    The Ministries and Faith Development staff offer our condolences to the
    family, friends, and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Orlanda R. Brugnola who
    died on February 24, 2016 at the age of 69.

    Orlanda was born on April 1, 1946 to Anthony Brugnola and Kathrine
    Schwellenbach. She received a Bachelor of Arts from The University of
    California, Berkeley in 1966, and a Master of Divinity from Starr King
    School for the Ministry in 1979. She earned certification in mediation and
    conflict resolution, and in art therapy, and was registered as an art
    therapist by the American Expressive Therapy Association in 1989. In 1998,
    Orlanda received a Master of Fine Art in Painting from the City University
    of New York, and in 2014, a Doctor of Ministry from New York Theological

    Rev. Brugnola was ordained to the ministry in 1979 by the First Unitarian
    Church of Berkeley, CA. She served for over thirty years as a community
    minister. She was employed as a Unitarian Universalist Chaplain at Columbia
    University from 1988 to 2011; Chaplain for the Arts at Columbia University
    from 1989 to 1996; and Unitarian Universalist Chaplain at Union Theological
    Seminary from 2009 to 2011.  From 1981 to 2016, she worked as an Adjunct
    Assistant Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City
    University of New York), and taught Philosophy and Eastern and Western
    Religions. Through John Jay, she taught philosophy at both Rikers Island
    and a New York residential drug treatment program. Additionally, Orlanda
    spent several years teaching ministerial formation and conflict resolution
    courses for students at Skidmore College, Union Theological Seminary, and
    Meadville Lombard Theological School.

    Rev. Brugnola was called to serve as assistant minister to the First
    Unitarian Congregation Society of Brooklyn, NY in 1981. Between 1981 and
    2009, she was affiliated with and held a variety of ministerial positions
    at First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn. She was voted Chaplain Emerita of
    First Unitarian Brooklyn in 2009. She went on to hold interim ministries at
    the UU Fellowship of Poughkeepsie, NY from 2009 to 2011; the UU
    Congregation of Hudson Valley, NY from 2011 to 2012; and the UU
    Congregation of Queens, NY from 2013 to 2014. In 2013, she was named
    Affiliate Minister to the Community Church of Brooklyn, NY, and in 2014,
    she was named Interim Church Administrator. She held both positions until
    her death.

    Rev. Brugnola worked tirelessly to dismantle racism and oppression within
    the world. From 1991 to 2016, she sat on the Unitarian Universalist
    Association (UUA) Metro New York District Anti-Racism and Diversity
    Committee (formally the Racial Concerns Committee), and from 1997 to 2016
    she served as an active Board Member of the Clinton Association for a
    Renewed Environment, an organization that seeks to create affordable
    housing in New York City.  She served as co-vice president of Diverse,
    Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) from
    2013 to 2015. Committed to the betterment of the denomination, Orlanda
    served on the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Commission on
    Appraisal from 2003 to 2009, and the UUA Board of Review from 2013 to 2016.

    Orlanda was a strong supporter of interfaith dialogue and interreligious
    peace. She planned many conferences and programs to encourage such
    dialogue, including the Parliament of the World’s Religions. She served as
    President of the Institute for the Study of Genocide for nineteen years;
    and was a longtime supporter of both the International Association of
    Liberal Religious Women and the International Association for Religious
    Freedom (IARF).  She sat on the board of the IARF U.S. Chapter, and
    organized workshops for the International IARF Congress.

    A talented studio artist, Orlanda exhibited photographs, paintings,
    drawings and sculpture in New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.  She
    created art for most of her life, and her works were displayed in many
    group shows and over nine solo shows.  Orlanda had over twenty years of
    curatorial experience. Her aptitude and passion for the arts led her to
    spend over twenty years serving on the Board of Directors of the American
    Festival of Microtonal Music, and six years serving as President of the
    Society for the Arts, Religion and Contemporary Culture.

    Orlanda was honored throughout her life for her many contributions to the
    ministry, academia, social justice, and the arts. She was elected fellow of
    the Society for the Arts and Religion & Contemporary Culture in 1993, and
    she was elected as the Artist-in-Residence for the Henry Street Settlement
    in 1999-2000 and 2001-2002. John Jay College of Criminal Justice awarded
    Orlanda with a Performance Award for Teaching Faculty in 1999; and a
    recognition for twenty five years of teaching at the college in 2006. She
    received a recognition of outstanding service from the International
    Association for Religious Freedom, U.S, Chapter, in 2006, and was the
    recipient of the Caribbean America Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.,
    Business Visionary Award in 2008.

    To Orlanda, dear friend Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson writes:

    My Friend, you became one of my Teachers, and then became one of my
    Students, while still being one of my Mentors, and of course always my
    Colleague. You became one of my Sisters. (And did I remember to say
    Teacher???)  It was really complicated, but nothing was ever easy, or
    simple, or uncomplicated with you Orlanda: Minister, Shaman, Chaplain,

    Of Orlanda, dear friend Dr. Janice Marie Johnson writes:

    Our world lost a bright light, one whose deeds spoke of a generosity of
    spirit that knew no bounds. Orlanda has been a source not only of
    inspiration, but indeed of transformation. A woman of many gifts, she had
    an extraordinary understanding of the complexity of the human condition.

