by Joanna Blaz, UNA-SNY YP Social and Economic Development Committee Director
Fashion models sprinkled a bit of nature into our concrete jungle Wednesday night. Each holding a leaf or flower, models from the sustainable clothing brand Susty walked the National Arts Club runway, their re-purposed shirts urging the audience to “recycle” and “live responsibly.” As some got to the end, they twirled a rose or carnation over their heads: a small symbol that we’re together in the effort to protect our planet.
The fashion show kicked off this year’s United Nations Association-Young Professionals annual Cocktail Event & Awards ceremony. Each of the guests reflected a few of the core issues that UNA-YP advocates: sustainability, international development and refugee aid.
by Joanna Blaz
As UNA-SNY Young Professionals took their seats in Colors Restaurant on Thursday night, one simple item tied the room together: a chalkboard with a Cesar Chavez quote scribbled in blue and pink.
“We don’t need perfect political systems; we need perfect participation.”
The reasons for participation in UNA’s “At The Intersection of Business and Development” panel and networking event were as diverse as the audience itself, which included international entrepreneurs, college students and a sustainability event planner.
by Gemma Tate, UNA-SNY YP Social and Humanitarian Affairs Committee
Water is a human right. So why were residents of Flint, Michigan, forced to drink dangerously contaminated water for so long? One word: greed.
In Flint, government officials believed that cutting costs was worth putting the people's health in danger. An unthinkable betrayal of public trust, the emergency has drawn widespread condemnation and sparked nationwide dialogue. In March, a group of women change-makers gathered at the United Nations Foundation to voice their opinions on the matter.
by George Garland, UNA-SNY President
During the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), The UNA-SNY Young Professionals Social and Humanitarian Affairs Committee (YP-SHAC) and its Director Marielle Ali hosted a panel called
“Women’s Responses to Water Crises in the US and Abroad.” Standing room only at the UN Foundation’s Arthur Ross Conference Center heard calls for an International Year of Water and Women highlighting Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 6 as well as refined statistics which enable documentation of women’s issues.
Blockbuster speaker Melissa May told of her work in Flint, Michigan’s water crisis. Melissa had driven from a Congressional Hearing in Washington, DC where she had testified along with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. Melissa got to tell Gina McCarthy that adding phosphorous to water to coat water pipes was just adding phosphorous to water drunk in Flint. Replace the pipes.
By Joanna Blaz
About 800 attendees at last week’s Members’ Day at the UN fell silent as one United Nations Association member from Queens, New York, posed a pointed question: Why are the panelists drinking from plastic water bottles in a city with clean tap water?
This questioning of what we can each do to reduce waste reflected the theme of the “Post-Paris Leadership for Climate Change” discussion, one of five panels at the 8th Annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, held Friday.