News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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January 2018

Dear ,

I hope everyone's had a good start to the year 2018. We were particularly excited to receive a visit yesterday from Caroline, a former UU-UNO intern who has just returned from her service as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines! (See photo at right of Caroline between me and Bruce.)

Quick reminder to anyone planning to submit a sermon for the Dana Greeley Award - those submissions are due tomorrow, February 1st!

Here are the minutes from our January Envoy conference calls earlier this month, featuring a special presentation on the Paris Agreement by Dr. William McPherson. You can RSVP here for the upcoming February calls now.

As mentioned on the last Envoy call, I have been looking into each congregation's progress towards achieving Blue Ribbon status. If you haven't heard from me yet and are hoping your congregation will be a Blue Ribbon Congregation this year, please reach out to me directly. As a reminder, all Blue Ribbon requirements must be met by March 31st, 2018. Lots of things going on. Check out all the opportunities, news, and resources below!

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate


Please complete the following tasks by the end of February.

  1. Check in with me via email regarding your Blue Ribbon status! I can tell you your congregation's progress towards accomplishing the 4 requirements before the March 31st deadline.
  2. Send me a note to let me know if you're planning to attend the upcoming CUC National Conference May 18-20 or the UUA Pacific Western Region's Regional Assembly April 27-29!
January Review: (1) Submit sermon for the Greeley Award (2) Register early with a group for the Intergenerational Seminar.


Across the world, Unitarian Universalists are showing up to resist nationalist threats to human rights, religious tolerance, a safe environment, international cooperation, and so much more. As part of this larger resistance movement, we are called to support refugees and migrants whose lives and livelihoods are jeopardized by exclusionary policies. This will be the topic for the upcoming UU United Nations Office's Intergenerational Spring Seminar, When Crisis Calls: Advancing Just Migration for All. From April 5-7 in New York City, participants (age 14+) will learn how to act toward a more inclusive and cooperative world. With a focus on global and local efforts to welcome refugees and reform intolerant policies, the seminar will ground participants in UU responses to injustice and equip them with skills to return to their communities as activists. Learn more and register by Feb. 26 at
A look behind, a look ahead

January 7: Allison speaks at Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in CA

January 13
: 450th Anniversary of the Edict of Torda and recognition of the Unitarian Church.

January 21: UNO Director Bruce Knotts speaks at University of Ottawa's Conflict and Human Rights Conference.

January 23: Registration rates increase for Spring Seminar.

January 28: UNO Director Bruce speaks at Unitarian Society of New Haven.

February 1: Submissions due for Dana McLean Greeley Sermon Competition.

February 1: Bruce speaks at UN Panel "A Human Dignity and Faith Perspectives on the Eradication of Poverty as One of the Main Root Causes of Incarceration".

February 5: Deadline to apply for reduced registration for Seminar.

February 9: Bruce speaks at Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University.

February 11-16: Allison in Nepal for ICUU 2018 Council Meeting and Conference in Kathmandu.

February 13: "Forced Migration Due to Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Oppression" event co-hosted by UU-UNO and All Souls Church NYC

February 26: Final deadline to register for the Intergenerational Spring Seminar "When Crisis Calls".
Quick Question...
In September I hosted a webinar with CVSA for Envoys to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals and how to talk about them & teach about them locally. Please report back:
What have you done in relation to the SDGs locally since the webinar?
What would you say has come out of it?
Have you used the presentation or other resources in your local congregation?
Here are the resources CVSA shared, including the webinar video to jog your memory!


The following "Time to Act" suggestions for January 2018 will be related to the Eighth Sustainable Development Goal: Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all - focusing on target 8.8 (Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.) Download the UN's "Why It Matters" flyer!

CSW62 - Commission on the Status of Women

March 12-23, 2018
Empowering Rural Women and Girls
United Nations Headquarters, NYC
The 62nd UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is taking place this March and the UU-UNO is proud to be hosting two panel discussions as part of the CSW NGO Forum. If you would like to attend CSW, a limited number of spots are available to register through the UU-UNO! The registration deadline is February 3rd, so contact us before then if you're interested. (There is no charge to register for this event.)
The two events the UU-UNO is hosting will be held during the first week of CSW:

March 15, 12:30pm "Advancing Gender Equality through Community Based Organizing and Global Advocacy"
n collaboration with the NGO Committee on Human Rights - focusing on community-based practices and how they increase opportunities for women living in poverty. The panel will include grassroots organizers from India, South America, and the United States who will share their best practices. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will present the human rights frameworks that support gender equality.

