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Envoy News

December/January

Your UU Connection to the United Nations

 

  

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,

In December we had Envoy Check in calls that were sectioned off by time zone.  This was an effort to address requests I have received and in an effort to be accommodating and inclusive to hear from and communicate with Envoys across the U.S. and Canada. Unfortunately there was no Pacific time zone call due to scheduling issues.  

All minutes in one document

Please take a few moments to read through the minutes.  When meeting with your envoy team - please go through the minutes, work on your next steps, and shoot me an email with what you came up with/any questions. Announcing this successful check in call and sharing a few points from the minutes is the perfect agenda item for upcoming committee meetings to update members with your envoy work.  

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the life of Eleanor Mason.  Eleanor passed away at the age of 94 and was a long time member of the UU-UNO family. She was the first volunteer envoy coordinator and established the Envoy program. This newsletter, your position, my position, would not be possible with her efforts.  She will be dearly missed and her memorial service will be on February 1st at the Morristown Unitarian Congregation at 2:00pm.   

In Peace, Love & Justice, 

Kamila Jacob
Envoy Outreach Coordinator

Envoys in Action

November review: (1) UN Sunday report (2) Schedule meeting with your minister (3) Review Blue Ribbon Congregation criteria

Please try to complete the following Action Items before the end of January  

1

I have already begun my Blue Ribbon Congregation Award calculations, please be sure to submit the Envoy Report which includes the number of individual donors you have on record.  Additionally, please advertise the Dana Greeley Award as the current deadline for submissions is fast approaching.  Download the .pdf flyer

2

Review minutes from Envoy Check In calls and come up with 3 "next steps" with your envoy team.  

3

Please confirm you have received and read this email by replying with something fun you have done recently, personal or envoy related.  :)

Featured Envoy(s)

This section will feature stories/questions/adventures submitted by envoys.  Usually there is an action item to update me, this is where those updates will live. Looking forward to featuring you in the February edition!

Adventures!

Bruce and Kamila had great visits in December. Here is some of the January traveling schedule:   

  • January 8-10 - Bruce and intern Lauren are attending an LGBTQ Asylee and Refugee Conference in Washington DC.
  • January 17-20 - Bruce will be visiting Ottawa congregations and meeting with leaders of various First Nations about promoting the rights of indigenous peoples.  
  • January 17-19 - Kamila will be a leader at the Metro NY Social Action Service Seminar for Youth (SASSY) which will take place in Staten Island, NY and will also be addressing the congregation during the Sunday morning service.  
  • Upcoming in February: Site visit to Ghana!  Help support this trip and the Every Child is Our Child Program by donating today!

Program Area Updates

Our academic year interns are hard at work to help develop UU-UNO program initiatives.  Here are brief updates from each. 
Climate Change

Contact Caroline at the UU-UNO to find out more information and tips on how to get a CAT started in your congregation! unintern@uua.org (subject ATT:CAROLINE) 

Every Child is Our Child (ECOC)

I have been preparing to accompany Bruce on a site visit to Ghana February 7-14th.  I fell in love with Ghana last year when I took a course on international poverty and food insecurity in Ghana and I am very excited to return.  This visit is a chance to maintain our relationships with the ECOC leaders, build new connections, and explore new opportunities with our partners.  I will assist Bruce in program assessment, as well as exploring ways in which the program staff can increase efficiency and transparency.   In addition to visiting the site in Odumase, Bruce and I will be visiting the Ghana Aids commission and Peace Corps.  We are making an extra push in funds for this visit so please spread the word and donate to our ECOC Fund today!

If your would like congregation to send post cards for us to bring to encourage the children to stay in school, please contact our office! unintern@uua.org with subject line "ATTN: Maria". 

Intergenerational Spring Seminar
We recently had a new intern, Yasmin, join our team.  She will be working with Julianne on our seminar.  Here is her note of introduction:
 
Hello everyone, I just moved to New York City to intern at the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office. I am a member of the First Unitarian Church of Ottawa and am helping to organize this year's April spring seminar on Indigenous Peoples Rights. I studied human rights at Carleton University and violence against indigenous women was the main focus of my research. I had a great holiday break visiting family in Montreal and Toronto. Some of my hobbies include downhill skiing, skating, reading novels, going to concerts, watching documentaries and travelling to different cities. I can’t wait to see many of you at this year’s seminar!

