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ENVOY NEWS
June/July 2016
Dear ,

It is with great excitement that I write to you now about a recent development at the UU-UNO that brings us more into alignment with other international UU initiatives. As of July 1st, I am assuming a new position in the International Resources office at the UUA as International Engagement Associate. This means I am coordinating congregational engagement efforts for the whole International staff group at the UUA which of course includes the UU-UNO, as well as the Holdeen India Program and the International Office.

It is important for you to know that the Envoy Program will continue to be an essential part of the work of the UN Office and I will continue to support you as I have for the past year – with the Envoy News, monthly conference calls, and other support. This is an exciting step in the integration of the UN Office with the UUA, and will mean new ways of engaging with the Global U/U Story. Over the next few months you will be hearing more about this, so keep an eye out.

Starting in August, our conference calls will take place every month (a shift from the previous bi-monthly calls). Hopefully the more frequent calls will allow more of you to join and interact with your fellow Envoys. For now, you can download the minutes from the June conference call. Please RSVP here for one of the August calls.

During the summer months we are in the beginning stages of planning for our Intergenerational Spring Seminar. This means the UU-UNO is looking for volunteers to join the planning team! If you're interested in helping to make this Seminar the most meaningful and inspiring one yet, please consider applying! In addition to the general planning committee, we are also accepting applications for Youth Dean and Adult Dean. These positions will lead coordination of youth programming during the seminar along with one of last year's deans, Martin Tomlinson (Youth Envoy in Kansas City). Get to know Martin in the Envoy Spotlight section below and consider joining him as a co-dean! Please share these applications with your congregation.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess
International Engagement Associate

Summertime: Get Planning

Summer is a key time to reflect and make plans for the coming year. Some suggested things to accomplish in July and August:
  • Schedule a meeting with your Envoy Team. If you don't have a team, find a group of people who are interested and start brainstorming plans for the year.
  • Start sketching out your UN Sunday service. Use the UN Sunday Packet to help!
    • Invite your guest speaker ASAP! I still have some days open in October if you'd like me to come speak.
  • Schedule a meeting with your minister. Discuss your goals and how to work together to achieve them.
  • Email me (ahess@uua.org) a report of your goals for the upcoming year.
This month's Time To Act section below is especially pertinent to this year's theme for UN Sunday, economic inequality. Take note of the suggestions for taking action to address SDG 10 "Reduce inequality within and among countries."
TIME TO ACT

Sharing information and news is important, but you want to make change in your local and global community. Here's how.


Sustainable Development Goals

In light of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the following "Time to Act" suggestions for April 2016 will be related to the Tenth SDG: Reduce Inequality Within and Among Countries.


  • Investigate how your state or province's minimum wage (USA or Canada) and tipped minimum wage (USA) laws compare to federal laws. Write letters to your state or federal representatives about enforcing living wages in your area.

  • Petitions: Urge the City of Toronto to create awareness regarding the difference between high end living and lower class living; Advocate for the creation of a basic income guarantee for every American.

  • Screen an action-oriented film: Why Poverty? a PBS series examining why over a billion people still live in extreme poverty worldwide and what can be done to change this; or some short videos from Brave New Film's YouTube Channel on Inequality, highlighting ways to level the playing field in America and expose those who profit from the unfairness in our current system.
Events
A look behind, a look ahead


May 26-June 7: UNO Director Bruce Knotts in Korea and Taiwan.

June 10: Allison's birthday!


June 22-26: UUA General Assembly in Columbus, OH

June 26: Volunteer event in NYC to support Syrian Refugees.

July 4: UN Office closed for Independence Day in the US

July 18: Nelson Mandela International Day

July 21: UU-UNO hosts a panel discussion at the UN Church Center: "At the Intersection of Racism and Homophobia: Joint Activism for Human Rights & Dignity."


July 24: March for a Clean Energy Revolution in Philadelphia, PA.

August 10-12: Youth Assembly at the United Nations.

August 24-26: NGO Conference at the United Nations Headquarters on Education for Global Citizenship.

FOR YOUR NEWSLETTER


The UU United Nations Office is now recruiting volunteers to join the planning team for their 2017 Intergenerational Spring Seminar. The Planning Committee meets weekly by phone starting in September until the seminar April 5-8, 2017.
While addressing the global topic of Interfaith Action to End Armed Violence, participants will gain the tools and information needed to lead effective social justice activism in their congregations.   
Learn more and apply to join the planning committee at uua.org/unspringseminar. If interested in taking a deeper leadership role, consider applying to be a Youth Dean or Adult Dean. Application deadline for deans is July 25.
Envoy Spotlight

In this Envoy Spotlight we are highlighting Martin Tomlinson, Youth Envoy at All Souls UU Church of Kansas City, MO. After serving as a dean at the UU-UNO Seminar in April, this year Martin will be Senior Youth Dean at the 2017 Intergenerational Spring Seminar. (You can apply by July 25 to join him as youth or adult co-dean!)
 