    She defined and demanded excellence. Her gentle yet sharp eyes and her
    patient yet unyielding ears were meant to bring confidence and surety.
    Orlanda hoped to shepherd us to our best selves.

    Her commitment to persons of all ages, from all walks of life and -- of
    diverse abilities -- touched us in ways that we are just beginning to
    comprehend. We recognized the generosity of spirit, joy, love, and hope
    that she gave those with whom she came in contact. She embraced life and
    she would want us to do likewise. Orlanda will live on through the many
    hearts and minds whose lives she touched. Our lives will reflect her legacy.

    A memorial service will be held on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 3:30 pm at The
    Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist.

    Notes of condolences can be sent In Care Of Rev. Bruce Southworth, The
    Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist, 40 East 35th Street
    New York, NY 10016.

  • 22 Jun 2015 7:50 AM | Joseph Santos-Lyons (Administrator)

    DRUUMM Nominating Report 2015

    The Nominating Committee is pleased to provide this report to the DRUUMM Membership for action on Friday June 26, 2015.


    March - DRUUMM SC appointed Nominating Committee (Rev Takahashi, Rev Di Bona, Rev Turner, Rev Santos-Lyons)

    April - Public Announcement for Nominations

    May - Interviews with interested candidates

    June - Finalize Nominating Report & Election

    SC Position

    Current Term

    Current Office Holder

    Nominee/Ongoing Holder



    Rev. Maria Cristina Vlassidis

    Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons (2 year)

    1st Vice President


    Rev. Marisol Caballero

    Rev. Marisol Caballero

    2nd Vice President


    Rev. Orlanda Brugnola

    Ranwa Hammamy



    Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons

    Adam Dyer



    Rev. Darrick Jackson (appointed to fill vacancy)

    Rev. Darrick Jackson (1 year)

    Outreach Coordinator


    Christopher Sims

    Christopher Sims

    Communications Coordinator


    Raziq Brown

    GA Coordinator


    Elandria Williams (appointed to fill vacancy)

    Elandria Williams (2 year)

    UUA Liaison


    Rev Elizabeth Nguyen

    35 people considered

    • Received 10 public/self nominations

    • Identified 25 prospective candidates

    10 followup interviews

    Other positions may be appointed by the Steering Committee


    Section 2.  Composition.  The Steering Committee shall be composed of the following members:

    a.   President
    1st Vice President/President-Elect
    2nd Vice President

    d.  Secretary

    e.   Treasurer

    f.    Outreach Coordinator

    g.   Communications Coordinator

    h.   GA Coordinator

    i.    UUA Liaison

  • 23 Apr 2015 5:30 PM | Joseph Santos-Lyons (Administrator)

    Pursuant to the DRUUMM By-laws, we are notifying members of proposed by-law amendments intended to improve the operations of DRUUMM and clarify current practices.  The DRUUMM Steering Committee will be establishing a Policies & Procedures Handbook to support the day-to-day management of DRUUMM.  Current DRUUMM Members will be asked to vote on these by-law amendments at our annual meeting Friday, June 26th, 2015 in Portland Oregon. 

    Please send any comments in advance to DRUUMM Secretary Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons  jsantoslyons@post.harvard.edu.

    DRUUMM Bylaws Proposed for 2015

  • 03 Nov 2014 2:18 PM | Joseph Santos-Lyons (Administrator)
    Please join the Church of the Larger Fellowship, the UUA, and DRUUMM for a one-hour online vigil, "We Who Believe in Freedom: A Vigil for Ferguson" on November 11, 2014 at 8PM EST (5p Pacific/6p Mountain/7p Central).
    This live gathering will be led by UU presenters of color giving voice to the depth of feelings that continue to rise up around escalating inequalityundefinedspecifically, racial inequality.  This vigil follows on the heels of the recent Mass Mobilization Call to Missouri and of mass vigils across the country.
    Attend this vigil to bear witness, to lend support and sanctuary, to offer and receive comfort. Attend this gathering to foster healing within a UU religious context led by UU religious professionals of color.
    Presenters are Rev. Maria-Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa, Christopher Sims, Adam Dyer, Rev. Sofia Betancourt, Emerson Zora Hamsa, Gregory Boyd, Duncan Teague, and Dr. Janice Marie Johnson.
    To register, contact Lesley Murdock at lmurdock@uua.org.  Log in details will be emailed the day before the event.  Please RSVP as soon as possible, as space is limited and we will be opening up registration to a larger audience on Thursday, November 6.
  • 15 Oct 2013 8:18 AM | Anonymous
    Jan Carpenter Tucker invites us all to a DRUUMM Regional Conference at First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Diego, CA. Here is the press release below. 

