Truth is powerful and it prevails
– Sojourner Truth
Founder and Director
The Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian
The Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian has been inspired to create and lead the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership. A veteran of every peace and social change movement since the 1960s, when she was radicalized at Oberlin College during the Vietnam War, Andrea has never stopped being an activist and trainer.
An ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ, Andrea served as Dean of Religious Life at Mount Holyoke College for ten years. She then went on to revitalize the Haydenville Congregational Church in Western Massachusetts, which grew from a congregation of 13 people to almost 300 people during her dozen years as the Senior Pastor.
Andrea is a long-time war tax resister, a nonviolence and peacekeeper trainer, a frequent speaker on strategies for effective movement building, and she writes a monthly column on the intersection of faith, culture and politics for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, MA. She holds degrees from Oberlin College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, the Graduate School of the Union Institute, and Yale Divinity School. Her papers, chronicling over four decades of movement activism, have been collected and archived at the Smith College Women’s History Archive as part of their permanent collection.
I am an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC). After 5 years as the pastor of a church, I craved meaningful work in a broader, more diverse and inter/trans-faith context. I continue to move into and create those contexts. Through The None & Some Project, I explore people’s evolving relationship to faith in recorded one-on-one conversations. A spin off project I co-organize is a live storytelling event called Queer Faith, exploring faith queered and queers’ faith. I regularly preach at Haydenville UCC and other area churches, and officiate weddings and funerals for those without a particular religious context. I am a songwriter and singer, currently working on my first album! Through all these threads, and now as part of the Truth School staff, I seek to be a part of movements that liberate us from limiting and harmful frameworks and which move us toward one another in love.
I have worked in fiscal and operations for the non-profit, private, and academic sectors in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties, with a focus on community economic development, including revolving loan funds, community land trusts, and grant management. My life interests are justice, historical truth telling, urban ecosystems, creating healthy educational experiences, and, of course, abolition. Flint still doesn’t have clean water.
I am from San Juan, Puerto Rico. My grandmother said that “without freedom, there isn’t equality,” and that “our dreams make us heroic.” I am multimedia journalist who has worked in Puerto Rico, Spain and the US, for broadcast, online + print. I’m host of Vaya con Muñoz on WHMP AM 1400 radio, a bilingual talk program on arts, culture, media and politics. I love to rant and rave.