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Envoy News February 2021
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News and updates from the UU@UN to keep you informed.
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Dear ,


I can't stop looking back at the messages I sent a year ago and pondering the strangeness of how much I (we all!) didn't know at that time. I sent out last February's Envoy News on February 26, 2020, and it contained not a single mention of the coronavirus*. But less than two weeks later, I was working from home, we had cancelled the in-person Spring Seminar, and the WHO had declared COVID-19 a pandemic... It's incredible how quickly things change, and how foreign pre-pandemic life seems now.

At this point, I think we're all getting used to meetings, church, socializing, and even weddings happening over Zoom and similar platforms. I'll certainly be ready for a time when we can return safely to group hugs and crowded subways. But for now, I'm trying to embrace the continuation of lockdown life. I am actually starting to enjoy hearing my downstairs neighbor sing at her desk as we both work from home all day.


Here are the minutes from the February Envoy conference calls. Our next call will be March 16 - please RSVP here.


As a reminder: Sixth Principle Award requirements must be met - and the report submitted - by March 31, 2021. If you aren't sure whether you'll qualify but are hoping to become a Sixth Principle Congregation this year, please reach out to me directly.


In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

* Arguably there was one tiny mention of the coronavirus: Buried in the minutes from last February's Envoy meeting, it was noted that the WHO was monitoring the progress of the virus. I know you're curious so here's the link to last Feb's newsletter :)

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


Amid the ongoing pandemic, our world has seen the climate catastrophe rear its head, political and social divisions exacerbated, and deteriorating humanitarian situations globally. To each of these crises, the United Nations has brought an important platform for international collaboration. The issues are interconnected and global in nature - and we can find solutions when countries work together through global bodies like the UN. Our Unitarian Universalist office is part of a network of non-governmental organizations at the United Nations pushing for increased collaboration and mutual support. Unitarian Universalists can be part of taking action by raising awareness and movement to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UU@UN's Intergenerational Spring Seminar in April provides a perfect example of how smart solutions can address interconnected issues. The Seminar theme "All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability" looks at how we can take action towards making sure all people have access to nutritious food (SDG 2) that is grown and distributed in ways that reduce harm to our planet (SDG 11, 12, 13, & 15). Be part of these solutions by bringing an international lens to your local engagement. Join the UU@UN for their virtual Seminar April 9-11. Registration is open through March 18 and rates are flexible for equity and accessibility. More at www.uua.org/unspringseminar.
Screenshots from February 24, 2021 Sustainable Fashion Event
EVENTS
A look behind, a look ahead

All events are virtual.
Click Calendar below to view details about any of these events.
February 15: UUA offices closed for Presidents' Day.
February 16-19: Allison out of office
February 22: Canadian Unitarian Council hosts "The Power of Dialogue" with Dr. David Campt.
February 23:
Deadline for submissions to the Greeley Sermon Competition
February 23: February Envoy Conference Call
February 24: UU@UN hosts "Sustainable Fashion for All" Event.
March 6 & 13: Canadian Unitarian Council hosts 2-part workshop with Dr. David Wiley Campt "Learn the R.A.C.E. method of dialogue for dismantling racism."
March 8:
International Women's Day
March 15-26: 65th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (virtual)
March 16: March Envoy Conference Call
March 18: Deadline to register for the Intergenerational Spring Seminar "All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability"

March 20 - May 23: UU Ministry for Earth's Spring for Change - A Season of Sacred Activism "Pathways to Healing and Regeneration"
March 31:
Deadline to submit congregational report to qualify for the Sixth Principle Congregation Award
April 9-11:
UU@UN hosts Intergenerational Spring Seminar.
April 22: Earth Day
May 14-16: Canadian Unitarian Council Virtual National Conference
June 23-27: UUA Virtual General Assembly

TIME TO ACT

The following "Time to Act" suggestions for February 2021 will be related to the Seventh Sustainable Development Goal: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all - focusing on target 7.1 (By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.)

We saw last week in Texas and the Gulf Coast the risks of energy systems that are deregulated to the point of posing extreme and long-term danger to residents. As climate change disrupts the predictability of weather patterns, we need energy systems that are reliable, efficient, and built to last. And as we increasingly rely on electricity for all aspects of life during and beyond the pandemic, energy services must be affordable as well so that no one is left behind.
  • What can UUs do? Put pressure on elected officials to properly regulate energy services to ensure that all regions have access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern services. Survey your congregation - are there areas in the church building or congregants' homes that need updating? Are there neighboring regions that have less reliable access to affordable energy services? Identify where your attention can be most impactful and work with your local community to ensure equal access for all.

FOOD EQUITY AND SUSTAINABILITY


The upcoming Intergenerational Spring Seminar "All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability" will take place online April 9-11, 2021. The UUA Office at the UN, hosting this virtual event in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth, is thrilled to announce that the keynote presentation will come from Leah Penniman and Soul Fire Farm! The dynamic virtual keynote will be followed by a live Q&A with Brooke Bridges, Soul Fire Farm's Food Justice Coordinator and Kitchen Magician. That and so many other programs during the Seminar will give participants the opportunity to develop skills to take action, expand your knowledge about the issues, build your justice network, and experience spiritual deepening and creativity! This intergenerational event is open to all ages 14+. Registration is open through March 18 and offers a flexible fee scale for equity and accessibility.

UN 65TH COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN


Join the UUA Office at the United Nations and the International Women's Convocation for their parallel events as part of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) NGO Forum. View the Events Calendar below for details about each of these virtual events. To participate, you must Register for the CSW forum.

"The Right to Joy: LGBTQ+ Women of Color"
Monday, March 15, 2021
| 12:00 PM Eastern | Hosted by UUA Office at the UN

"The Shadow Pandemic: Confronting Domestic Violence in India, Philippines, Transylvania"

Saturday, March 20, 2021 | 9:00 AM Eastern | Hosted by International Women's Convocation

"Women's Leadership Training: Innovations in India, Kenya, and Transylvania"
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
| 8:00 AM Eastern | Hosted by International Women's Convocation

"Decolonizing Fast Fashion: A Living Wage and Good Working Conditions for Women of the Global South"
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
| 12:00 PM Eastern | Hosted by UUA Office at the UN

"Climate-Smart Strategies: Creating Bold Bolivian Women!"
Friday, March 26, 2021
| 1:30 PM Eastern | Hosted by International Women's Convocation

 
 
NEWS: UNITED NATIONS
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Climate report - Nations are "nowhere close" to the level of action needed to fight global warming, a UN climate action report said, urging countries to adopt stronger and more ambitious plans to reach the Paris Agreement goals, and limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, by the end of the century.

School attack - An attack on a secondary school in northwest Nigeria on Friday in which several hundred girls are still missing has been condemned by the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF.

Long COVID - With one in 10 people still feeling ill 12 weeks after having COVID-19, authorities must do more to support them, according to a policy brief published by the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.

Humanitarian challenges
- The political unrest in Myanmar has affected the ability of humanitarians to respond to the needs of vulnerable communities, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country’s conflict-affected areas, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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