spirituality

2021 Freedom of Religion or Belief Priorities at the United Nations

Join us on Friday, May 7th, from 1:15pm-2:45pm Eastern for a virtual event that will highlight various missions’ recent past and upcoming efforts to promote religious freedom and related rights in 2021 at the United Nations. The event will feature a panel of UN diplomats who will present on their mission’s specific priorities on this issue. Following the presentations, there will be ample time for Q+A.

Our expert panelists include: 

  • Madeeha Ashraf, Advisor, U.S. Mission to the UN
  • Timothy Sylvester, Second Secretary, U.K Mission to the UN 
  • Klas Nyman, Counsellor, EU Delegation to the UN

We anticipate the event will be insightful for our shared focus on promoting FoRB at and through the United Nations, and we hope that you will join us.

To register, please RSVP to info@unforb.org by 12pm on May 6. A Zoom link will be sent to you on the day of the event.

We look forward to your presence on May 7th.

Best regards,

Kelsey Zorzi, President, NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief – New York 

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

The Human Face of the Migration Crisis: A Faith-Based Response

The scale of human migration can be overwhelming—estimates are that more people are on the move in our time than at any time in human history. To each “number” there is a human face, a person made in the image of God.

How can people of faith respond to this crisis in tangible ways? How can the Bible inform our response? To look at these and other questions related to the migration crisis we will be joined by a panel from across North America with a variety of experiences and perspectives on migration.

Register here!

Speakers:

vănThanh Nguyễn, S.V.D., is the author of the new book What Does the Bible Say About Strangers, Migrants and Refugees?. Nguyễn came to the United States as a refugee from Vietnam in 1975 and he is today Professor of New Testament Studies and the holder of the Francis X. Ford, M.M., Chair of Catholic Missiology at Catholic Theological Union.

Dannia and Aida Pena were born in San Salvador, El Salvador. In the 1990s they fled the Civil War in El Salvador and came to Los Angeles, California. Today, Dannia serves as an Accounting Manager at a Mental Health Center in San Antonio and Aida works just outside San Antonio in Bilingual Education. Both sisters are married with children and are active in the Focolare Movement.

Sean Ryan and Monica Nugent are university students living in Vancouver, British Columbia. As an outgrowth of their Catholic faith, both are both active in Dignity Inherent, a group working to raise awareness about human trafficking and Canada’s laws on prostitution.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

Indigenous Healing Ways for Mental Health

The Indigenous Health Subcommittee is offering a side event during the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Indigenous practices for physical and mental healthcare have always been used in their communities and there are now attempts to revive and promote them in the mainstream, even in the COVID-19 era.This panel will feature US-based and global young indigenous mental health professionals who will discuss the current utilization of traditional healing practices for mental health based on their experiences, and current research on effectiveness of indigenous treatment outcomes. It will foster dialogue between mainstream and traditional medicine practices, and their integration as the best way forward for mental health care services in general.

Join us on April 29, 12-2PM for an important discussion with our NGO Committee Members, Rick Chavolla (as the discussant) and Rashmi Jaipal (as the moderator), and our incredible panel of young mental health professionals, featuring:

  • Maria Crouch, MS, PhD(c) – Doctoral Candidate in Psychology at the University of Alaska and Pre-Doc Fellow at Yale School of Medicine, of Deg Hit’an, Coahuiltecan, and Scandinavian origin
  • Stefanie Gillson, MD – Public Psychiatry Fellow at Yale School of Medicine and Institute Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, of Dakota/Mdewakanton and Swedish origin
  • Kyle Hill, MPH, PhD – Psychologist and Assistant Scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health (Great Lakes Hub) and Bloomberg School of Public Health, of Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota origin
  • Ningsangrenla Longkumer, PhD – Assistant Professor (Psychology) and researcher at the North Eastern Christian University, Nagaland, India, of Naga origin

Hope you can join us! Register here: indigenoushealing-mentalhealth.eventbrite.com

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit  ngomentalhealth.org

The Doctrine of Discovery and the Indigenous Ministries of The Episcopal Church

Dear UN partners and participants at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 20th session, you are cordially invited to a panel discussion with Episcopal Indigenous participants in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 20.

