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.
Exploring Corporate Social Responsibility with the UNA-SNY Young Professionals Sustainability and Economic Development Committee (YP-SEDC)
By Joanna Blaz
Placing social issues as a priority in the workplace is not an easy task. But can proximity to the world’s largest humanitarian organization offer some inspiration? With the United Nations right in their backyard, New York City corporations and organizations are taking advantage and applying their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts on a larger scale.
Nielsen, a global independent measurement and data company with operations in New York City, has partnered with the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) as an opportunity to use its data and expertise for social good.
In 2015, a team of Nielsen data scientists volunteered their skills to help WFP revolutionize its mobile data collection process. This pro bono project enabled WFP to survey people in remote areas and gather data on their needs during times of crisis when sending workers into the field would be too dangerous, including during the Ebola epidemic.
by David Stillman, Board Member UNA-SNY
David and Ginger Stillman led a roundtable on Goal 16 (Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies) at the UNA-USA Leadership Summit in Washington, DC on June 12th.
Participants included members from chapters in Northern Colorado, Beverly Hills, Tampa, National Capital Area, Seton Hall University, Georgetown University, UCLA, Pomona Valley, Nebraska, Wisconsin, New York and the Southern NY State Division. Individual knowledge ranged from little familiarity with the goal to a person who teaches about the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights at Georgetown University to a peace activist from Wisconsin to a woman who worked for the United Nations in the 1950s. A member of each group acted as rapporteur, using the questions from the goal description page as a guide.
The participants broke off into three groups to discuss Goals 16 and its 2030 targets. The groups had the following recommendations based on work their chapter or division has done:
Ultimately, the groups concluded that UN Association chapters and divisions can work together and in their local communities to specifically address Goal 16. This can be achieved through a Refugee Task Force of the chapter and its partners focused on regugee welcoming and assisting in integration as well as working with the local Health Department on refugees in the community. Through organization and raising awareness UNA chapters and divisions can help promote just, peaceful, and inclusive communities - and it starts right in each of our communties.
Peace and justice start in your community and at the grassroots level. It begins with us and if we start here we can continue to fight for peace in other countries.
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 Peg Shannon, UNA-SNY Vice President, Advocacy
The Southern NYS Division along with chapters and divisions throughout the country completed a survey of their priorities for effective advocacy for the UN over the next two years. We were asked to consider a wide range of issues including those raised by UN actions taken last year - approving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and concluding the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
by Melinda Richardson, Chair UNA-SNY Young Professionals
Mothers walked down mountains for miles, took the only car in town on a three-hour journey, and there were countless other stories of mothers doing all they can to protect their children. We saw how much of an impact UNICEF and partnerships with governments has there with the vaccination rate now at nearly 90%. We can help and our support makes a big difference.The end of April marks World Immunization Week. Globally this is a week to raise awareness for life-saving immunizations, progress made, and the work yet to be completed. Around the world, every 20 seconds a child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease and one in five children lacks access to basic vaccines for diseases such as measles, pneumonia and diarrhea.
The United Nations Foundation's Shot@Life campaign engages Americans to advocate and raise funds to ensure vaccines reach children in developing countries. These are countries where mothers do not have the luxury of choice. They will walk for miles to access vaccines for their children.
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.
At the January 7, 2016 UNA-SNY board meeting, two long-time UNA supporters and advocates received our yearly awards. The Margaret K. Bruce Advocacy Award was presented by Joan Levy to Margaret Shannon (Peg). Peg has been very involved in UNA, she has served as President of the Queens chapter and was also the Advocacy Chair. The Lee H. Bloom Leadership Award was pesented to Jeanne Betsock Stillman (Ginger); Ginger has a long history with and has worked hard for the Division and also has made contributions as coordinator and connection to the Council of Organizations, Co-chair for the Mid Atlantic Conference/Members’ Day at the UN, Regional Meeting, and lead on involving the Division in bringing UN to bear on US performance.
by Melinda Richardson, Chair, UNA-SNY Young Professionals
On November 19th the United Nations Association Young Professionals - Southern New York State Division and the Young Professionals Health Network co-sponsored an event hosted by the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign at the Centre for Social Innovation in New York City. The Shot@Life campaign educates, connects, and empowers individuals to champion global vaccines as one of the most effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries.
We were joined by Alan Kissick and Liz Clapp from Shot@Life who share how young professionals and others can get involved in the campaign. They highlighted the ways individuals can help through actions such as sharing the work being done, meeting with representatives, and hosting fundraisers both online and in-person.