March 16, 2:30pm "Female Genital Mutilation: Advancing Awareness and Advocating for Global Action"
In collaboration with Sanctuary for Families - cultivating awareness of the true and different definitions of female genital mutilation (FGM), how it affects those who have gone through it, and what current and future best practices are addressing this global issue.

Intergenerational Spring Seminar 2018
When Crisis Calls: Advancing Just Migration for All

Our 2018 Intergenerational Spring Seminar is coming up soon! Just as a reminder, registration ends at the end of the day on Monday, February 26th. We'll have an Envoy Luncheon on Saturday afternoon of the seminar and, again, Envoys automatically get a $50 discount when you register!

April 5 - 7, 2018
New York City
Youth and Sponsors arrive April 4 for orientation!

Consider applying to serve as a Collaboration Group Leader (application deadline extended to February 19th!). We also have some funds available to cover reduced registration costs for some participants. Please apply for reduced registration by February 5th.
We are proudly partnering with the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice throughout the planning of this Spring Seminar!
This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism.
Refugees Welcome
Here are some resources for promoting dignity for refugees and migrants, and combating anti-Muslim discrimination. (I shared a similar list a year ago, but it feels newly useful at the start of 2018.)

The United Nations' 2016 Summit for Refugees and Migrants launched a campaign called "Together" that aims to engage citizens in support of diversity, non-discrimination, and acceptance of refugees and migrants. The Unitarian Universalist joint Love Resists campaign works toward similar goals. Consider how you can act for migration justice this year:
  • TOGETHER, the UN's campaign to promote support of refugees and migrants, including infographics and data, personal stories, videos, and more.
  • UUSC's Refugee Toolkit: "Building Bridges" for refugee support and advocacy.
  • The Congregational Action Guide for the Defying the Nazis UU Action Project is thoroughly relevant, with resources to take action to combat Islamophobia and discrimination against refugees.
  • Learn about ways to Expand Sanctuary through local action in your congregation and community.
  • Consider attending monthly Love Resists webinars led by partners and resistance movement leaders. The upcoming webinar, Feb. 20, 2018, is about building partnerships with grassroots community organizations.
  • Attend the 2018 Intergenerational Spring Seminar, When Crisis Calls: Advancing Just Migration for All in New York April 5-7th.
From the International Blog

A Call to Action for Australia & New Zealand UU Association

Video feat. Rev. Rob MacPherson
At the 2017 conference for the Australia and New Zealand Unitarian Universalist Association (ANZUUA), the new ANZUUA president Rev. Rob MacPherson issued a challenge to member organizations in the region. His keynote address challenges member organizations to grow.

Disarming Our Planet - An Introduction to Global Disarmament

By Joanne Dufour, UU-UNO Disarmament Volunteer & Envoy

Disarmament is nothing new, but neither is war. For millennia, war was considered the legitimate means of righting wrongs. As described in the new book The Internationalists, war was an instrument of justice, which meant it was not only sanctioned but was relied on and rewarded: it allowed states to....

News: United Nations
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Empowering Girls - Meet Gladys Nkeh, a UN police officer from Cameroon who is working to empower girls in the Central African Republic.

Poverty Eradication
- The UN's Commission on Social Development's 2018 session is putting an emphasis on inclusive and equitable economic growth, noting that, although extreme poverty has seen impressive reductions, that drop has been uneven across regions and sectors of society.

Combating Terrorism - At the recent summit of the African Union, UN Secretary-General outlined the UN-AU plan for a sustained, cooperative, and coordinated approach to combating terrorism on the continent.

Preserving Intangible Culture - UNESCO's Intergovernmental committee for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage has added new elements to the UN Representative List of intangible contributions to preserve for future generations, including songs, stories, activities, and practices from cultures around the world.

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