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Envoy News

August 2013

Your UU Connection to the United Nations

Table of Contents

August Task List

Summer Travels

Women's Program Updates

Intergenerational Spring Seminar

Envoy Highlights

News You Can Use

 

  

Mission Statement

 

The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office promotes the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all, as reflected in the United Nations Charter. Through targeted education, advocacy and outreach, we engage Unitarian Universalists in support of international cooperation and the work of the United Nations.

Dear Friends,

Save the date!  Our 2014 Intergenerational Spring Seminar will be April 3-5 (youth arrive on April 2nd).  We will focus on the rights of indigenous peoples with a concentration on the environment.  For more information please download our Save the Date Flyer and go to www.uua.org/unspringseminar.  2014 Planning Committee calls will be starting in September.  

We completed our annual check in calls in June. If you did not receive a call or have yet to return our call, please email or call so that we complete this database update!   

We will be having another conference call training this Tuesday, September 3rd from 3pm-4:30pm EDT.  The focus will be on UN Sunday services and events.  If you are unable to attend due to the time (3-4:30pm EDT) please let me know.  I will be trying out different time slots for trainings to accommodate the varying time zones of envoys.   Please participate in this Doodle Poll and share which time of day works best for you.  

Call number: 641-715-3200 Access Code: 875 935

RSVP to kjacob@uua.org to be emailed the meeting agenda   

Doodle Poll Instructions: 1) Follow the above link 2) Where asked for your name, please put your first name and your state/province 3) Select all times you would be available for a training.

http://doodle.com/ge7wyk2yq82kiiw6

Feel free to email me with any specific days of the week you would prefer and any other suggestions you may have.  The September call will address planning and executing a UN Sunday celebration.  This is a great time to share how your preparations are coming along and your stories of struggle and success.  If you have trouble gathering interest or getting a space for your UN Sunday event, call in and share your story and perhaps another envoy on the call has suggestions for how to overcome the obstacles you are facing.   

In Peace, Love & Justice, 

Kamila Jacob
Envoy Outreach Coordinator

August Task List

If you are struggling to complete any tasks, please email or call to let me know (kjacob@uua.org - 212.986.5165 extension 3).  

Task 1 - Download UN Sunday packet

UN Sunday is just around the corner.  Here is our UN SUNDAY PACKET.  This packet includes information about the United Nations, "What is UN Sunday?", information about the seminar, ways to get involved with LGBTQ support, and everything you will need to prepare and follow-up your UN Sunday service and/or event.  We even include resources for Religious Educators to help introduce the children to LGBTQ Human Rights Issues. In September and October we will also have readings/poems/meditations posted on our blog page to be incorporated into UN Sunday services and events.  

www.uua.org/unsunday

Task 2 - Request new information materials

Please email or call to make your requests for UU-UNO Materials.  If you are unable to have a UN Sunday service, please do host an event, celebration, and/or acknowledgement of UN Day.  For these festivities we provide you with the UU-UNO flyers and brochures to display.  We have updated many of our flyers since UUA General Assembly.  Please email me as soon as possible to let me know you will need a materials box.  If you are able to use the printer at your congregation, I can also email you the most up to date flyers.  

I send boxes with 100 of each flyer for congregations 200+ and 70 of each flyer to congregations with less than 150 congregants. I also include 50 of each of our brochures (General information, UN Women, Child Marriage and Climate Action Team), a handful of pins, a sign-up sheet, and some stickers.  Please let me know if this amount of materials will NOT meet your needs.  

Task 3 - Fall timeline

Email me your timeline for the rest of 2013 (and 2014 if you can!). Ask yourself the following questions to help to create this timeline...
When will the envoy team meet?  Which committees/groups will you visit to share information and/or collaborate on issues tackled by the UN office? When will your first Intergenerational Spring Seminar fundraiser be?  When will you be making announcements about the UU-UNO at the pulpit?  How often will you update the UU-UNO table/bulletin board? Click here to download an example timeline.  This timeline is not set in stone, but it is always helpful to sit down and map things out.  We understand you hold this position voluntarily and I cannot even begin to tell you how thankful we are we have you on our team!  This timeline will be helpful to all parties even/especially other envoys.  As this is subject to change, when it does just send me the new version :)  

Envoy Coordinator Summer Adventures

uumac


*July 14-20th I returned for my 11th year at Unitarian Universalist Mid-Atlantic Community (UUMAC), a week-long intergenerational UU camp held on the DeSales University Campus in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.  UUMAC was how I first learned about the UU-UNO when Director Bruce Knotts was the Theme Speaker in 2011.  

Now I go back each year to continue to spread the word of thinking globally while acting locally and engage this fantastic multigenerational community in international human rights work.  This year I was the Young Adult Coordinator.  We had daily check-ins and discussions and got to spend time writing letters to the children in the Every Child is Our Child program.  It was a great week and I can't wait to go back again next year.
*Photo features an envoy, Tom, and UUMAC participant, Penny.  

unirondack 

July 28th-August 3rd I attended my first Unirondack.  I had heard such wonderful things about this summer camp for youth, but never took the opportunity - how I wish I could go back in time!  Located in upstate New York, Unirondack brings together interfaith (majority UU) groups of youth with each week correlating to different age groups.  I was invited to teach morning program.  Each day we started with interactive activities that addressed the different human rights issues tackled by the UN office.
 We had large and small group discussions about each days topic and how to get more involved in social justice work.  I was also able to lead "Indigestion" sessions (after dinner activity) where campers were able to further process the international issues being discussed.  Just like at UUMAC, we took time to write letters to the children in the Every Child is Our Child program.  I had a great week and I hope to go back again to discuss the work of the UU-UNO.
 
youth at the UN
August is a big month for Youth Leadership at the United Nations.  The Friendship Ambassador Foundation (FAF) held the 2013 summer Youth Assembly August 7-9th at which your Envoy Coordinator was able to speak about the UU-UNO!  A few interns and I were also able to attend UN International Youth Day on August 12th which focused on youth migration.  To read more about some of the Youth centered events at the UN download this summary compiled by myself and summer intern, Moira Peterson(.pdf file). 

