On Saturday, November 3, 2012, The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office celebrated its 50thAnniversary at the Times Center, in New York City. Guests were greeted with the lovely sounds of a jazz trio playing live music, a red carpet photo area, a delicious spread of cheeses from around the world, passed hors d’oeuvres, a full bar and countless exciting items lined up for the silent auction.

Anunay Swaroop and Bruce Knotts striking a pose.

The feeling of joy in the air at the UU-UNO 50th Anniversary was palpable. In the face of the worst storm to hit the New York Metro Area in recorded history, more than 100 friends and supporters of the UU-UNO arrived at the Times Center to celebrate a milestone achievement for the organization. This dedication to come out in support during less than ideal conditions is representative of the same dedication that has brought the UU-UNO to its prominent position in both the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Nations itself. It was truly amazing to see generations of UU-UNO supporters, from Senator Adlai Stevenson to Maura Roosevelt, to current UUA President Rev. Peter Morales to the interns of the office past and present, sharing drinks and dialogue and coming together to lift up the hard work, sacrifice, and love that has allowed the UUA to flourish.

Mordechai Levovitz bidding on the fabulous auction items.

The silent auction raised thousands of dollars, exceeding the UU-UNO’s fundraising expectations. During the formal presentations each speech expounded the incredible importance of the UU-UNO within the local and global spheres. In honor of the organization’s ability to sustain itself over the last fifty years and to live up to its necessary responsibility, Director Bruce Knotts publicly received two awards. Mr. Knotts was given the Leadership Award by the 50thAnniversary co-chairs, Scott Seale and Marilyn Mehr and the St. Paul’s Foundation Award for International Reconciliation from Rev. Canon Albert Ogle. Mr. Knotts graciously thanked the entire Unitarian Universalist family for making all of the UU-UNO’s efforts possible. The UU-UNO’s 50th Anniversary was a night that brought together different threads of the Organization’s past to focus on the future weaving of a peaceful, just and sustainable world community. If the smiles that were present on the faces of those leaving the event were any indication, that future is irrepressibly bright.

The audience enjoying the 50th Anniversary video.

A video overview on the history and work of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office: https://vimeo.com/52860891


Save the date for our annual conference: Intergenerational Spring Seminar! Every April, youth and adults from around the United States and Canada gather in New York City for our exciting and educational Intergenerational Spring Seminar. This year’s seminar topic will work to stop violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It will take place from April 4th-6th, 2013, with sessions at the United Nations Headquarters, the UN Church Center, and the Salvation Army. More details are soon to follow www.uua.org/lgbtq/witness/international.

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