News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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September 2017

Dear ,

First of all I want to share thoughts and prayers for those refugees fleeing ethnic violence in Burma, as well as those continuing in efforts to recover from the recent hurricanes, especially in Puerto Rico - while acknowledging that prayer is not enough and concrete support is also needed. The UUA has a Disaster Relief Fund (formerly Irma Recovery Fund) to support Unitarian Universalist congregations' recovery from hurricane damage. Meanwhile, UUSC's Emergency Burma Crisis Intervention Fund provides much needed humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees in Burma and Bangladesh.

I hope the church year is off to a productive start. It was great to be joined earlier this week by many of you for a special online training with CVSA on the Sustainable Development Goals! See below for more info & follow-up materials. I know a lot of people are gearing up now for their UN Sunday Services - check out the UN Sunday shares page and write about what
you've got planned!

Here are the minutes from our September conference call. You can RSVP here for the October call, which will take place on Thurs. Oct. 19. I want to make sure everyone is aware about our upcoming Fall Reception in Bethesda, MD! This is the UU-UNO's largest fundraising event each year, and we need your help to make it a success - if you're not in the area, please let any friends and loved ones around DC know about this event and urge them to attend! More details below...

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate


Please complete the following tasks by the end of October.

  1. Please share details about your congregation's UN Sunday service at

  2. Think about what resources, materials, or information would be useful for you in your role as an Envoy*. Let me know ( and let's discuss at the upcoming Envoys Conference Call.
*Don't forget about the Envoy Resources webpage!
Gentle Reminder
about Blue Ribbon requirements

Starting this year (2017-2018), in order to count as a "Supporter" for Blue Ribbon purposes, individuals must give at the following annual levels:
  • $250.00 - Global Equality Supporter
  • $150.00 - Family/Household Supporter
  • $60.00 - Individual Supporter
  • $30.00 - Retired/Student Supporter
Global Equality and Family/Household Supporters can qualify as two (2) individuals for Blue Ribbon purposes.
This is not a new requirement, but the UU-UNO is being more strict about enforcing the minimum donation required to qualify as a "Supporter." Click below for more details about the Blue Ribbon Award.
A look behind, a look ahead

September 12-22: Allison out of office (vacation).

September 12-25: 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly.

September 20: Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (part of UN GA).

September 21: International Day of Peace.

September 26: UU-UNO Envoys Webinar on the Sustainable Development Goals, led by CVSA.

September 26: International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

October 2: International Day of Non-Violence.

October 9: UUA closed in observance of Indigenous People's Day.

October 11-18: UNO Director Bruce in Taiwan w/ Tsu Chi foundation.

October 17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

October 22: UN Sunday!

October 24: United Nations Day.

October 24-30: Disarmament Week.


The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office continues to advocate on the global stage for the protection of human rights for all. In September, UU-UNO Director Bruce Knotts was the only faith representative invited to attend a high-level meeting of business representatives discussing LGBTQI protections with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The High Commissioner has just released a set of global standards to ensure that businesses are equipped to protect their LGBTQI staff and clients from discrimination. The UU-UNO is involved in conversations at the UN relating to protection of refugees, and urges all UUs to take action in support of the Rohingya fleeing ethnic violence in Burma.
UU-UNO Reception
October 21, 2017 - Bethesda, MD

Saturday, October 21, 2017
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Cedar Lane UU Church
9601 Cedar Lane
Bethesda, MD

The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) and the Washington, DC, Host Committee invite you to celebrate the UU-UNO's important work supporting human rights around the world, including LGBTQ equality, gender equality, climate justice, and racial justice for all. Maryland State Senatorand Cedar Lane UU memberRich Madaleno will deliver keynote remarks, including presentation of the UU-UNO human rights award honoring: Ambassador Susan Rice and Senator Chris Van Hollen. Click below for more information about the event and opportunities to register or become an event sponsor. If unable to attend, please consider making a donation, and invite DC-area friends and loved ones to attend in your stead!

The following "Time to Act" suggestions for September 2017 will be related to the Fourth Sustainable Development Goal: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all - focusing on target 4.1: By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes...

  • Hold a book drive for a local school at your congregation, asking members to donate books that promote racial and gender equality.
  • Lobby local schools for greater accessibility: If you know of a local school that does not meet the requirements of either the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in the US, or the Canadian Human Rights Act and/or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada, by providing ramps or elevators and resources for deaf/blind students or family members, organize a group within your congregation to lobby the school district to make these changes.
  • Help vulnerable children in Odumase Krobo, Ghana attend school by supporting and spreading the word about the Every Child is Our Child program. In addition to providing health care cards to children who have been orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS (and their care-giving families), the UU-UNO partners with the Queen Mothers Association to provide school supplies and uniforms so that the children can attend school.

SDG Resources for UU-UNO Envoys!

Tuesday evening, the UU-UNO hosted a training webinar for Envoys, presented by Susan Angus at CVSA (Commission on Voluntary Service & Action). The webinar was focused on how we can bring the Sustainable Development Goals to our local communities. CVSA has shared their SDG action toolkit as a resource for Envoys!
And finally, the video of the webinar itself is online and you can watch it if you missed the live session.