At 2pm EST on Monday, April 26, join via Zoom:

https://zoom.us/j/99063295488?pwd=RERvMEptNTdoVE1tbFVlbTM0TVZxdz09

For more information, contact the Rev. Dr. Bradley S. Hauff, Commissioner for Indigenous Ministries, The Episcopal Church, at bhauff@episcopalchurch.org

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the Decolonization Alliance, email lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com

Spirituality, Mental Health and Resilience in the Dual Pandemics of COVID-19 and HIV

Dear colleagues & friends,

Greetings. I hope this email finds you safe and well. Kindly find below the relevant information of the upcoming webinar on Spirituality, Mental Health and Resilience in the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and HIV that UNAIDS is organizing with the coalition of partners from the Interfaith health platform, for your information and kind participation. Many thanks.

DRAFT AGENDA

Overview and Session 1 – Mental Health in the dual pandemics: what spirituality, resilience and a human rights-based approach have to offer?

  • Dainius Pūras, Director, Human Rights Monitoring Institute, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Vilnius university, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health: A human rights based approach to mental health
  • Ani Shakarishvili, Special Adviser, Programme Partnerships, UNAIDS: Mental health and HIV: An imperative and an opportunity for integrated people-centered and human rights-based programmes and services for better HIV and health outcomes and wellbeing
  • Rev. Sarah Lund, United Church of Christ Minister for Disabilities and Mental Health Justice: Spiritual Care Tools for Community Mental Health
  • Sabrina T. Cherry, Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies Certificate, Assistant Professor, Public Health Faculty Fellow, UNCW Center For Social Impact: Impact of spirituality on resilience and coping during the COVID-19 crisis – A mixed-method approach investigating the impact on women

Best Practices & Lessons Learned Session: HIV & COVID-19

  • Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga, President of the Bolivian Network of People Living with HIV
  • Nkatha Njeru, Coordinator, Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP)
  • Applesta Da Costa, Program Lead, Psychosocial Support for interventions in mental health, Human Touch, Goa, India
  • Fr Rick Bauer, Director of Spiritual and Psychosocial Support for the Eastern Deanery AIDS Relief program in Nairobi, Kenya: Spirituality, Mental Health and Resilience during the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and HIV: Understandings and practices from EDARP

5:30-7:30 am San Francisco / 8:30-10:30 am New York / 1:30-3:30 pm Dakar /
2:30-4:30 pm Geneva / 4:30-6:30 pm Nairobi / 7:00-9:00 pm Mumbai /
8:30-10:30 pm Bangkok

Register here. Virtual – UNAIDS Platform (Zoom) + YouTube |  Interpretation: English, French, Spanish

Warm regards,

Chuqiu Peng
Consultant
Inter-governmental Inter-Agency and Policy Dialogue Branch (IIPDB)
Policy and Strategy Division (PSD)
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Email: peng@unfpa.org

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org

[UN Observance] International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Every year on November 29, the United Nations commemorates the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. To learn why, and how you can participate, please visit https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-of-solidarity-with-the-palestinian-people.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns, please visit csvgc-ny.org. For more information on the Decolonization Alliance, please email Pres. Bautista at lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

Doctrine of Discovery: Dismantling the Church’s Authorization of Supremacy

In 1452, Pope Nicholas V issued Dum Diversas, a Papal Bull (reaffirmed by subsequent popes) which came to be known as the Doctrine of Discovery. This gave church authorization to the global movement of European conquest and colonization, which decimated the Native populations in the Americas. While many countries in Africa and Asia saw significant suffering, Sri Lanka’s colonial exploitation lasted 453 years, one of the longest in history.

European colonialism may have formally ended, but its supremacist mindset has captured us. How shall we dismantle it?

In our final October session, Thursdays with OMNIA will explore this critical question for our time. Please plan to join our global Zoom conversation next Thursday, October  29th at 2:00 p.m. GMT  (7:00 a.m. in California, 9:00 a.m. in Chicago, 3:00 p.m. in Nigeria, 7:30 p.m. in Sri Lanka, 8:00 p.m. in Bangladesh.) Please double check your time zone.

