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 UN and UU@UN. 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 and then contact our Envoy Coordinator by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (617) 948-4366. We will speak with your congregational leadership/minister to make sure you have congregational support to serve in this role, then we'll add you to the Envoy email list and send you a welcome packet to help you get started.
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.
2020-21 Theme: Climate Justice
The 2020-21 yearly theme for the UU@UN is All In for Climate Justice: People, Power, Planet. Between April 2020 - March 2021 Envoys should focus on addressing and educating their congregations about global climate change impacts, the ways that indigenous communities and communities of color are most impacted by the climate crisis, and how to take action for climate justice. "Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts" is number 13 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, addressing the climate crisis is also integral to all dimensions of inclusive and sustainable development. In short, all the SDGs depend on the achievement of Goal 13, and vice versa. It is our responsibility to take action to make sure that those who caused the least damage to the planet are protected from the climate crisis's worst impacts.
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 usually happen at 3pm & 6pm Eastern on the third Tuesday of each month. Check 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@UN 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 Office at the United Nations 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@UN rejoined the UUA as a part of the International Resources Department.