View Past Winners Below

The Rheiner Award was established by the UUSF Board of Trustees in 1989 to recognize and celebrate a member of this Society for social justice activism and community service.  We seek to increase public and congregational awareness of the activities of members who carry their Unitarian Universalist values outside the church into the larger community.  The award was named in honor of the Rev. Conard Rheiner, an activist member of this congregation from 1961 to 1987.  He pioneered services for people with mental health issues living on the margins of society; and was one of the founders of Conard House, a neighborhood center.  He inspired and empowered others with his commitment, enthusiasm and demonstration of dedication to others.


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2018 Award Winner

The Rheiner awardee for 2018 is recognized for her legal expertise and accomplishments in winning significant court cases ensuring the rights of asylum seekers, refugees, immigrants and other persecuted individuals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and other courts. 

She has acted as a trial attorney and held advisory positions for various associations such as the Organization for Refugees, Asylum and Migration and currently leads the Human Rights Working Groups of our UUSF.


2013 Award Winner

Jan and Howard Oringer received the Rheiner Award because of our activity in the community focused on Criminal Justice Reform. 

They operate as the Omnia Foundation and our funding supports many California based organizations led by formerly incarcerated individuals with a mission to reduce mass incarceration, improve prison conditions, and provide more acceptable re-entry opportunities.

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2009 Award Winner

Received the Rheiner Award in 2009, for his 20 year commitment to defending the most imperiled individuals in our legal system in death penalty appeals; for representing criminal defendants in state and federal habeas corpus proceedings; and for his educational and activist efforts to end the death penalty through work with the Unitarian Universalists for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and other organizations.


2008 Award Winner

Don Williams and David Jones received the Rheiner Award in 2008 for educating Sonoma County protestant churches to accept and support LGBTQ people in their churches.

Don and David visited 25-30 congregations between 1989 and 1995.

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2007 Award Winner

The Rheiner honor for 2007 has been an activist for peace and social justice work for many years.  She was a leader in the "School of the Americans Watch" national movement, seeking to stop U.S. training and support for military forces of undemocratic governments in Latin America. 

She is an organizer in efforts to end the war in Iraq and a founding member of UUs for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.