Become a UU@UN Envoy
What Is a UU@UN Envoy?
An Envoy serves as a representative of the Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations (UU@UN) within their local congregation and connects the congregation to our world community. Envoys receive information on UN initiatives, global UU connections, and international engagement opportunities, and then plan events in their congregation to promote the program. Envoys are extremely valuable to the UU Office at the United Nations because they are the link between the office and local UU communities.
Many Envoys work collaboratively on related initiatives with other groups at the congregation (social justice, peace action, sustainability, etc.) to amplify the mission of each group. The UU@UN is here to help - a number of resources are available to help Envoys keep on track, generate ideas, and accomplish their goals. Take a look at the Envoy Resources webpage for some guidance and suggested actions!
If your congregation does not already have an Envoy or Youth Envoy, consider becoming one. Or better yet, consider forming an Envoy Team. The UU@UN encourages congregations to form multigenerational Envoy teams or committees in order to get the whole congregation involved. See our Getting Started page for guidance on how to start an Envoy Team.
How Can I Become an Envoy or Youth Envoy?
To become an Envoy first read about Getting Started as well as Envoy Tasks, speak with your congregational leadership/minister to get their support, and then contact our Envoy Coordinator by email, unenvoycoordinator [at] uua [dot] org or by phone at (617) 948-4366. We will add you to the Envoy email list and send you an Envoy welcome packet.
Check out the Envoy Resources page for many more resources for Envoys! There is a whole list of suggestions for action to take with your congregation and other guidelines and suggestions to help keep you on track. That page also includes brochures and flyers you can print and share.
2019-20 Theme: Gender Equity
The 2019-20 yearly theme for the UU-UNO is Equity in Action: Gender in an Intersecting World. Envoys should focus on addressing and educating their congregations about global gender inequities, inclusion for gender non-conforming and transgender individuals, and intersectionality between April 2019 - March 2020. "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls" is number 5 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which form a part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda seeks to ensure that all nations and all people everywhere are reached and included in achieving the SDGs. Though it has its own goal, gender equality is also integral to all dimensions of inclusive and sustainable development. In short, all the SDGs depend on the achievement of Goal 5. It is our responsibility to take action to make sure that people of all genders are included in accessing all of these goals, such as no poverty (SDG 1), good health (SDG 3), decent work (SDG 8), and access to justice & accountable institutions (SDG 16).
Be In Touch! Envoy Communication Mechanisms
There are several ways to communicate ideas, plans, and questions with your fellow Envoys...
- UU@UN Envoys Facebook group - Instructions to join and use (PDF)
- Monthly Conference Calls (Check the dark blue box in the sidebar or the Envoy News for details on upcoming calls)
- Add your congregation's Envoy or Envoy Team to the Map of UU@UN Envoys. When logged in, click the username of an Envoy on the map to contact them directly.
Envoy Program History
How did the UU-UNO and the Envoy system originate, and how is it related to the UUA?
In 1962 the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Adlai Stevenson in talking to Reverend Dana Greeley suggested that each UU congregation have an Envoy who would inform UUs about the activities of the UN. Following this, an office was set up by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to coordinate the efforts of such Envoys. Thus, the UU United Nations Office was formed and initially under the Department of Social Justice, UUA. Later, it was spun off as an associate organization with no direct funding from UUA. In July 2011, the UU-UNO rejoined the UUA as a part of the International Resources Department.