     Attending the 2015 UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar on International Criminal Justice was a powerful social justice experience. It made me want to learn more and do more. I had to get involved with the UU-UNO in a capacity that would allow me to continue learning about the UU-UNO while at the same time contributing to their mission. 
     At the seminar I learned about the UU-UNO Youth Envoy position. Being a Youth Envoy helps me stay in contact  throughout the year with the UU-UNO and other youth and adults around the country with the same kind of goals. We have monthly phone meetings to learn from each other and be updated on the UU-UNO.  We inform our congregations about their work and do projects to help the UU-UNO with its work.
     The Envoy position naturally led me to apply to be a Youth Dean at the UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar for 2016 and 2017. Working on the seminar team last year was a great experience. Seeing all the hard work of so many volunteers come to fruition at the seminar last spring on income inequality only made me more committed to working with this important organization. As a member of the team I studied the topic of income inequality and developed crucial leadership and organizational skills that will help me prepare for any future social justice work.
     Youth are given a voice and can make a real impact in our society and the world through the UU-UNO either as Youth Envoy and/or as a member of the seminar team. Working to spread the mission of the UU-UNO has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had up to now.  Meeting so many remarkable people who are socially aware and actually doing things gives me hope for our world. Now, I am looking forward to next year's seminar on Interfaith Action to End Armed Violence.

Intergenerational Spring Seminar 2017
Interfaith Action to End Armed Violence
Join our team - make this seminar the best one yet!
Start looking forward to the upcoming Intergenerational Spring Seminar in New York City, April 5-8, 2017. While addressing the global topic of Interfaith Action to End Armed Violence, participants will gain the tools and information needed to lead effective social justice activism in their congregations. The seminar will include interactive activities to explore this topic through inspiring speakers, training sessions, workshops, small group discussions, worship, and performances. 
Help us make this a reality!
Serve your faith and take the lead with activists of all ages by serving on the seminar planning team. The UU-UNO is seeking passionate youth and adults to serve as co-deans and planning committee members for this exciting seminar. Learn more and apply by July 25th to serve as a Youth or Adult Seminar Dean! General planning committee applications are due August 15th.
Interfaith and International Engagement at UUA General Assembly
At the end of June, Unitarian Universalists gathered in Columbus, OH for a week of learning, worship, and activism. The Unitarian Universalist Association's General Assembly this year brought a special perspective to UU social justice work. The theme for GA 2016 was "Heartland: Where Faiths Connect" and throughout the week emerged a thread urging us all to bring love, compassion, and a listening ear to interfaith partnerships and collaboration. This year's General Assembly presented a unique opportunity for participants to engage with the Global U/U Story, with many occasions to learn about and get to know Unitarian Universalist and other liberal religious people from around the country and the world actively participating in social justice movements...
United Nations News
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN   
Violence against children - A United Nations-baked partnership combining the UN, governments, foundations, civil society, academia, the private sector, and young people, was launched to make the new global target of ending violence against children a collective responsibility. The Global Partnership to End Violence against Children aims to combat the abuse, exploitation, trafficking and 

South Sudan - Both UN Secretary-Gener Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council condemned the violence in and around the South Sudanese capital of Juba - Ban called for the UN to "massively reinforce" UN actions in the country. Although a UN spokesperson reported that a ceasefire is "largely holding" as of July 12th, UNICEF is working to provide crucial aid for the 36,000 civilians already displaced by the renewed fighting. The crisis in South Sudan was one of the many issues discussed by the UN Secretary-General candidates in a recent webcast debate.

Selecting the next Secretary-General - 10 of the 12 UN Secretary-General candidates engaged in the first ever public debate about the challenges and opportunities facing the organization, in line with the UN's new goal of making the selection process for Secretary-General more inclusive and transparent than it has previously been. In the next few weeks, each of the 12 official candidates who were nominated by their countries will have a televised and webcast two-hour time slot with an opening statement followed by questions from Member States and civil society.

LGBT Rights - On June 30, the United Nations' Human Rights Council voted to appoint a UN Independent Expert to monitor and report on levels of violence and discrimination against LGBT people globally. This is a big step forward for groups like the UU-UNO that have been advocating for specific attention to be paid worldwide to rights pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity.

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 unintern@uua.org with "Attn: [program]" in the subject line.
LGBTQ Rights

This summer, we have met with human rights activists from China and look forward to working with them in the future as they fight discrimination and LGBTQI exclusion in schools.
Women's Rights

We are working to build partnerships with UU and secular educators to promote equality education around the world that emphasizes women's rights and anti-violence sentiments.
Racial Justice

We are hosting a panel "At the Intersection of Racism & Homophobia - Joint Activism for Human Rights & Dignity on July 21 to increase our collective capacity for justice advocacy.
Climate Justice

We have been working to organize a UU delegation to COP22, the UN climate conference in Marrakesh, Morocco at the end of the year, focused on global implementation plans.
 
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Wilmington, DE 19801
United States

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Central East Region of the UUA
100 W 10th Street Suite 1008
Wilmington, DE 19801
United States