United Nations Sunday

UN Sunday will be here before you know it! Just a few weeks away... Is your congregation on my list (below)? If not, please let me know when you're having your UN Sunday service!

Taking a special collection during your UN Sunday service? Ask Allison to send you donation envelopes!
Remember: In the US, individuals can text "UNO" to 51555 to donate via mobile phone!
And don't forget about Disarmament Week Oct. 24-30 when you can bring your community together to take action in a meaningful way!
Please see Part III of the UN Sunday Packet for guidance and timeline for planning a UN Sunday service, including logistics for a special collection and sample words!

August 20: First UU Church of San Diego, CA (Allison speaking)
October 8: Community Church of New York, UU in New York, NY (Bruce speaking)

October 15: Fourth Universalist Society in New York, NY

October 22: First Parish in Bedford, MA (Bruce speaking)

North Shore UU Society in Lacombe, LA (Allison speaking)
First Unitarian Church in Toronto, ON
First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR
Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda, MD

October 29: The Unitarian Church in Westport, CT (Bruce speaking)
November 5: UU Fellowship at Salisbury, MD
December 10: UUs of San Mateo, CA (Bruce speaking)
December 17: UU Congregation at Rock Tavern, NY (Bruce speaking)
January 7: Conejo Valley UU Fellowship in Newbury Park, CA (Allison speaking)
January 28: New Haven Unitarian Society in Hamden, CT (Bruce speaking)

Once you've completed your UN Sunday Service, share about it via our new UN Sunday Action Shares page! Tell other Envoys about how you celebrated, and take a look at what UN Sunday looks like in other congregations.

Re-Imagining Interfaith Conference
July 29 - August 1, 2018 - Washington, DC

An interfaith event supporting activists and leaders working together in the face of fear.
  • Connect with People Across Faiths
  • Strengthen Activist Skills
  • Build and Become the Movement
More details to be announced in October, 2017!
Pre-registration is available now at
From the International Blog

Nuclear Ban Treaty: Answering Common Questions & Concerns

By Samantha Hussey, Disarmament Intern

In October 2016, the United Nations General Assembly voted to begin negotiations on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This critically important treaty calls for a complete ban of the use, production...

Faith on the Fast Track to Stop AIDS

By Bruce Knotts, UU-UNO Director

On September 6th, 2017, I represented the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) at an interfaith conference to stop AIDS.  It was an inspiring meeting led by Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer (United Church of Christ) and Bishop Yvette...

Not Just A Statistic: 2017 DACA Repeal

By Katia Altern, Racial Justice Intern

On Tuesday, September 5th, 2017, President Donald Trump ordered an end to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)—an Obama-era program that protects young, undocumented immigrants from deportation. DACA was introduced...

News: United Nations
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Rohingya refugees - In a session this week with the UN Security Council, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for "swift action" to prevent further instability and find a durable solution to the humanitarian crisis in Burma that has resulted in displacement of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas, providing a "breeding ground" for radicalization, and putting vulnerable people – including young children – at grave risk.

Pollution-free world - A report launched by the UN Environment Programme set out a plan to prevent and reduce pollution worldwide. In addition to overarching goals, the report also includes 50 concrete actions to curb pollution in various forms.

LGBTQI protections - At a meeting with business leaders this week in New York, attended by UNO Director Bruce Knotts, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights introduced a set of global standards to support the business community in tackling discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people (LGBTI).

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!       
Program Updates
For more information on any of the program areas, email with "Attn: [program]" in the subject line.
Climate Justice

In our efforts to support the work of the UN SDGs, UU-UNO projects on Climate Change include organizing UU climate justice roundtable meeting monthly, and working with Green Sanctuary to create a database for the ongoing environmental projects of UU congregations. In the coming months, we will host a panel discussion on climate change within the United Nations. Issues pertaining to climate challenges and global migration crisis will be prevalent in the upcoming Intergenerational Spring Seminar.
LGBTQ Human Rights

The UU-UNO is collaborating with a number of other organizers and stakeholders to put together an event in February 2018 that will pertain to LGBTQI human rights. The planning process has just begun and will continue in the coming months as plans solidify - stay tuned!
Women's Rights

We are focusing on the needs and rights of women and girl refugees and migrants. Women aren't a homogenous group, or a special interest group, they make up half of the population of refugees and migrants. The Global Compact on Refugees must include gender perspective and specific language addressing the issues faced by girls and women.  We are generating discussion around the needs of girls and women refugees and how they are not only the most vulnerable and marginalized but also largely an underutilized population.
Racial Justice

The UU-UNO's racial justice initiative is calling attention to immigration justice in the United States and around the world, including the repeal of DACA and the ongoing and worsening crisis in Burma with Rohingya refugees fleeing ethnic violence.
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Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office
777 UN Plaza
Suite 7G
New York, NY 10017
United States

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Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office
777 UN Plaza
Suite 7G
New York, NY 10017
United States