    “Creating Family in Community” Regional Conference 
    in January 2014

    FOR RELEASE October 8, 2013
    Media Contact: Jan Carpenter Tucker, roarwithsoul@cox.net

    Diverse, Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM)* will present a full weekend Regional Conference January 17-19, 2014 at First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Diego, California. “Creating Family in Community” is the theme that sets the stage for intergenerational exploration of the ways we examine, redefine and name ourselves in relationship to others. In a spirit of openness and welcoming we build the beloved community, sometimes grappling with the tough issues of oppression and privilege, but always circling back to the ways we celebrate together with love, joy and compassion. 

    Friday night opens with a joyous celebration open to everyone. Hosted by poet and spoken word artist, Christopher D. Sims, the evening will feature an all ages line-up of local and imported poets, spoken word artists, musicians, and dramatists. Performers will have an opportunity to garner donations for their organizations that are in alignment with the vision of DRUUMM as we seek to build a meaningful anti-racist, anti-oppressive multicultural, multiracial community. Refreshments will be served at a late evening reception. 

    Saturday will be a day filled with workshops and identity caucuses for DRUUMM members and friends. Anyone is welcome who self-identifies as a Person of Color (not considered “White” in the USA, such as people with African, Asian/ Pacific Islander, Latino/Latina/ Chicano/Chicana/ Hispanic, Native American/ Indian/ First Nations, West Indian/ Caribbean, Middle Eastern, or multiracial heritage), or who has encountered personal oppression in overt or subtle forms because he or she appears to be of a racial or ethnic identity other than White or Anglo/European.

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided. Saturday night’s family gathering dinner will give multicultural, multiracial families of many definitions and configurations an opportunity to relax and unwind together followed by some fun music and our best dance moves as we venture out to enjoy some of the sights and sounds of San Diego. 

    A bevy of DRUUMM ministers from across the country will preach at all three worship services on Sunday, 9:30 and 11:30 at the Hillcrest Campus and 9:30 at the South Bay Campus. All are welcome to attend. This remarkable event will reach even further in deepening our connections and understanding at a Sunday community luncheon and forum where the congregations will share their reflections with each other and then bid farewell to enjoy the beautiful San Diego region before heading home. 

    Registration fees and other details will be announced soon. The conference is partially sponsored by the church’s ROAR with SOUL (A Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Team) - We Resist Oppression And Racism with a Spirit of Openness, Understanding and Love. 

    Find out more by contacting Jan Carpenter Tucker, roarwithsoul@cox.net or 619-527-2850. Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/JTWSD

    * DRUUMM provides support and advocacy for Unitarian Universalist (UU) People of Color (POC) and works to build a community in UUism. We work for self-determination, justice, and equal opportunity; empower our various ministries; celebrate our diverse heritages; overcome racism through resistance; and transform and enrich UUism through our multicultural experiences. We strive for an accountable relationship with our allies of Anglo/European descent for the purpose of building a larger UU community committed to transforming UUism into an anti-racist, ethnically multicultural movement.

  • 10 Jan 2013 3:53 PM | Anonymous member

    Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM)

    & Allies for Racial Equity (ARE)

    New England Regional Gathering

    February 16, 2013 * 9:00 A.M.-4:00 P.M.

    Venue: First Parish Cambridge Unitarian Universalist

    3 Church Street, Harvard Square http://www.firstparishcambridge.org/Directions

    9:00-9:30 -  Welcome and Introductions

    9:30-10:00 - Worship Service

    10:00-11:00 - DRUUMM & ARE: Visions and Covenants

    11:00-12:00 - Guided Small Group Discussion

    12:00-1:00 -  Lunch

    1:00-2:00 - Guided Small Group Discussion Continued

    2:00-3:30 -  Plenary: Sharing & Moving Forward

    3:30-4:00 -  Closing Ceremony

    Sponsor: Transformation Team, First Parish Cambridge UU:

    For More Information:  Contact mcv59@yahoo.com

  • GA

    08 Jun 2012 12:26 PM | Anonymous
    I won't be at the GA, but I wish you all the best.
  • 10 Jun 2011 5:54 AM | Anonymous member
    See our EVENTS section for more details.
  • 25 Apr 2011 4:22 PM | Anonymous member
    We will be posting the GA events soon.  We also want to track other DRUUMM members and what they are doing at GA so post it here!
  • 12 Sep 2010 9:58 AM | Anonymous member

    Letter from the UUA Board of Trustees
    GA 2012 – A Justice GA in Phoenix, AZ

    (reprinted from the UUA website)

    At the August 26th Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Board of Trustees meeting considerable time was spent in discussing our presence as a General Assembly of congregations in Phoenix in June of 2012. We are asking for your assistance now as we prepare for this event. A business resolution was passed in Minneapolis which makes several requests of the board. Read entire letter and resolution (PDF).

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