We invite your participation and engagement. The conversation will be initiated by two experts on the subject, who are grounded in contextual realities:

  • Dr. George “Tink” Tinkeris the Emeritus Professor of American Indian Cultures and Religious Traditions at Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado. He is a member of the wazhazhe, Osage Nation. Dr. Tinker is a renowned expert on Native American history, culture and spirituality. He is the author of many books including, American Indian Liberation: A Theology of Sovereignty. (2008)
  • Dr. Darshi Thoradeniya is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. She received her Ph.D. in history at the University of Warwick in the UK specializing in the History of Medicine and gender issues. She has published many articles particularly in the area of reproductive rights. The winner of many awards and grants, her research and teaching includes colonialism.

Register here!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Decolonization Alliance, please email President Bautista at lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

{Webinar} Faith Speaks to UN75

You are cordially invited to participate in the webinar Faith Speaks to UN75, scheduled to take place onWednesday October 21, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.(New York time) and facilitated via Zoom.

Please register by October 20th via this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu2uqD4uEtWStFEaMfMn1TeZJaAes3vZ.

Concept note

The UN is marking its 75th anniversary at a time of great disruption in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic with severe economic and social impacts creates increased challenges for the UN. Faith-based organizations (FBOs) have a history of inspiring people to act and are often the first responders, and longest sustainers, in times of global crisis. Our communities and partners on the ground ensure that basic needs are met for all people, regardless of religion or belief, in the communities in which we live and serve. We reach out to communities that are often the most vulnerable and are left behind. Faith-based actors fill the service gaps usually without government assistance. FBOs continually engage in projects on the ground that specifically further the objectives of the UN Charter, implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as advance other UN mandates that promote the common good.

These long-term commitments to the UN Mission serve to accelerate our constructive partnership in negotiations and reviews of UN frameworks. We must ensure that throughout the UN processes and respective consultations at all levels, FBOs are not only present but also have the opportunity for meaningful engagement earned by protecting fundamental freedoms of assembly, association, worship, and expression.

The continued support and actions of faith-based organizations are essential as we forge ahead to “build back together.” These are also equally essential as we accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals for all people, especially for those left furthest behind. For, as the Golden Rule states “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is a guide for people of all faiths or beliefs. Our core values are largely aligned with the 2030 Agenda. FBOs are well placed to carry innovations and lessons learned across communities and national borders. The UN can benefit from the breadth and depth of faith-based organizations.

We all share a common objective: a future of dignity, prosperity and peace on a healthy planet. This is true regardless of what religion or belief one practices. We need to continue working together through partnerships and strengthened collaboration among faith-based organizations and civil society in general, national governments, the international community, the private sector and other actors.

The panelists and participants in this webinar will discuss the opportunities for creating the space to leverage such partnerships in common cause to build a better world despite the vast challenges we currently face. They will also explore the pathways to make the constructive role of the faith-based organizations in the UN processes more central and impactful, in the context of the UN75 discussion on the future of the UN. Some argue that global leadership in multilateralism is lacking “political will”. In this regard, religious values can inspire people to act, locally, nationally and internationally, at whatever position they are, and deliver results beyond any material consideration.

Panelists:

  • Joop Theunissen, Deputy Chief, Intergovernmental Policy and Review Branch, Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development, UN DESA
  • Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
  • Sr. Sheila Kinsey, FCJM – Executive Co-Secretary, Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission, Union of Superior Generals and International Union of Superior Generals
  • Rev. Protopresbyter Dr. Nicolas Kazarian, Director, Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • Saphira Rameshfar, Representative to the UN, Baha’i International Community
  • Rana Yurtsever, Member of Advisory Board, Islamic Society of Midwest
  • Teresa Blumenstein, New York Coordinator, Justice Coalition of Religious,
  • Marvelous (Marvie) L. Misolas, MM, NGO Representative at the UN, Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc.

Moderator: Dr. Despoina Afroditi Milaki, NGO Representative at the UN, International Presentation Association

14 faith-based organizations/sponsors of the webinar: Baha’i International Community, Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, Fondazione Proclade Internazionale-Onlus, Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate, International Presentation Association, Islamic Society of Midwest, Justice Coalition of Religious, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, UNANIMA International

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns-New York, please visit csvgc-ny.org.