Enjoy a Free Movie with Us

Enjoy a Free Movie at The Paramount on Saturday, July 19th

Enjoy a Movie.
Send a Net.
Save a Life.

In observance of Nelson Mandela International Day, your Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association is offering a screening of the much-acclaimed film, “Mary and Martha” (starring Oscar winner Hilary Swank).

You’re invited to join us for a matinee presentation — Saturday, July 19th, at 3pm.

This FREE movie showing is designed to be entertaining, educational and inspiring. Our first-ever Nelson Mandela Day program will be offered in the comfort of the cozy movie theatre at The Paramount, 701 W. Sheridan, in Oklahoma City. Enjoy the company of other members and friends of the United Nations Association!

“Mary and Martha” is a film about two mothers connected by loss, inspired by hope.

From HBO: “Hilary Swank stars as Mary and Brenda Blethyn stars as Martha, an American interior designer and British housewife who have little in common apart from the one thing they wish they didn’t. When malaria strikes, the lives of these very different women change forever. They forge a deep friendship and embark on an epic journey of self-discovery to Africa, dedicating themselves to the cause of malaria prevention. Beginning to rebuild their lives, they show how ordinary people can make a difference and inspire positive change in the process. Enlisting the help of Mary’s estranged father, a former politico, the two women beseech both the powers that be and ordinary people to get involved, realizing a shared responsibility to all the world’s children.”

Our decision to present this film is motivated by our commitment to the values of the United Nations as well as the inspiring example of Nelson Mandela and his dedication to the service of humanity.

Every 60 seconds, a child dies from malaria.
For a family in Africa, a net can mean the difference
between life and death. Donate to Nothing But Nets.

Following the film, the members of our OKC chapter of UNA-USA will make a generous contribution to “Nothing But Nets” — a global grassroots campaign to raise awareness and funding to fight malaria, a leading cause of death among children in Africa.

Nothing But Nets works with UN partners like UNICEF, the UN Refugee Agency, and the World Health Organization to purchase nets and distribute them to countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Net distributions are typically part of a wider public health effort within a country coordinated by the Ministry of Health, the UN and other local and international organizations.

About our Venue. Located on historic Film Row in Oklahoma City, The Paramount is a great place for breakfast, lunch, or a light dinner. It is a restaurant that serves coffee, wine and beer. (See here for their menu). It also offers live music, movies and stage shows on special occasions.

The small theatre at The Paramount offers a cool and comfortable screening room for people who enjoy good movies — like you and me.

Join us at The Paramount. Bring your friends … Enjoy a film and save a life as we honor Nelson Mandela!

Jacklyn Brink Rosen

Jacklyn Brink Rosen (center) was hosted by Gerry Bonds on her radio
program, “The Living Room.” Ms. Rosen was advocating for legislation
to fight hunger. Joining them was Rep. Richard Morrissette (right).

Announcing the Newest Winner of
Our UNA-OKC Public Service Award

We are proud to announce the winner of our 2014 Public Service Award — Jacklyn Brink Rosen.

Ms. Rosen is a Legislative Assistant for the Oklahoma House of Representatives. She was nominated by Rep. Richard Morrissette, who represents District 92 in Oklahoma City.

Several factors were considered in the decision to select Ms. Rosen as our award winner. First, we are impressed by her professionalism and commitment to the functions of the Oklahoma House of Representatives — including the development of public policy, respect for the law, accountability, and responsiveness to constituent problems.

Just as important, we want to recognize Ms. Rosen’s spirit of volunteerism — a trait that is shared by many public sector workers in our state.

Ms. Rosen has been active in several community grassroots organizations, including the Shiloh Summer Camp, the Needs Foundation, RESULTS (a national group that creates the political will to end poverty), and the Malnutrition Coalition (a group that Jacklyn founded). Not least of all, Ms. Rosen is a volunteer leader of our Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA.

Food security is a centerpiece issue for Jacklyn. Her concern about issues related to hunger and poverty motivated her to join the United Nations Association.

In the next few days, we will publish a more in-depth article about Ms. Rosen’s selection as this year’s recipient of our Public Service Award.

The announcement of our Public Service Award winner coincides with the United Nations’ “Public Service Day” — June 23rd — an annual day intended to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community. 

In establishing Public Service Day, the UN General Assembly recognized that “…efficient,
accountable, effective and transparent public administration, at both the national and
international levels, has a key role to play in the implementation of internationally agreed
goals, including… the United Nations Millennium Declaration.” 

For more information about international efforts to celebrate the value of public administration,
see the website of the United Nations Public Administration Network:  www.unpan.org.

Congratulations, Jacklyn Brink Rosen!

The first of the Millennium Development Goals is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Globally, about 870 million people are estimated to be undernourished. More than 100 million children under age five are still undernourished and underweight.
Find more information at the UN website: www.un.org/millenniumgoals/poverty.shtml

A Welcome Development

Anti-UN Fervor Subsided in
Oklahoma’s 2014 Legislature

Most Representatives Got the Message: Voters Aren’t
Impressed by Goofy Attacks on the United Nations

The 2014 session of the Oklahoma Legislature ended a couple of weeks ago. We’re happy to report that no crazy new anti-UN bills came forward to be debated or voted upon.

