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Envoy News

June/July

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,

Happy summer! I hope you are doing well and have taken some time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the little things in life.  You should have received a call from one of our fabulous summer interns inquiring about your work as an envoy, feedback on the program, and the most up-to-date contact information for you.  Your feedback is a huge part of what keeps the Envoy programing going so thank you for your time! 

It is about time we had another envoy conference call! Please fill in your ideal time for the envoy call: CLICK HERE.  I have used different strategies to plan these calls based on your feedback.  Please let me know if you think the above form is a good way to plan the call time.  

In Peace, Love & Justice, 

Kamila Jacob
Envoy Coordinator
Envoys in Action

March review: (1) UN Sunday best practices to share with other envoys (2) UUA GA form (3) UU-UNO LGBTQ Refugee and Asylum seeker program

Please complete the following Action Items before the end of August. 

1

Book UN Sunday service or event - see UN SUNDAY PACKET PREVIEW for suggested dates.   

2

Input for August call topics and times - CLICK HERE  

3

Invite congregants to participate in the 2015 Intergenerational Spring Seminar planning committee! See "Spring Seminar" section below for example text to read out loud, add to your newsletter, and email.  


Adventures 

Here is some of the June/July traveling schedule and peek into August!

  • June 7-8 - Cedar Lane Youth visit NYC! 
  • June 11-July 8  - Intern and Office Coordinator, Nickie, was out of the office
  • June 25 - Bruce spoke at the Open Working Group session
  • June 26 - Bruce visted the White House and a BBQ at Joe Biden's house! 
  • June 26-29 UUA General Assembly
  • July 8 - three new interns start!
  • July 14-18 - Kamila at UUMAC
  • July 23 - Bruce's birthday!
  • July 27 - August 2 - Kamila at Unirondack leading Morning Programming
  • August 2-10 - Bruce on vacation
  • August 6,7,8 - Friendship Ambassador Foundation UN Youth Assembly
  • August 27-29 - DPI/NGO Conference (In NYC this year!)

Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly (UUA GA)

We had a wonderful time at GA 2014! Providence, RI is a wonderful area and the people were so nice.  It was so wonderful to see so many of you there. To learn more about our time at GA read our blog.  

Here is some participant feedback:

Ben Gaffigan, Envoy, UU Fairfax, VA

The UU-UNO reception provided a perfect setting to honor certain congregation for their exceptional collaboration with the UU-UNO. We were treated to an excerpt from the exceptional service that earned the Dana Greeley award, and (INSERT ACTUAL # HERE) congregations were honored with the blue ribbon award. Overall this event graced its attendees with food, knowledge, and goodwill towards the incredible action the UU-UNO is working towards. (Feel free to paraphrase. Sorry this was late, I was on vacation) 

Sara Matsushima, Envoy, UU Morristown, NJ

I only attended two days of the UUA’s 2014 General Assembly, but while I was there was I able to participate in UU-UNO related events. At their workshop on starting intercultural dialogue in congregations, Kamila and Bruce talked to us about what the UU-UNO does and their various programs, including their efforts to combat LGBTQ inequality; they placed an emphasis on helping those whose voices are not often heard. In the morning I attended the envoy breakfast where current envoys and envoys-to-be met and discussed our past successes and failures when trying to spread the word about the UU-UNO at our respective congregations. It was nice to meet other UUs from all around the country who care and know about what’s going on at the UU-UNO, especially because our ages and backgrounds were all varied.

2015 Intergenerational Spring Seminar

BE SURE TO SHARE WITH YOUR CONGREGATION: The UU United Nations Office is seeking 2015 Seminar Planning Committee members. The 2015 Intergenerational Spring Seminar topic will be on the Criminal Justice System, Mass Incarceration, the new Jim Crow, and what we are going to do about the injustice!  We ask that all who are interested fill out an Application Form to help us bring together a well-rounded team.  More details on responsibilities are in the Application Form.  The time committment is 1hr call/week and if you want to be a sub-team leader, 2 calls per week (one with whole committee and one with subcommittee leaders).

We have tentative dates of April 9th-11th with Youth/Youth Advisor orientation on April 8th. We are in search for a new venue to accomadate the growing number of participants.  If you have any suggestions or ideas for NYC venues, please email or call me to let me know!

