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


This week, many Unitarian Universalists will fulfill a commitment made in 2016. That summer, the General Assembly voted to pay special attention to learning our history and rethinking Thanksgiving in the year 2020, in observance of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing in Plymouth. This past weekend, the UUA, UUSC, UU Ministry for Earth, and partner organizations cohosted the Harvest the Power Justice Convergence & Teach-In, providing a week of programs to ground, center, and inform this commitment. I invite you to join in the conclusion of the convergence this Thursday, November 26, for the Plymouth Day of Mourning 50th Anniversary Virtual Observance. The event will be livestreamed on Side with Love and UUA Facebook pages.


I have some news of a personal nature to share with you all: This week my fiancé and I are moving to Rochester, NY. My work with the UUA International Office and our office at the UN will not change, I'll just be doing it from a different place. Because of the move, I will be taking a few days off next week to get my new home office (!) set up. I'll be back to work on December 3. I'll certainly miss New York City but am looking forward to a cold snowy winter!

Here are the minutes from the November Envoy conference calls. Our next call will be December 15. Please RSVP here.

As a reminder, congregations that held a collection during UN Sunday to support the UU@UN may be close to achieving the Sixth Principle Congregation Award! Submit your report by March 31.


In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

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


Human Rights Day takes place on December 10 each year, inviting us all to reflect on the state of human rights in the world. It marks the anniversary of the UN's adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written in 1948 (in part by Canadian Unitarian John Peters Humphrey) to acknowledge the set of rights that every human being possesses no matter their place or status of birth, in order that those rights be respected, protected, and fulfilled. The Unitarian Universalist office at the United Nations is part of an important network of non-governmental organizations working on human rights issues at the UN: the NGO Committee on Human Rights, of which UU@UN Director Bruce Knotts is co-chair. The UU@UN is hosting an event on December 8 co-sponsored by the NGO Committee on Human Rights in honor of Human Rights Day and the UN Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024). Against this year’s challenges, women and girls of African descent have magnificently persevered, despite constant threats to their human rights. This event, "The Right to Joy: Women of African Descent Ascending," seeks to affirm their acts of resistance and strength amid adversity and celebrate Black women and girls globally. Register to attend the virtual event: https://bit.ly/TheRightToJoy
EVENTS
A look behind, a look ahead

Click Calendar below to view details about any of these events.
November 13-15: Canadian Unitarian Council National Fall and Regional Gathering
November 19-26: Harvest the Power Justice Convergence and Teach-In
November 26-27:
UUA offices closed for Thanksgiving holiday.
November 30 - December 2: Allison "out of office" (moving).

December 1: World AIDS Day
December 8:
UU@UN hosts "The Right to Joy: Women of African Descent Ascending" webinar.
December 10:
Human Rights Day
December 18: International Migrants Day
December 19 - January 1: UUA offices closed for winter holidays.
January 24: International Day of Education

TIME TO ACT
How to take local action for the SDGs

The following "Time to Act" suggestions for November 2020 relate to the Fourth Sustainable Development Goal: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all - focusing on target 4.5 (By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations.)

In the time of pandemic, ensuring equal access to education has new and critical dimensions about safety and access. Shifts to fully or partially online learning have widened already existing inequities between students. Unitarian Universalist congregations can take action by learning about the families in their communities. Look for ways congregants can support teachers, parents, and students in getting access to the resources they need. Contact school district officials to make sure they are taking action to support the needs of all learners, especially those with disabilities, those whose first language is not English, those who do not have easy access to devices, those whose families are experiencing poverty and/or homelessness, and others.

UNITED NATIONS SUNDAY
All In for Climate Justice: People, Power, Planet


In the last couple of months, many congregations have held UN Sunday services. So far I have heard positive feedback from Envoys' first virtual UN Sunday experiences, and I hope that if you held one it went well too. (If you haven't held your UN Sunday service yet, please reach out if you need any support from me/our office. Resources are at www.UUA.org/UNSunday)
Is your UN Sunday Service complete?
  • Please add a description of it to the UN Sunday map by clicking below and following the instructions on that page. If your service was recorded and is publicly available, include a link so others can watch it!
Want to keep reflecting on this year's theme?
  • Write a sermon - or submit one you've already written - for the Dana Greeley Sermon Competition and you could win $500. This competition's theme is the same as UN Sunday: All In for Climate Justice: People, Power, Planet. Sermons that highlight the UN and our UU Office are given priority consideration. The submission deadline is February 23, 2021.

INTERGENERATIONAL SPRING SEMINAR
Online | April 9-11, 2021

I look forward to seeing many Envoys virtually next spring at the UU@UN's 2021 Intergenerational Spring Seminar, All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability! We've got some exciting programs in the works looking at how we as individuals and congregations can be "all in" the struggle for climate justice. Programming will equip participants with the knowledge and skills to get involved with transforming our food systems for a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. More details, including a tentative schedule and information about programming, is coming soon. Registration will open in December, stay tuned!

HUMAN RIGHTS DISCUSSION
Discussion guide for Adult RE or Social Justice group


The UUA’s International Office has created a resource for congregations to discuss cross-cultural engagement and the role of identity in organizing for justice. The resource includes stories from our work with justice partners in India, provoking congregants to reflect on themes like identity and privilege, trust, cultural difference, relationship-building, and human rights. This guide for a 75-minute online discussion would work well as an Adult Religious Education program, or even as an opportunity for a congregation’s Religious Education program to partner with their Social Justice leaders in holding a reflective and inspiring online discussion. With Human Rights Day coming up on December 10, it's a perfect time to host this discussion in your congregation.

FROM THE INTERNATIONAL BLOG
Find more at www.UUA.org/international/blog
 

Webinar Asks "Are We An Imperial Faith?"


By Rob Kipp, UUA Int'l Programs Administrator

For five weeks in the fall of 2020, the International Unitarian/Universalist Joint Working Group hosted a five-part webinar series that posed the question: Are we an imperial faith? We cordially invite you to view the recorded sessions and peruse their........

Power at the United Nations


By Bruce Knotts, UU@UN Director

The 75th anniversary of the United Nations presents an opportunity to examine how power is exercised within this global body. The UN began at a time when the big powers had unfettered sway in the world, while most countries remained under colonial rule. The number of powerful nations has expanded.......

 
NEWS: UNITED NATIONS
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about UN news
Racist violence in Brazil - The killing of an Afro-Brazilian man, and the widespread outrage it has sparked, underscores the urgent need for the government to tackle racism and racial discrimination in Brazil and everywhere.

Carbon emissions - Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit a new record of 410.5 parts per million in 2019, and are expected to keep rising this year, the World Meteorological Organization said in its annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. "The lockdown-related fall in emissions is just a tiny blip on the long-term graph. We need a sustained flattening of the curve."

2020 Afghanistan Conference - International donors pledged financial and political support for Afghanistan’s peace process at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference in Geneva, anticipating a sustainable ceasefire that will help the country rebuild and heal after decades of conflict. (Violence has continued in Afghanistan despite peace talks that began in September.)

Desert Locust crisis - The Desert Locust crisis which struck the greater Horn of Africa region earlier this year threatening food supplies for millions, could re-escalate as recent strong winds carried mature swarmlets from southern Somalia into eastern and northeastern Kenya, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
 
 
 
 
 
 
This work is made possible by the generosity of member congregations and individual donors.

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