Also check out my post on the Department of Public Information affiliated Non-Governmental Organizations (DPI/NGO) blog page about my Malala Day experience. 

Updates in our Women's Rights Initiative

This summer, our interns have been hard at work supporting women's rights in coordination with our office program: Women: Security and Peacebuilding.  The program aims to promote awareness of key women's issues through targeted education and advocacy.  Interns at the office focus on women's roles in peacebuilding and peacekeeping, ratification of key women's rights legislation, child marriage, and the documentation, increased awareness and prevention of sexual violence.  Uma Ilvarasan intensely studied an documented child marriage, especially in cases in which it is sanctioned explicitly or implicitly by government.   Click to download this brochure, "Government-Sanctioned Sexual Slavery".  Russell Hathaway compiled a report examining sexual and gender-based violence in the Syrian Civil War, which documented the widespread crime within the country as well as the plight of sexual violence survivors in refugee communities outside of Syria.  The report can be found here on our blog page.  Moira Peterson revamped the UU-UNO's campaign for the ratification of CEDAW, the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, networking with UN legislators and lobbyists.  To this day, the United States remains one of seven countries that have not yet ratified the document.  As the summer winds to a close, our new academic interns will continue to advocate for women's security, rights, and opportunities worldwide.

Intergenerational Spring Seminar 2014

Our 2014 Intergenerational Spring Seminar will be April 3-5 (youth arrive on April 2nd).  We will focus on the rights of indigenous peoples with a concentration on the environment. Click here to download the Save the Date Flyer.  There are leadership opportunities during the seminar such as facilitating intergenerational dialogues and youth advisors, please see our 2014 Leadership Application for more information.    

Envoy Highlights
This month I would like to highlight Youth Envoy, Corry Sullivan. 
 
Hi! My name is Corry Sullivan. I live in State College, Pennsylvania and I go to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County.
I learned about the UU-UNO when Kamila came to a Youth Con in my district (Joseph Priestly), and I've been an envoy ever since.  I am the Youth Coordinator at my congregation, and I represent my fellowship in my county's local chapter of the UN Association Council of Organizations. I am also the Social Action Coordinator for the Joseph Priestly District Youth Steering Committee. This past year, I went to my first Spring Seminar and it was amazing! As an envoy, I have been planning my congregation's first ever UN Sunday Service.  I have also been working with the social action committee in my congregation to do more with the UU-UNO.  

News You Can Use 

You can use the following bullet points in your congregation's newsletter, website or announcements!

UU-UNO Updates: 

  • We need your help!  We are looking for an auction coordinator for our Fall Fundraiser!  If you have any interest in helping us or any suggestions, please email unitednations@uua.org with your contact information.  
  • Calendars are filling up quickly - if you would like Bruce or Kamila to speak at your congregation to celebrate United Nations Day please contact us ASAP - Bruce Knotts, bknotts@uua.org and Kamila Jacob, kjacob@uua.org.  
  • Does your congregation have a special interest in our Every Child is Our Child Program? Let us know what you do to educate your congregation on our contribution to the UN MDGs.  Contact your Envoy Coordinator for assistance organizing a letter writing event! 

Upcoming Events

  • On September 5th, Bruce Knotts will be a panelist for an event in Washington DC discussing the struggles of refugees and asylum seekers involved in human rights activities.  Download the flyer (.pdf) for more information.  We hope folks are able to attend!
  • Our dear friend Imam Baba Leigh will speak at a Freedom of Religion event September 12 from 1-3 sponsored by the NGO Committee on Human Rights, chaired by Bruce Knotts and the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion chaired by Matt Cherry. 
  • On October 7th we will be hosting an event at the UN Church Centre, more information will be available closer to the date - mark your calendars! 
 United Nations Updates:
  • Approximately 1 million Syrian children are now refugees of the Syrian Civil War, scattered throughout Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq.  An additional 2 million children are internally displaced.
  • The United Nations continues to encourage and foster investment in clean energy and sustainable development, working with the Latin American Development Bank to pursue climate resilient policies and solutions.
  • While the United Nations managed to allocate 33 million dollars to handle the growing food security crisis in South Sudan, the UN food relief agency states that 84 million dollars are required to fully meet the needs of those affected.
  • The United Nations has proclaimed April 6 a day to recognize the power of sports--a power harnessed by youth in particular--to overcome cultural barriers and foster peace.
  • The United Nations considers indeterminate or prolonged solitary confinement a form of cruel, inhuman punishment, in some cases amounting to torture.  It has called on the United States to end the practice against its prisoners.
  • Youth are a hot topic these days at the UN check out what we have been prioritizing in Youth Rights activism discussions in the World Youth Report.