Envoy News August 2020
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News and updates from the UU@UN to keep you informed.
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Dear ,

This summer has felt very different from normal, with our two summer interns Kyra and Julia working with us remotely instead of together in our office in NYC.

I have a big announcement for you all: The UU@UN has reimagined what used to be known as the "Blue Ribbon Award" for congregations that were engaged with our office. The new award recognizes "Sixth Principle Congregations" that support the UU@UN and show their commitment to our UU goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all (the 6th Principle!). See more information about it below.

You'll notice something new I'm doing in an effort to make things easier for you to share. On some of the areas below, I've included an extra button which links to a document of resources to share the announcement with your congregation, on social media, or etc. I hope you find this valuable, and please let me know if there are other ways I can support you in your work!

Here are the minutes from the August Envoy conference call. I'll be out the third week of September so our next call will be September 22: Please RSVP here.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

This replaces the "Blue Ribbon Award" which will no longer exist

In 2009 the Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations created an award, known as the "Blue Ribbon Award" to recognize congregations that were supportive both through their actions and finances, of the UU@UN. Now in 2020 we are updating that award and giving it a new name: The Sixth Principle Award!

Like its predecessor, the Sixth Principle Award recognizes congregations that, through their activities and giving, show their commitment to international engagement and our UU Office at the UN. The award is named in recognition of the Unitarian Universalist Sixth Principle "goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all" that we affirm and promote.

The Sixth Principle Award is given yearly to congregations that have shown their continued support of the UU@UN by completing at least three of the following activities between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. At least one of the three must be from the Donation category; any number may be from the Action Category.

Donation Category:
  • Congregational Gift: Minimum donation of $100 or $2/member
  • Supporters: At least 5% of members or 15 individuals become Supporters

Action Category:
  • UN Sunday: Host a United Nations Sunday service
  • Intergenerational Spring Seminar: Send congregants to attend the Intergenerational Spring Seminar
  • Discussion Group: Host a UU@UN-related film screening and/or discussion group
  • Action Event: Organize and lead a global justice action event in your congregation

Find more detailed information about the Sixth Principle Award and how to qualify at In recognition for their steadfast dedication to international human rights, Sixth Principle Congregations that qualify and submit a brief report by March 31 will be presented with:
  • An award certificate at a reception in your honor at UUA General Assembly or the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) National Conference.
  • Formal recognition on the UU@UN website.
  • A specialized video from UU@UN staff honoring your congregation’s contribution.

No more plaques: We know some former Blue Ribbon Congregations have award plaques displayed proudly in their buildings. Because of the costs involved, which can be better put towards our human rights programming at the UN, as we move forward with this new award the UU@UN will no longer present award plaques.

Some recommended text to put in your congregation's newsletter.

This summer has seen a global uprising for Black lives and against police brutality. While the current movement may have been sparked by incidents in the United States, police brutality, especially against those most marginalized in a society, is a tragically common occurrence throughout the world. As Unitarian Universalists get more involved in this issue in local communities through their congregational activism and national organizations, our UU Office at the United Nations is also focusing on how to address such issues on a global scale. The UU@UN will be collaborating with other organizations and UN entities to make sure that the human rights of all are respected, protected, and fulfilled - especially for those who are protesting peacefully and those who hold identities that make them a target of systemic oppression.
A look behind, a look ahead

August 6: Hiroshima Day 75th Anniversary
August 9: International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples
August 12: International Youth Day
August 18: August Envoy Conference Calls

August 20: Deadline to apply to serve as a member of the Planning Committee or Chaplain Team at 2021 Intergenerational Seminar
September 14: UU@UN Interns begin for the academic year.
September 22: September Envoy Conference Calls (Note: 4th Tuesday of the month)
September 21:
International Day of Peace, and Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations: "The Future We Want, the UN We Need"
October 24: United Nations Day
October 25: Recommended date for UN Sunday


The following "Time to Act" suggestions for August 2020 will be related to the First Sustainable Development Goal: End poverty in all its forms everywhere - focusing on target 1.2 (By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions) SDG 1? WHY IT MATTERS!

