Linnea Pearson

The Rev. Linnea Pearson was ordained into the Unitarian Universalist ministry in l974 following her graduation from Harvard University School of Divinity in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She received her Ph.D. in l971 and has an M.A. and a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois.

The passion of her life has been social justice work, especially as it pertains to women, as she is a survivor of domestic violence.

She founded the first chapter of N.O.W. in Norfolk, Virginia, in l969, while serving as one of three white faculty at the legendary Norfolk State University. She often marched with Dr. King and Jesse Jackson in the Civil Rights movement of the day.

Raised and married in the United Church of Christ, Linnea became a Unitarian in l969 as the Unitarian church was the only integrated space in Norfolk and was the center of the Civil Rights/Human Rights/Welfare Rights/ and Peace Movements.

Rev. Linnea worked with Cesar Chavez as Director of the National Farm Worker Ministry in Florida in the l990s and was part of the People Power Movement in the l980s as Executive Director of the Peace Education Foundation of Miami.

Two public television series were hosted by her: “The Greening of South Florida” about spirituality in the Greens movement and “Harvesting Justice” about the farm-workers movement in South Florida.

Rev. Linnea has served 15 years in the parish ministry and 27 years in various community ministries. She now serves as Inter-Faith Chaplain at FIU/BBC where she also Adjunct Professor of World Religions and Women and Religion.

On pilgrimage to India at the time of her 65thbirthday, she was given the name of “Ama-la” which, in the Tibetan tradition, signifies “Mother of the Village”—a woman who, traditionally, has no children of her own, but serves as mother to all.

This is the spiritual name she shortens now to “Ama.”

Author of Separate Paths: Why People End Their Lives (Harper & Row, 1977), she has been at work on another book for the last 30 years and hopes to finish it before she dies! The tentative title: She Is Coming Again!