A Message from Rachel: UNA-USA’s Immediate Next Steps to Take Action on Racial Injustice
Members, advocates and allies:
I want to thank the entire UNA-USA community for working in solidarity and supporting one another during a time when our country is in crisis and our leaders and justice system have failed us.
Like many of you, I am outraged at the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, along with countless other names.
Like you, I want to take action NOW to make sure that our future upholds the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which ironically, was created through leadership of the United Sates.
As a grassroots advocacy association, we are going to mobilize and do what we do best:
1. Speak up. Use social media and online resources to share statements of concern and hope.
2. Take advocacy actions. I call on UNA-USA members and allies to reach out to politicians at every level — from your city council to the White House – demanding policies and laws to fix racial injustices. UNA-USA is also exploring additional ways we can support your advocacy efforts and direct your message. We are working on a petition for our members to send to Congress.
3. Educate. We need to truly understand the impact of 400 years of racism in our country and do everything possible to end it. We can start by leading serious dialogues in our communities. UNA-USA chapters and members are well equipped to gather community voices and host discussions, and the National Office is here to support. We recently launched a resource toolkit for you to reflect, share, and to help guide meaningful discussions. The toolkit includes:
- Statements from UNA-USA leadership
- Statements from the UN Secretary General and other UN officials
- Statements made by UNA-USA chapters
- Our Universal Periodic Review report on Race, Criminal Justice and Human Rights
- A Petition
- Resources on combating racism and improving race relations
It’s not going to be easy to force the turning point. But we are the United Nations Association of the USA, and perseverance is in our DNA.
In this moment, I draw strength from these words by Martin Luther King Jr.: “No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
Rachel Bowen Pittman,
Executive Director, UNA-USA
P.S. If you have not yet read our statement, please find it here.