Even before COVID-19, the world's progress toward to ending poverty by 2030 was slowing. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the first increase in global poverty in decades, pushing more than 71 million people into extreme poverty in 2020. Unitarian Universalists and congregations can take action locally to combat poverty by collaborating with local elected leaders and community organizations that are working to address this issue. In Canada, UUs can read the Canadian Unitarian Council statement on Guaranteed Livable Income, including a sample letter to send to your MP, resources for education, and more. In the United States, UUs can urge their national representatives to settle on a meaningful COVID-19 relief plan, and get involved with UU the Vote to make sure that this November we elect leaders that will prioritize ending poverty when they take office.


The UU Office at the UN is looking for youth and adult leaders for the 2021 Virtual Intergenerational Spring Seminar on the topic of Food Justice as Climate Justice, taking place all online April 9-11, 2021. Be part of making this event empowering, fulfilling, inclusive, and fun! The UU@UN is working on providing volunteer stipends to recognize the commitment that Planning Committee members put in, in lieu of the benefits that come during an in-person event. Volunteers can serve on the Spiritual Grounding Team, the Logistics & Accessibility Team, the Trajectory of Learning Team, or the Communications & Publicity Team. Learn more and apply by Thursday August 20 by clicking the button below. Contact with questions or if you hope to apply but won't meet the deadline.


This year's UN Sunday topic is All In for Climate Justice: People, Power, Planet. Click below to check out the UN Sunday resources for planning a service and related congregational action along this theme. If you've already got a UN Sunday service scheduled for your congregation, send me a note so that I can add it to my list of services I know about! Because this year's UN Sunday resources are integrated into the website instead of being a PDF document, we can add more resources as we get closer. Let me know if there's anything you would find useful that isn't there. The recommended date for UN Sunday is October 25, 2020.

Find more at

Don't Let the Movement Die Down

By Kyra Bellamy, Racial Justice & Women's Rights Program Intern
The Black Lives Matter Movement began in 2013 after the murder of Trayvon Martin. Trayvon, a teenage African American boy was followed by a suspicious neighborhood watchman. The two ended up getting in a scuffle, and Trayvon was fatally shot........

‘We have no Harlem in Sudan’

This article by Sebabatso C. Manoeli was originally published June 29, 2020 on the site Africa is a Country. The post acknowledges the international potential of the current Black Lives Matter movement that originated in the United States and resonates in many countries that share a history of white supremacy and white settler colonialism........

Police: A Legacy of Racism and Violence

By Julia Nichols, Migration Justice & Police Militarization Program Intern
For years, Black people have been advocating for justice for those murdered by the police and for a systematic reform of police. It seems like many people are finally listening. Around the world, including in the U.S., Belgium,......

Why Are U.S. Police More Deadly than Police in Peer Nations?

By Julia Nichols, Migration Justice & Police Militarization Program Intern

Police forces in the U.S. are notoriously more violent and deadly than police in other Western democracies. Over the last seven years, U.S. police have killed at least 1,000 people every year. This is not normal.......


The Intersections of a Black Woman

By Kyra Bellamy, Racial Justice & Women's Rights Program Intern

Although tackling a militarized police state and a corrupt criminal justice system are very important, there are some social matters that are so ingrained into our history and everyday life that we don’t even realize it. This is a look into the life of a Black woman........

Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Human Rights in Libya - UN-led efforts to address serious rights violations in Libya received a boost on Wednesday with the appointment of three independent investigators to document abuses in the war-torn country.

Technologies - The UN’s regional socio-economic development arm has said that countries across Asia and the Pacific are using new technologies to contain the global pandemic and mitigate its impact, as governments and experts work together to identify ways to innovate further - and build back better - after COVID-19.

Burkina Faso - Mounting violence in Burkina Faso has forced more than one million people to flee their homes: 453,000 so far this year alone, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, reported on Tuesday.

Mangrove forests - The rehabilitation and replanting of mangrove forests in Cuba’s coastal regions is helping to protect the lives of people living on the Caribbean island, and reduce the effects of climate change, thanks to a UN Development Programme project.
This work is made possible by the generosity of member congregations and individual donors.

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