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

One year into pandemic: Last March feels like a million years ago. Though we know somewhat more about the virus than we did in March 2020 and some among us are becoming vaccinated, with virus cases back on the rise and vaccines still inaccessible in so many places, in some ways it feels like little has changed. We're just getting used to those rushed grocery trips and trying desperately to stay hopeful. Meanwhile non-pandemic threats like racist murders, gun violence, and environmental exploitation are also thriving... It's a lot. Remember to breathe. Mourn what has been lost. We can find hope in our collective power to keep working toward justice.

At the UU@UN we're getting ready for our upcoming Intergenerational Spring Seminar just a few weeks away. For those not attending the whole thing, and for your congregations: The Theme Panel of the Spring Seminar will be live streamed on our Facebook page Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 5:30pm EDT. More details will be shared as we get closer.

A couple time-sensitive announcements:
  1. Next Wednesday, March 31, 2021 is the deadline to submit reports for the Sixth Principle Award. Please contact me if you have questions or concerns!
  2. All Envoys (and your fellow congregants!) are invited to join the San Marcos UU Fellowship for a special Religious Education session focused on Global Warming: Animal Agriculture and Fossil Fuels: this Sunday, March 28, starting at 9:30am Central. RSVP and see details here!

Here are the minutes from the March Envoy conference call. Our next call will be April 20, and I invite you to please RSVP here.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

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

What does it mean to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations - our UU Second Principle? It means truly understanding the implications of this interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Right now, many people in rich countries are celebrating expanded access to vaccines; meanwhile most poorer countries have no way to vaccinate even their health workers. The head of the World Health Organization said earlier this week that the inequities of COVID-19 vaccine access grows "more grotesque every day." A UN News article reports:  

"In January, I said that the world was on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure unless urgent steps were taken to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) told journalists at a regular news briefing.

"We have the means to avert this failure, but it’s shocking how little has been done to avert it," he added, noting that WHO has been working "day and night to find solutions to increase the production and equitable distribution of vaccines." 

We have already mourned the speed at which more infectious variants of the coronavirus have traveled over borders to infect and devastate communities. Inequitable vaccine distribution globally will only lead to more variants and increased chance that these new mutations will be able to evade vaccines. Unitarian Universalist communities must be active in pressuring our leaders to increase support for justice, equity, and compassion in vaccine distribution globally.
A look behind, a look ahead

All events are virtual.
Click Calendar below to view details about any of these events.

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 20: April Envoy Conference Call
April 22:
Earth Day
May 14-16: Canadian Unitarian Council Virtual National Conference
June 23-27: UUA Virtual General Assembly


The following "Time to Act" suggestions for March 2021 will be related to the Second Sustainable Development Goal: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture - focusing on target 2.4 (By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality.)

Get involved with the Write Here! Write Now! Letter-Writing U.S. Congressional Advocacy Campaign:
UU Ministry for Earth, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice (UUSJ) and UUs for Just Economic Community (UUJEC) are partnering for a
Write Here! Write Now! letter-writing advocacy campaign that will culminate in virtual meetings with U.S. Capitol Hill staffers, the weeks of April 26-May 7. The general focus will be climate and food justice in agricultural policy, and the campaign resources will go live on March 20. Issue briefings will be held in early April, and congregations are encouraged to schedule one or more letter-writing sessions on Sundays throughout April. Letters can either be written online or handwritten and scanned. To volunteer to bring this initiative to your UU community, SIGN UP here.

A Season of Sacred Activism, March 20 - May 23, 2021

Offered by UU Ministry for Earth, Spring for Change: A Season of Sacred Activism 2021 centers on the theme "Pathways to Healing and Regeneration." Anchored by World Water Day March 22, Earth Day April 22, and International Day for Biodiversity May 22, this season is an invitation to the Unitarian Universalist faith community to explore the theme on a faith journey and sacred practice of learning, reflection, practice, and action. This year's programs are designed for individuals, families, and entire faith communities to engage in together.

Find more at

White Supremacy Is a Scourge on the World

By Bruce Knotts, UU@UN Director

White supremacist and nationalist ideologies are rising to power globally, a trend that manifests in surging anti-immigrant policies. The UN and UUA Office at the UN are working to address this........

A Virtual Future for the UUA Office at the United Nations

By Bruce Knotts, UU@UN Director

Like much of the world, we in the UUA Office at the United Nations have operated virtually for nearly a year – and we have done so very effectively. We have attended and hosted meetings and events online. We have.......

Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Myanmar - The military in Myanmar has turned on citizens and is putting the nation’s future at risk, the UN Special Envoy for the country warned on Friday in a statement issued on the eve of the annual celebration of Armed Forces Day. The independent UN Special Rapporteur investigating human rights in Myanmar has called on the international community to hold an "emergency" summit of all stakeholders, including the parliamentarians who were democratically elected prior to February’s military coup.

Tigray - In Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region there’s deep concern for thousands of Eritrean refugees whose camps have been found burned to the ground, confirming satellite imagery and testimony from those who have fled attacks. Alleged serious abuses and rights violations in the region will be investigated by the UN, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Development setback - The COVID-19 pandemic has reversed development gains for millions in poor countries, creating an even more sharply unequal world, according to a new UN report. A separate report from UNESCO reveals that more than 100 million more children than expected are falling behind the minimum proficiency level in reading, due to COVID-related school closures.

Racism - Although the transatlantic slave trade ended more than two centuries ago, "the ideas of white supremacy that underpinned it remain alive," UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. He has also expressed his profound concern over the rise in violence against Asians, and people of Asian descent, during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This work is made possible by the generosity of member congregations and individual donors.

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