1st Unitarian Universalist
of the Palm Beaches
Prosperity Farms Rd.
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
A 1960's view of social action, based on information from Harriet Glasner.
Since its organization as a church in 1961, the First UU Society of West Palm
Beach has been deeply involved in various aspects of social responsibility. The
minister, Rev. J. C. Loadman, was one of the founders of the Religious Action
Committee an inter-racial organization that has supported action by the Florida
Council on Human Relations and also instituted some of its own. He and the
chairman of the church's Social Responsibility Committee, Mrs. Harriet S.
Glasner, were largely responsible for the establishment of the Organization of
Religious Organizations made up of representatives of virtually every religious
West Palm Beach.
Several church members worked to organize a Family Service Agency with Rev.
Loadman serving as the first president. An executive director was engaged and
Unitarians were responsible for the election of two Negroes to the board of
Other organizations Unitarians and Universalists are active in include ACLU,
Committee on Race of the United Church Women and the Community Action
Committee -- of which the minister was spokesman in protesting the
appearance of an evangelist in the public schools. For this he received
anonymous phone calls accusing him of being an atheist.
Indirect social action: a woman member of the church was the only woman
from West Palm Beach participating in the March on Washington and as a result
was ostracized by her neighbors. Rev. Loadman and three church members
were in St. Augustine for the fourth of July March and also participated in a
sympathy march in Boca Raton.
The LRY was responsible for organizing the Junior Council on Human Relations
and worked in the summer of 1965 on a tutorial program in a Negro church in
Riviera Beach, the heart of a very poor neighborhood. They drew white
youngsters from other denominations as well as Negroes to assist.
As a result of West Palm Beach church members, along with members of the
Boca Raton Fellowship, protesting a student conduct pledge requirement at
Florida Atlantic University the requirement was dropped.
The church has also been involved for several years in the desegregation of
Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach. The hospital has recently
announced it will accept Negro patients as of July 1, 1966. The church has also
been in the middle of the successful efforts to desegregate the YMCA and in
school desegregation. They have stopped separate shelters for Negroes during
the Hurricane season; in the desegregation of the Detention Center and Negro
Children’s Home and persuaded the ‘lily white” Democratic Club to accept
Mrs. Glasner, the source of the foregoing resume added: “I would like to
stress that our church has grown in membership and in community status
despite telephone calls, threats and anonymous letters and we have almost
total support from our membership, When people see that it is possible to
make changes and that none of us have been shot at (not yet) they join us.
None of us have been frightened off -- if someone is really going to bomb your
house, he won’t bother to telephone you to tell you about it.
About Harriet Glasner
In 2010, the following information appeared on the websites of the
Founded in 1971 by Harriet Glasner and Dr. Carl Brumback, our affiliate was
established due to concerns about rising rates of teenage pregnancy,
increasing incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, and lack of birth control
information and services.
Emergency Medical Assistance
In 1975, Harriet Glasner organized EMA which was one of the first abortion
funding agencies in the nation. She was deeply involved in women's access to
quality reproductive health care. While working with Planned Parenthood of
the Palm Beaches which she also founded, she recognized a more pressing
issue facing poor women - limited access to contraceptives and abortion
because of their economic status. Women without money were forced to bear
an unwanted child. Harriet founded EMA to help equalize this inequity.
The Palm Beach County Chapter of the ACLU was founded in 1978 by the late,
great Harriet Glasner,
namesake of our annual Freedom Award. Since that time, the chapter has
worked to defend the individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by
the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And with more than 3000 members and
supporters, we have become the largest chapter in the state.