Envoy News December 2020
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News and updates from the UU@UN to keep you informed.
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Thank you so much for all you have done throughout 2020 to bring people together in faith, love, and justice. We are so glad that you are part of the UU@UN community! May the holiday season bring you rest, health, and a good dollop of hope for the new year.

Dear ,

Any December newsletter has to start off with some acknowledgement of the year past and... well, we all know what this year has been. My December 2019 Envoy News was full of excitement for the many milestones 2020 would bring: anniversaries like the 50th Earth Day and the UN's 75th birthday, as well as opportunities to focus attention on anticolonialism work (on the 400th anniversary of the Plymouth Rock landing) and disarmament work (on the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima nuclear attack).

I'm glad that despite the pandemic's disruption to "normality," Unitarian Universalists did find ways - through our office and beyond - to honor those important milestones, creating online gatherings, digital commemorations, and creative action. There's always a lot to look forward to in a new year and this time we're setting our sights on the UU@UN Intergenerational Spring Seminar, cohosted alongside the UU Ministry for Earth. The theme is
All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability. Join the UU@UN and our friends at Tzu Chi to start getting involved on this theme by participating in Ethical Eating Day on January 11!

Here are the minutes from the December Envoy meeting. Our next call will be January 19. Please RSVP here.

Take good care and I look forward to being in touch in the new year.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

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

Please join the Unitarian Universalist Association Office at the UN (UU@UN) for the annual Intergenerational Spring Seminar "All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability." As environmental justice transforms our habits to preserve the Earth for the future generations, it is impossible to ignore the disparity of healthy food distribution across ethnic and socioeconomic conditions that affects many of the Earth’s current inhabitants. This Seminar seeks to tackle food inequality globally while creating reimagined systems for food sustainability and security, giving everyone a healthy seat at the table.

The intergenerational seminar is an opportunity to collaborate with others virtually while learning how to be a global activist. Through workshops, peer and expert-led panel discussions, community building activities, and worship services, participants will undergo a transformative process of learning, reflection, and growth while exploring some of the most challenging issues facing humanity today.

This dynamic event will take place Friday, April 9, 2021 - Sunday, April 11, 2021 via Zoom.

The virtual Seminar is proudly co-hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth. Register now at!
Screenshot from a recent meeting of Spring Seminar Staff! Left to right: Top row: Adult Dean Stacy Craig, Chair Allison Hess, Vice Chair Rob Kipp. Middle row: Adult Chaplain Isabel Call, Adult Dean Stevie Carmody, Youth Chaplain Evan Cannon. Bottom row: Youth Chaplain Maggie Young, Junior Youth Dean Noella Prescod, Senior Youth Dean Sophia Geiger.
A look behind, a look ahead

December 1: World AIDS Day
December 8: UU@UN hosts virtual event "The Right to Joy: Women of African Descent Ascending."
December 10: Human Rights Day

December 14: Registration opens for 2021 UU@UN virtual Intergenerational Spring Seminar "All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability."
December 18: International Migrants Day
December 21 - January 1: UUA Offices closed for winter break.
January 11: Ethical Eating Day
January 24:
International Day of Education
February 23: Deadline for submissions to the Greeley Sermon Competition


The following "Time to Act" suggestions for December 2020 will be related to the Fifth Sustainable Development Goal: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls - focusing on target 5.2 (Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.)

The Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns have led to increased risk of violence for people trapped in abusive homes. (One of our summer interns wrote an article about this in August on our blog.) In some countries, cases of physical, sexual, and psychological domestic violence have increased by 30%. UN Women has compiled a list of 10 ways to help end violence against women, even during a pandemic. Check it out here and take action.
Find more at

The 2020 Women of the Diaspora Summit: Black Women in Global Governance Convene

By Ashley Emuka, Program Intern

For UN Human Rights Day, the UU@UN hosted an event to celebrate the perseverance of women of African descent globally. The joyous event has been inspired by the inaugural 2020 Women of the Diaspora Summit that took place as the.......

Civil Society's Role in Breaking the Systemic Poverty of Fast Fashion

By Noorjahan Aktar and Lenna Georgiadis, Program Interns

Fast fashion is produced when retailers look at runways and fashion trends and quickly make those styles available for purchase at a cheap price. To make this model work, businesses constantly look at what’s in style and.......

Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Tigray humanitarian aid - The UN has released $36.6 million for civilians caught up in the conflict that has roiled Ethiopia’s Tigray region since early last month, in order to secure water, sanitation, and lifesaving medical supplies. Weeks of fighting in the region have reportedly left hundreds of people dead, thousands displaced, and millions in need of humanitarian assistance.

Locust "reinvasion" - New Desert Locust swarms are forming in the Horn of Africa, threatening agricultural livelihoods and the food security of millions of people, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization warned. The greater Horn of Africa region witnessed one of its worst ever Desert Locust infestations, earlier this year. A new crisis could have devastating consequences for communities affected by recurrent drought, conflict, high food prices, and the coronavirus pandemic.

Human Development Report - Countries must redesign their development pathways to reduce damage to the environment and the natural world, or risk stalling progress for humanity overall, the United Nations Development Programme has warned in a major new report. "As this report shows, no country in the world has yet achieved very high human development without putting immense strain on the planet. But we could be the first generation to right this wrong."

Libya ceasefire - The ceasefire that halted Libya’s civil war in October has begun to pay economic dividends that should improve living standards for ordinary Libyans, with a first central bank board meeting in five years that included moves to unify the country, help stabilize the Libyan currency, and combat corruption.
This work is made possible by the generosity of member congregations and individual donors.

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