UNA TODAY, June 2017
2017 Leadership Summit Recap
Last week, more than 300 UNA-USA members and supporters from 40 states gathered in Washington, DC, for the 2017 Leadership Summit. The conference began with two days of presentations from high-ranking UN officials, policy workshops, chapter development and social media trainings, and sessions on topics ranging from human rights and peacekeeping to the role of the UN in addressing global pandemics. Attendees heard from special guest speakers including the President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights at the UN Human Rights Office Andrew Gilmour, Hamilton: An American Musical’s Samantha Ware, and more. To see the full event agenda and speaker lineup, visit unausa.org/leadershipsummit.
On the final day of the Summit, attendees rallied at the U.S. Capitol for the largest convening ever of Americans advocating for strong U.S.-UN engagement. UNA-USA advocates held 271 face-to-face meetings with their Members of Congress and staff to collectively call for full U.S. funding of the UN. In just one day alone, UNA-USA reached more than 50 percent of the entire Congress, delivering a clear message from Americans across the country about the overwhelming importance of a robust U.S.-UN partnership.
UNA-USA members shared their experiences via social media throughout the Summit using #USAforUN, and several Chapters received media coverage regarding their participation in the historic event. In case you missed it, visit UNA-USA’s Facebook Page to watch recordings of live interviews from Summit with the President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson, Hamilton: An American Musical’s Samantha Ware, and UNA-Portland Chapter President Yashar Vasef.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Leadership Summit! We are so proud of all you accomplished and hope you bring your experiences, new ideas, and enthusiasm from Summit back to your local communities. Be sure to watch our new video highlighting UNA-USA’s mission and achievements so far this year!
New Opportunity: "Stand Up" for Human Rights Partnership Launched at Leadership Summit
UNA-USA college and community chapters have new opportunities to engage in human rights advocacy and programming, following the announcement of a 2017-2018 partnership between UNA-USA and the UN Human Rights Office during the 2017 Leadership Summit.
The new partnership will amplify the Office’s “Stand Up for Someone’s Human Rights” campaign, which seeks to empower a new generation of people in the U.S. to creatively amplify what they do in their daily lives to defend human rights and engage their decisionmakers on human rights. The partnership announcement followed remarks by UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour who called on USA-USA members to commit to advancing human rights. Through the new partnership with the UN Human Rights Office, chapters can apply for grants to support human rights activations and events. Chapters are also encouraged to join the conversation online with a new Stand Up for Someone’s Human Rights digital toolkit. For more information on how you can become involved, please contact Anna Mahalak at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ryan Kaminski at email@example.com.
World Refugee Day: Call to Action
World Refugee Day is this Tuesday, June 20, and it’s not too late for you to get involved! UNA-USA offers several opportunities for you and your Chapter to raise funds for Adopt-A-Future, a campaign that supports education for child refugees in Kenya. Remember, every little contribution helps and will be MATCHED by our philanthropic partners, doubling the impact of your gift! Get involved:
Sponsor UNA-USA Member’s Statue of Liberty Swim
In honor of World Refugee Day on June 20, Christopher Swain, a New York City native and member of UNA-Westchester, will swim two miles across New York Harbor from the Statue of Liberty to Manhattan Island to call attention to the needs of the 65 million people around the world who have been forced from home by war and persecution, creating the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Following his swim, Christopher will walk four miles to the United Nations Headquarters in NYC. All funds raised through Christopher’s swim/walk will be directly contributed to the Adopt-A-Future program. Please support Christopher’s effort by sponsoring his journey at unausa.org/withrefugees. On World Refugee Day, follow UNA-USA on social media for highlights from Christopher’s swim and walk, and use #USAforUN and #WithRefugees to show your support.
Plan a Good Meal for a Great Cause
Several UNA-USA Chapters have already used our step-by-step toolkit to plan a special dinner event to fundraise for Adopt-A-Future. There’s still time to get creative and fundraise for children who need our help now. Consider planning a fundraising lunch with your colleagues, an ice cream happy hour with friends after work or school, or maybe even a movie or bowling night. Every little contribution helps!