Chapter Spotlight: Columbus

Across the country, UNA-USA chapters work to educate, inspire, and mobilize Americans to support the core functions and principles of the United Nations. The UNA Columbus Chapter has shown unparalleled dedication to strengthening the UN system, while promoting constructive United States leadership in the facilitation of international cooperation.

As the only community chapter in Ohio, UNA Columbus has prioritized local participation as its primary mission. By motivating and harnessing the active support of their members in various community engagement projects, UNA Columbus has mobilized their members to advocate in support of the UN’s agenda — educating those unfamiliar to not only the UN’s history but its future goals and plans. In the process, the chapter has remained committed to the task of pushing lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to maintain a devoted focus on just, cooperative foreign policies.

The UNA Columbus Chapter conducts its work under the tagline: Think globally, act locally. They have a designated focus to four main programming areas — Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ModelUN, human trafficking, and refugee communities. As a part of their Advocacy Action Plan, UNA Columbus formed partnerships with other organizations, hosted events and discussions on pertinent issues, and prioritized growing its membership to mobilize more allies in joining their cause. From participating in rallies for women’s rights on International Women’s Day to hosting an event for World Refugee Day, the chapter has involved itself in several areas of UN interest.

UNA Columbus has designated particular attention to the education of its members. In partnerships with Columbus State Community College, Capital University, Franklin University, Ohio State University, and Otterbein University, the UNA Columbus Chapter created and funded programs including a National High School Essay Contest, iEarn, Global Classrooms, and several video presentations on the historical and structural understanding of the UN. Most importantly, UNA Columbus has made strides in growing their Model UN program. Coined with the title “Strive to Make a Difference” Model UN, the chapter promoted the participation of high school and college students in central Ohio to research current issues and develop solutions to local, national, and global problems. While offering an engaging environment among participants to discuss and encourage one other, they have also fostered a system where understanding, cooperation, and compassion were fundamental to creating change.

UNA Columbus has dedicated itself to facilitating its programs to reach a broader audience. The chapter members tailored their passions and interests to organizing efficient, large campaigns in support of the UN. In their commitment to the projects of the UN, including the SDGs and concentration on refugee communities, they have demonstrated their enthusiasm to advocate for key UN projects strategically and efficiently. Particularly with their focus on education, UNA Columbus has proven the importance of youth and community engagement in creating cooperative outcomes at not only the local level, but the nation and the world at-large.