Program Updates

Here are some updates about what our summer interns are working on. 

Zandy

Hi! My name is Zandy and I’m interning throughout June and July at the UU-UNO Office. I am a student at Wesleyan University from Weehawken, New Jersey. I am currently studying Government (with a concentration in International Politics) and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I have been concentrating on the Women’s Initiative for Security and Peacebuilding (WISP) while at the office, researching for and planning the UU-UNO events for the UN Commission on the Status of Women in March. Recently I completed a blog post about the state of the girl child in Nigeria. I can be contacted at unintern@uua.org with “attn Zandy” in the subject line. Best wishes for the summer ahead!  

Sage

Hi everyone! My name is Sage and I’m working with the UU-UNO as an intern in June, July, and August this summer. I am a junior at Carleton College in Northfield, MN, originally from Columbus, Indiana. At Carleton I am studying history and economics, but have also been very involved in international relations issues and activities. I just recently started my internship, but am working on some projects with Every Child is Our Child and the Climate Action Teams.  I’ve enjoyed getting to meet some of you through the envoy calls and look forward to spending my summer working with you all! I would love to hear from you at unintern@uua.org with “attn. Sage” in the subject line!

Megan 

Hello! My name is Megan and I’m interning here at the UUUNO throughout June and July, and for a week or two in August! I am a student at Ithaca College pursuing a degree in Communications Management & Design, with a minor in Psychology. I am from Franklin Square, NY (on Long Island) and attend the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Central Nassau, in Garden City, NY.  I studied abroad in London and traveled throughout Europe this past semester, so it’s been really great to come back to an international platform in New York. Most recently, I have been working on a congregational profile project to further develop our relationships with each congregation, and attending various meetings and events at the UN. I can be contacted at unintern@uua.org with “attn Megan” in the subject line- feel free to reach out to me! It’s been great to speak with some of you over that past few weeks, and I look forward to speaking with those of you who I haven’t yet been able to! Have a great summer!

Lauren

As the LGBTQI Asylum Intern here at the UU-UNO, I have been busy with the most recent program around Homophobia in Nigeria as well as spending much of my time calling around to agencies in Manhattan that provide services to this population so that I may compile a sort of database with all of this information. It is a work in progress! Please feel free to visit the blog about the event on Homophobia in Nigeria at http://international.blogs.uua.org/ - Lauren Potenza - Please contact me at unintern@uua.org with subject line: "attn: Lauren". 

Ray
This past June, UU-UNO director Bruce Knotts was invited to join a group of faith-based advisors to provide input to the U.S. Department of State and the White House.  Bruce engaged with senior Obama Administration officials on their ongoing efforts to protect and promote human rights of LGBT individuals internationally. To assist in this effort, I outlined a list of talking points for Bruce to deliver, ranging from the need for the Administration to promote human rights in the UN’s sustainable development agenda to a strategic plan that involves the UU’s continued consultation on these matters. I also co-drafted a formal statement from UU-UNO to the White House, which Bruce gave to the Administration during his visit. In addition, I co-wrote a speech on the need for LGBT rights at the UN, which he gave his past July.

Omair
During the 12th session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which took place in June, the UU-UNO presented a statement.  This statement to the co-chairs of the OWG proposed amendments to certain targets under Goal 10, which deals with inequality among social groups within countries. We called for explicit inclusion of LGBTQ demographics in the language of the targets.  IT WORKED! Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) rights was included in a joint statement delivered to the co-chairs of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals during the 13th session (taking place now). Though the co-chairs were not permitting civil society organizations to make statements in their own capacity this time around, securing the discourse on SOGI rights in the joint statement on Goal 10 effectively reflects the numerous mutual sentiments on the universality of human rights and the power of agreement among civil society organizations. Our endeavor was to be heard, and whether or not we are listened to is yet to be seen.

Hazel
Hello! My name is Hazel Bess, and I’m interning at the UU-UNO for the months of June and July.  I’m a high school student from Maplewood, NJ at Kent Place School. I have been focusing on the Every Child is Our Child (ECOC) program here at the office, and working on networking with other organizations with similar goals.  Look out for updates on my activity here! If you’d like to contact me, email the intern address, unintern@uua.org, with my name in the subject line. I’d love to hear from you!
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