Monthly newsletter for UU-UNO Envoys
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News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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Dear ,

Greetings! It's a busy time around the UU United Nations Office as we work to prepare for our upcoming Intergenerational Spring Seminar, Equity in Action, taking place in just a couple of weeks. I look forward to seeing those who are coming! If you can't make it to NYC for the Seminar, be sure to tune in on Thursday afternoon April 11 at 3pm Eastern for a live stream of the Theme Panel! More details to come - keep an eye out for an email about that.

Here are the minutes from the March Envoy Check-in conference call. Our next calls will be 3pm & 6pm EDT April 16 - please RSVP here. We will be welcoming Rev. Chris Antal during the first few minutes at the beginning of each call! He will share about an opportunity to engage with the Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare.

This Sunday, March 31, is the deadline to meet all the Blue Ribbon requirements. Please make sure to let me know if you need to check on your status. Blue Ribbon Congregations will be announced in May and will receive their award plaques at the Canadian Unitarian Council's Annual General Meeting and at the Unitarian Universalist Association's General Assembly.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate


The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office recently held a special Parallel Event in conjunction with the UN's 63rd Commission on the Status of Women. The UU-UNO's event focused on the prevalence of structural misogyny and the steps that can be taken to resist it. Speakers in the panel addressed the concept of intersectionality, originated by Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw. Feminism and gender equity cannot achieve success without the intersectional understanding that misogyny is stronger when combined with structural racism and other forms of oppression; so black women are further marginalized for being both black and women. All forms of oppression must be addressed in order to achieve a just and equal world. These ideas will be the focus of the UU-UNO's Intergenerational Spring Seminar in New York City April 11-13 and will inform the United Nations Sunday theme in the fall of 2019. The United Nations is also making an effort to look more closely at the (gendered) language used in its publications. It has recently adopted a set of guidelines for gender-inclusive language in each of the six official UN languages, including useful examples of best practices/strategies to use. How gendered is the language used at [name of congregation]?  


Please complete the following tasks by the end of April.

  1. Take a look at the resources below under Take Action and Spring for Change. Organize a group from your congregation to be involved with some action this Spring for either food justice or climate change mitigation.
  2. See "For Your Newsletter" blurb above - has your congregation implemented a gender-inclusive language policy? See the UN's guidelines as an example... what would you change about this policy if implemented in your congregation? What would you keep?
March Review: (1) Check on your Blue Ribbon Congregation status with Allison (2) Contact Allison if you have a skill, story, or experience that you could share to help Envoys learn more about a particular issue or technique!
Photo by Lucrezia Dipasquale
A look behind, a look ahead

March 1-3: Youth Ministry Revival in Bethesda, MD.
March 8: International Women's Day.

March 11-22: Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at UN Headquarters.
March 11: UU-UNO hosts CSW Parallel event on structural misogyny. (Photo above)
March 22: World Water Day; Spring For Change: A Season of Sacred Activism starts.
March 25: UU-UNO hosts event on violence against women in Alaska at UN Church Center in NYC.
April 3: UU-UNO hosts event on sustainable energy at UN Church Center in NYC.
April 4: Memorial Service for Eryl Court** in Toronto, ON.

April 7: International Day of Reflection & the 25th Anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
April 10: UU-UNO hosts event on Uighur's situation in Western China in partnership with the NGO Committee on Human Rights at UN Church Center in NYC.
April 10-13: UU-UNO hosts Intergenerational Spring Seminar "Equity in Action" in NYC.
April 15: UUA Offices closed in observance of Patriots' Day.
April 16: April Envoy Conference Calls.
April 22:
Earth Day.

**A Memorial Service for Eryl Court will be held on Thursday, April 4, 11am at First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, 175 St. Clair Ave West (Toronto). As shared through "In Memoriam" in our December 2018 Envoy News, Eryl was a longtime and highly active participant and leader in building the UU-UNO. Anyone who plans to attend the Memorial Service or would like more information is invited to email Note that parking is a challenge, so travel to the building by subway/streetcar is recommended.


The following "Time to Act" suggestions for March 2019 will be related to the Second Sustainable Development Goal: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture - focusing on target 2.1 (By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food all year round.) SDG 2? WHY IT MATTERS!

