Johnny WilliamsJohnny Williams
Youth & Young Adult Coordinator

Johnny (they/them) is a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for self-directed learning, solidarity economies, comparative religion, and warm beverages. After a secular upbringing in the North Shore suburbs of Chicago, Johnny was introduced to Unitarian Universalism by their mother and attended services at the Unitarian Church of Evanston throughout high school. Johnny continued to explore spirituality and religion as a student at Hampshire College, taking a variety of courses on comparative religion in addition to participating in the campus meditation group and in a local Friends (Quaker) meeting.

Upon graduating from Hampshire in 2018, Johnny worked as a camp counselor for Farm & Wilderness, which led them to the realization that they wanted to pursue youth work as a vocational calling. Since then, Johnny has worked with youth in a variety of settings, and currently works as a music instructor at North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens, in addition to this role. Johnny is thrilled to be the first youth & young adult coordinator to get to work with youth at both the Unitarian Society of Northampton & Florence and the Unitarian Society of Amherst. Having lived in both of the communities that these congregations represent, they are very excited to see the kind of chemistry and cross-valley connections that form between both groups of youth over the course of the year.

Johnny grew up in a musical family, and is the oldest of three siblings. They started out on violin/fiddle at an early age and later picked up bass, guitar, piano, and ukulele. Music has been a big part of their spirituality and identity over the course of their life and they hope to share this passion with youth in both congregations. Johnny currently resides in Florence with four humans, four chickens, two turtles, two tortoises, a cat, and a dog.

Youth Group's Compost Project

Roughly 25% of the garbage in the U.S. is made up of yard trimmings and food scraps (info from EPA)! When food is disposed of in a landfill it rots and becomes a significant source of methane – a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. People are growing up in this world, and we need to take action NOW.Compost

The Youth Group at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence is installing a composting barrel in downtown Northampton on June 20th in order to help combat this. It will be located on the front lawn of the Unitarian Society, located between City Hall and Pulaski Park. It will be open for public use, and there will be educational signs surrounding it.

Things that we hope people will deposit in it include compostable cups, which are provided by many downtown businesses, food scraps, and other compostable containers or utensils. We hope to keep it free from trash and recyclable items, so please deposit these things in the nearby trash and recycling barrels. Spread the word to other locals, friends, and family, and be sure to use the bin as often as possible. We want to educate the community about composting and, hopefully, you will see more composting barrels in the future, as this is intended to be a pilot project. The compost will go to either a farm in Greenfield or a compost processor in Springfield. It is being brought to these places by USA Hauling, which is supporting the project by giving us one year of free service. USA Hauling says, “For us, sustainability is not just a buzzword. It has many meanings to us, all of which are deeply ingrained in every generation of our family business. We believe that treating our employees and customers like family leads to real, lasting relationships in our community”. It’s with their support that we are able to get this project started!

Composting is necessary if we want to fight Climate Change. Every year, each American throws out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted. Composting is one way to change it. We need action- and we need your help! Please support our mission to implement an even wider composting initiative in downtown Northampton by using this pilot barrel at 220 Main St! 

For more information, contact the Youth Group Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (413) 584-1390.