We hope to include an informative article each month leading up to the seminar. Check out this article Know Your Rights: A Treaty Primer for Non-Natives.

Ministerial Outreach

Wow! We are thrilled with your response so far to our ministerial outreach. Keep it up! If you have a minister who you think would be interested in working with our office more directly don’t hesitate to give them our contact information. 

Coming up in the next month the UU-UNO is excited to be hosting the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) from January 28-30. This is the first time the ICUU has met in New York City and the event is sure to be a wonderful opportunity for global leaders of our movement to get together, build bridges, and create dialogue. Stay tuned in to our social media for frequent updates on this unprecedented event!

SOGI Rights (LGBTQ)

Refugees and Asylees

Bruce and I attended a retreat January 8-10, check out the blog post review I wrote about this amazing experience. 

If this topic is of interest to you or if you feel you have something to contribute to this process, please feel free to e-mail unintern@uua.org with subject line "ATT: Lauren". I thank you in advance for your input; all are welcome. 

Women's Rights
Hi, I’m Sharon from Women’s Program at UU-UNO. We are excited to announce that both of our parallel event proposals for 58th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58) have been approved! The events have been scheduled as follows:

Panel discussion on the effects of climate change on maternal mortality and spread of disease
Thursday, 13 March, 2014 at 10:30am at the 10th Floor of the Church Center of the United Nations (777 United Nations Plaza).
 
Panel discussion “Women’s Role in Post-disaster construction and Recovery” 
Friday, 14 March 2014 at 10:30am. Drew Room-Ground Floor, CCUN, 777 United Nations Plaza.

Details of the events will come out shortly. We look forward to seeing you at CSW58. 

News You Can Use

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

UU-UNO Updates: 

  • THIS JUST IN: Registration for our Intergenerational Spring Seminar is open! This year’s theme is the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and environmental justice, and the seminar will be held April 3rd-5th. Click here to register

  • In case you missed it, our representative at the Warsaw conference shares her experience on our blog page.  

  • Bruce created a short blog on the Anti-homosexuality bill that was recently passed in Uganda.  

  • Former intern, Jacklyn (Women's Program), was married on January 6th, 2014.  Congratulations to her!   

  • The office was closed on Monday, January 20th in honor of the celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  

  • There are many new blogs on our blog page.  Remember to check regularly for updates and news. 

Upcoming Events 

  • January - The International Council of Unitarian Universalists (ICUU) are coming to New York!  The 31st the ICUU will be joining us at the UN Church Center for a panel event.  That weekend there will also be events at the Shelter Rock congregation in Manhasset.  

  • February - Ghana site visit 7th-14th.  Support this visit and the Every Child is Our Child program by donating today!

  • March - 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 10th-24th with UU-UNO led parallel events on March 13th at 10:30am and March 14th at 10:30am.  

  • April - I know you have had this on your calendar since the summer...our Intergenerational Spring Seminar is the 3rd-5th (with youth and youth advisors arriving on the 2nd).  Registration is open!  And be sure to join our Facebook event page!

 United Nations Updates:

  • Amid perpetuating bloodshed in the Central African Republic, the president Michel Djotodia has responded to pressure to resign. Many Central Africans celebrated his resignation, though violence continues between Christians and Muslims in the country.

  • The humanitarian crisis in South Sudan worsens as UN peacekeepers and equipment may not be deployed for several weeks. Since fighting began in mid-December 2013, the conflict has been the source of over 1,000 deaths as well as hundreds of thousands of displaced people.

  • Timor-Leste has become the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to launch a national action plan to respond to the UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge. Over the last few years, the country has made significant headway in lowering poverty and hunger rates especially amongst infants and children.

  • The season finale of Project Runway All Stars was filmed at the UN Headquarters in New York where the finalists have designed clothing lines with their own heritage as inspiration. In response to the disaster last April in Bangladesh, a push is emerging within the international fashion industry to adopt socially conscious practices. (I was there, I saw them!).