March 12, 2010
I. Honoring Ela Bhatt
The Niwano Peace Foundation has chosen Ms. Ela Ramesh Bhatt as the 2010 honoree of the Niwano Peace Prize. In selecting Ms. Bhatt as an awardee for 2010, the Peace Prize Committee said she is "an inspiration to all of us with her commitment to uplifting the downtrodden by literally giving them the tools to be the authors of their own destiny."
Ms. Bhatt is the founder of the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) - which has mobilized more than 1.2 million women in India into a labor union and social movement that effectively fights against poverty, oppression, and injustice through an integrated approach including Organizing, Member Education, and Cooperative Banking. SEWA is also a partner of the UU Holdeen India Program.
Upon learning of the 2010 award UUA President Peter Morales communicated his profound gratitude, "I am delighted that our Rissho Kosei-kai colleagues have chosen to honor and support the extraordinary work of Ela Bhatt. This is an example of extraordinary generosity in support of outstanding work to advance human dignity."
Read more about Ms. Bhatt and this very prestigious honor!
View a brief informational video to learn more about SEWA.
II. UU Holdeen India Program: Partners for Justice in India Video
The UUA International Resources Office is happy to announce the release of "UUHIP: Partners for Justice in India," a great introduction to the work and philosophy of the Unitarian Universalist Association's Holdeen India Program.
UUHIP works with key leaders and organizations of India's most marginalized and disadvantaged peoples in their struggle to secure human rights and economic and social justice. The program supports the efforts of those peoples excluded or oppressed on the basis of gender, caste, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, especially dalits (untouchables), adivasis (tribals), migrant, bonded and child laborers, domestic and home-based workers, and scavengers, helping them to participate fully in the social, economic and political life of India.
Available online for free, as well as on DVD, the video features profiles of 5 Holdeen India Program partners as well as reflections by Program Direction Kathy Sreedhar, former UUA President Rev. John Buehrens and UU minister Rev. Abhi Janamanchi.
For those interested in obtaining a DVD copy of the video, please contact the International Resources Office.
View "UUHIP: Partners for Justice in India" online!
III. Bolivian UU Continues Fight for Justice
Olga Flores - a Unitarian Universalist from La Paz, Bolivia - is continuing her leadership in the struggle to have Bolivian Army records of human rights abuses made public. Of central concern is the implementation of court orders allowing special prosecutor Milton Mendoza access to records of "disappearances" during the Garcia Meza dictatorship.
Last May, Olga and three other Bolivians joined together in a Hunger Strike to push the Bolivian military's hand. Last Thursday they began another hunger strike - though they have now halted it and are focusing their attention instead on the Bolivian Supreme Court of Justice.
Read more about this continuing struggle for justice!
IV. Dalai Lama to Keynote IARF World Congress
IARF CONGRESS | COCHIN, KERALA, INDIA
SEPTEMBER 1-7, 201O
The Dalai Lama will be keynote speaker for the 33rd IARF Congress, which takes place September 4-7.
UUA President Peter Morales will participate.
Pre-Congress/Congress events include:
- A tour the last week in August.
- September 1-4: International Assoc. for Liberal Religious Women (IALRW)
- September 1-4: Interfaith Issues - Joint program with World Congress of Faiths (WCF)
including worship, small group discussions, and excursions (to be confirmed in March).
- September 4-7: IARF CONGRESS - www.iarf.net
The 33rd Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom will be a very special occasion for participants. The theme is "Beyond Conflict to Reconciliation: the Challenge of the 21st Century."
An international list of speakers includes: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Dr. Karan Singh, President of the Temple of Understanding, Ms. Asma Jahangir, UN Special Rapporteur on Religion or Belief from the United Nations, Dr. Sheikh Ali, Muslim interfaith leader.
Registration information is available online.
The UUA has ten voting delegates so if you are interested in being one, contact the Rev. Eric Cherry at the International Resources Office. There will be important issues to vote on regarding the future of the organization.
Also, the International Association for Liberal Religious Women will be celebrating its 100th year with a special program for women. Don't miss these exciting events and of course, don't miss that unique welcome given by Indian hospitality to its guests!
Please contact Doris Hunter, chair of the US Chapter, IARF if you have questions about the coming 33rd Congress of IARF.
V. UU-UNO's Intergenerational Spring Seminar
"A Climate of Change:
Head, Heart and Hands Around the Planet"
April 8-10, 2010 (Youth program begins on April 7) - New York City
Every April, youth and adults from around the United States and Canada gather in New York City for the UU-UNO's (UU United Nation's Office) educational Intergenerational Spring Seminar. All participants gain a deep understanding on a topic of global concern and have a lot of fun in the wonderful intergenerational environment.
This year's topic is *Climate Change*. During these four days approximately 75 youth and advisors stay at one of our Manhattan based UU congregations, learning, making friends, having fun, and mobilizing. Not only do youth attend the conference but many also take on important leadership roles in its planning and execution.
Featured speakers include: Dr. Tony Broccoli, Dr. Graciella Chichilnsky, Dr. Alan Robock, and Rev. Fletcher Harper
Visit www.uu-uno.org for more information about the seminar and speakers and register online today!
VI. ICUU Monthly Global Chalice Lighting
The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 79th in its monthly series of global chalice lighting readings. Congregations worldwide are invited to participate.
All ICUU-affiliated groups have been asked to submit brief chalice lightings for the project. Every month, a reading will be distributed to Unitarian and Universalist congregations around the world. We ask each congregation to use the reading for at least one worship service in the designated month, identifying it as the "Global Chalice Lighting" for that month and naming the group which submitted it. Readings will be circulated in English and, where different, in their original language.
It is hoped that the ICUU Global Chalice Lighting Project will enhance the worship experience in our congregations and raise awareness of the international dimensions of our religious movement.
This Global Chalice Lighting, in Yoruba and English, is to be used during March 2010.
Gbogbo Eda Dapo,
E Jo Yin Oluwa.
E Pa Ohun nyin po,
Lati Fe Oro Na;
K' ife da orin ope nla,
Ki gbogbo eda k'o si gbe.
Let all nations live together in unison
And praise GOD together.
Speak with one voice
To LOVE and accept the Word.
Let LOVE create great songs of praise
For all living souls to sing together.
First Unitarian Church of Nigeria
- April 8-10, 2010: UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar, "A Climate of Change: Head, Heart, and Hands Around the Planet," New York City (visit http://uu-uno.org/ for further information)
- April 17 - 29, 2010: UU Transylvanian Pilgrimage (on a budget)
- June 23-27, 2010: UUA General Assembly, Minneapolis, MN
- July 9-13, 2010: U-U Ministers Conference, Eindhoven, the Netherlands (visit www.icuu.net)
- July 13-17, 2010: The Third ICUU International Theological Symposium, Eindhoven, the Netherlands (visit www.icuu.net)
VIII. Inspired Faith - Effective Action Blog
As part of the UUA's Advocacy and Witness Staff group, the International Resources office contributes to the Inspired Faith - Effective Action blog.
Visit the newly revamped blog for postings on a wide variety of issues!