Following the 2013 session — in which 4 anti-UN bills were introduced — the (almost complete) absence of nutty state legislation in 2014 was a welcome development.

Actually, there was a little bit of anti-UN sentiment boiling at the State Capitol. That was evident in some of the talking points we heard during the session. Certain speakers and commentators were willing to use “UN Agenda 21” as a reference point in a couple of debates. But, the craziness was more subdued this year. For example, it didn’t manifest itself in any new efforts to suppress UN-related research or reports, etc.

Rep. Gus Blackwell introduced a resolution in the 2014
Legislature which would have opposed the use of
the word “Sustainability” in our state. The resolution
never got a hearing and didn’t receive a vote — a good
sign that anti-UN fervor at the State Capitol is waning.

Only one new legislative measure was based on the premise of fighting the supposed menace of UN Agenda 21. House Resolution 1033 was introduced by Rep. Gus Blackwell. We wrote about it in March of this year. (See the article, “Don’t Say Sustainability“).

HR 1033 died a quiet death when the Legislative session came to an end on May 23rd. It didn’t receive a hearing in committee. It was never debated or voted on. It simply went nowhere. Evidently, the leaders of the House of Representatives realized that HR 1033 was a screwy idea that didn’t deserve the slightest bit of attention. Calls from our members and friends probably helped, as well.

Another item — House Bill 2807 — was touted by some Tea Party supporters as a measure to “nullify” Agenda 21 in Oklahoma. But, sometimes the Tea Partiers see connections that aren’t really there. When we reviewed the bill early in the session, we saw that HB 2807 doesn’t explicitly mention the United Nations or Agenda 21. We concluded that the bill was really about land-use (zoning) laws and laws regarding eminent domain. We recognized that these topics are beyond the scope of interest of our association. So, we didn’t take a position on the bill, and we didn’t ask our members to take any action on it, either.

Some Tea Party supporters attempted to
define House Bill 2807 as an anti-UN
measure. They said it would “nullify”
UN Agenda 21. But, Agenda 21 has
nothing to do with the subjects covered
by HB 2807.

(A good summary of House Bill 2807 appears on the NewsOK.com website. Ultimately, the bill drew opposition from certain mayors and municipal government officials. At the end of the session, the measure had gained approval in the State House of Representatives, but it didn’t come up for a floor vote in the State Senate).

All session long, there was a popular uprising against the Common Core educational standards of the National Governor’s Association. The Common Core drama came to a climax last week when Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill (House Bill 3399) repealing the Common Core standards in the state.

This was another subject where a few fervid Common Core opponents attempted to define their opposition to the standards in terms of their favorite rhetorical straw man — that is, UN Agenda 21.

We kept a close eye on this issue, but — as with HB 2807 — we recognized that the debate over Common Core wasn’t really an issue for our chapter. We didn’t take a stand; we didn’t enter the fray.

Opponents of the Common Core State Standards were
motivated by concerns about appropriate local control
of education. But, a few of them “jumped the shark
by implying that Common Core was a product of the
United Nations. In fact, it originated with the
National Governors Association.

In the debate over HB 3399, our friend Rep. Emily Virgin noted that Common Core had become a “toxic issue” in the Legislature. She observed that it was difficult to have a calm, rational discussion about the issue because of the outlandish rhetoric.

As if to illustrate her point, Rep. Gus (“Don’t Say Sustainability”) Blackwell characterized the Common Core standards as an “insidious” example of “federal tyranny.” Rep. Dan Fisher complained that Oklahoma schools had become “enslaved” by dependency to the federal government.

From the fringe of the Common Core debate, we heard plenty of overblown anti-UN rhetoric coming from the most extreme Common Core opponents. Even so, we heard only one legislator make a public statement attempting to link Common Core to the United Nations. That was Rep. John Bennett (R-Sequoyah County):

“We voluntarily have sold our freedom for the sake of funds that come from a bankrupt government that forces conservative, God-fearing Oklahoma children to abide by the government-mandated curriculum which is birthed by the UN with the intent of creating a sustainable Earth without borders.”

Governor Fallin supported the Common Core State
Standards during her tenure as the head of the National
Governors Association. But, last week, she signed a bill
repealing the Common Core standards in Oklahoma.

That’s it. As a focal point of action at the State Capitol, the UN has waned from a centerpiece of legislation to a mere talking point in a broader controversy.

This is a welcome development. It reflects an understanding by most members of the Legislature that goofy attacks on the United Nations don’t really impress the voters. In an election year, it’s not smart to antagonize the quiet majority. Our State Senators and State Reps need all the friends they can get.

So, we’re reminding all of our elected representatives that 86 percent of American voters think it is important “for the United States to maintain an active role within the United Nations.” The United Nations Association of the USA speaks for that majority.

We are dedicated to educating, inspiring and mobilizing Americans to support the principles and vital work of the United Nations.

Join us!