  • Make changes in your own life - at home, at work, and in the community - by supporting local farmers or markets and making sustainable food choices
  • Take the Zero Hunger Challenge - organize your congregation as a group to participate in the challenge. By becoming a Participant, your organization commits to take action that will have a demonstrable, quantifiable impact. Individuals can be Zero Hunger Challenge Supporters by declaring their support and pledging to make change.


For the past five years, UU Ministry for Earth has released "Climate Justice Month" resources celebrating action for climate justice from World Water Day (March 22) through Earth Day (April 22). This year, UU Ministry for Earth is taking things to a new level and celebrating a whole Spring season of sacred activism! After all, 2019 is UUMFE’s 30th anniversary year — why not go big?
The theme "Spring for Change: A Season of Sacred Activism" goes all the way until May 22, World Biodiversity Day. Throughout the whole season, there will be opportunities to take action and resources for worship and more. Throughout the month of April UUMFE is encouraging people to join the collect letters at your congregation to be delivered by hand to the offices of US Senators on Capitol Hill by the Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice Advocacy Corps, calling for a quick implementation of policies to adequately address the climate crisis. Follow this link to RSVP or request to be contacted with more information. The full resources for this campaign will be released shortly.


The Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare (INDW) is recruiting people of faith from across the U.S. to commit to being leaders in working for change in drone policies. Learn more about this effort via their website below, and join the April Envoy Conference Call where we'll hear about this initiative from Rev. Chris Antal who is very involved with the INDW.
Not very familiar with the issues at stake regarding drone warfare? Check out some of our relevant posts in the Disarming Our Planet blog:

"The Power of We" - Spokane, WA - June 10-23

The Unitarian Universalist Association's International Office staff will be hosting a workshop at this year's General Assembly on faithful engagement with our world community, and a couple of other events we hope you'll join us for! Registration, Financial aid, and Housing reservations are open!

Thursday, June 20 4:30 - 5:30 PM "Achieving Our 6th Principle Goal of World Community" Workshop
Saturday, June 22 1:30 - 2:30 PM "The Power of We in Global Unitarian/Universalism" Workshop
Saturday, June 22 5:15 - 7:00 PM International UU Reception & Awards Ceremony

Find more at

We Can Save The Earth

By Roy Meredith, Climate Justice Intern

I suggest a new rule for any discussion we have about climate change. The rule is simple: from now on, every article we write on the subject for a broad audience must include some variation of the phrase "We can solve global warming".......

Working Cooperatively Works

By Joanne Dufour, Disarmament Volunteer

It seems time for some more good news. In opening up the homepage from the International Atomic Energy Agency website, the lead article reads "EU and IAEA Review Progress and Agree on Priorities in Nuclear Cooperation at Annual Meeting." .......

The INF and the Danger of a Renewed Nuclear Arms Race

By Jerry Ross, Envoy at First Parish Bedford

On Feb. 1, the Trump administration announced it will pull the U.S. out of the Intermediate-range Nuclar Forces treaty (INF), thus undoing one of the pillars of global security......

Saving Democracy in Syria

By Roy Meredith, Climate Justice Intern

A little-known experiment with radical democracy in northern Syria is underway. Known in Kurdish as Rojava, most of the region has been controlled by the SDF for nearly five years, where they have enacted policies mandating gender equality, direct democracy, and environmental restoration.......

Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Cyclone Idai - Two weeks after Cyclone Idai hit southeastern Africa, killing at least 700 people across the region, the first cases of cholera have been confirmed in Mozambique. The World Health Organization is dispatching oral cholera vaccines to try to stem the outbreak. UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that the mounting death toll in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe is "yet another alarm bell about the dangers of climate change." The UN is calling for emergency funds to support the humanitarian aid effort.

UN Global Climate report - The UN on Thursday released a major report highlighting the number of natural disasters and dangers linked to climate change. This September, the UN will convene a Climate Action Summit where Heads of State are instructed, "Don't come with a speech, come with a plan."

Genocide Prevention - A top UN genocide prevention official sounded the alarm in Central Mali over recent ethnically-targeted killings in the Mopti region which left 160 dead.

Yemen - UN human rights staff in Yemen are investigating an apparent airstrike on a hospital in opposition-held territory which reportedly killed at least seven civilians, amid fears that cholera is spreading "like wildfire."

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT - Every two weeks the UN posts articles and videos summarizing noteworthy news developments over the past two weeks in the UN system. Find it here!       
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Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office
777 UN Plaza
Suite 7G
New York, NY 10017
United States