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Houston Area Chapter

Skyline of the city of HoustonThe United Nations Association-Houston Chapter (UNA-HOU) is proud to be one of the oldest chapters in the nation. In 1955, Eleanor Roosevelt traveled to Houston to speak on behalf of the U.N. to the newly-formed chapter. She also presented the U.N. flag to the City of Houston.

UNA-HOU is the local chapter of the national non-profit organization UNA-USA. It is a membership organization dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and vital work of the United Nations among the American people. Its educational and humanitarian campaigns include teaching students about international affairs through Model UN and Global Classrooms programs, addressing the UN Millennium Development Goals through the UNA International Film Festival (UNAFF Traveling Film Festival), engaging young professionals in humanitarian outreach projects (YPIC), offering cultural educational events to bridge diversity understanding, and providing information sessions on critical humanitarian issues and actions. These programs allow people to make a global impact at the local level. In addition, its policy and advocacy programs stress the importance of nations working together and the need for United States leadership in the United Nations.

World Cafe- "From Selma To Ferguson: Where Do We Go From Here?" -Jan.22


The next World Cafe will focus on civil rights and human rights in commemoration of the National King Day. The theme will be "From Selma to Ferguson: Where Do We Go From Here?" on Jan.22, 2014 at 6p.m. at the Houston Public Library at 500 McKinney Street in Houston. Author and civil rights advocate Jonathan Augustine will discuss and hold a book signing for his new book, The Keys Are Being Passed.  A panel discussion will include Augustine, Hon. Teta Banks, former Director of the King Association, and Larry Payne of HCC-TV.  Student winners of the Gardere M.L.King Oratorical Contest will also present.   Attendees will be able to participate by sharing their personal experiences of the civil rights movement and human rights situations locally and globally. International coffess will be complimentary. Free admission.  Click or paste the Eventbrite link:: http://www.eventbrite.com/o/united-nations-association-and-houston-public-library-7871323249?s=32331058


UNA Houston  Sponsored  "Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals Symposium"

As the 2015 deadline for the UN Millennium Development Goals draws near, grass-root consultations are taking place around the world to exchange ideas and gather views on a shared vision of "The World We Want" post-2015 as shown at www.myworld2015.org .  Houston was selected as one of the cities for hosting the nationwide consultation process in November and December,2014.  Through this process, United Nations Association of the United States of America  gathered views from Americans about what they want for themselves and the global community. The aim of this event was to invite participation from the Greater-Houston community in this worldwide dialogue that will set out the new framework for the global development community.The Post-2015 Symposium was held on November 20, 2014 at University of Houston-Downtown . Special guest presenters included the following: Margaret Bond, Deputy Director, Office of International Organizations in the U.S. Department of State, Ms. Martha Rebour, Deputy Director of the Shot@Life program at the United Nations Foundation, and Ms. Nelda Reid, member of the UNA-USA Steering Committee. Mr. Larry Payne, host/producer at HCC-TV  and Hon. Teta Banks, President of UNA-Houston were moderators. Over 100 attendees from corporate, educational, human rights, civic, and arts organizations participated.
Discussion groups focused on the following UN Post-Development Millennium Draft Goals:
Goal #3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal #4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
Goal #10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal #13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Goal #16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive 
                 institutions at all levels


The report developed at this symposium will be  a part of the national UNA-USA document to be presented to the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations.

UN Day Celebration Gala 2014        Speaker: UN Secretary-General Spokesperson



The 2014 UN Day celebration was held on October 23 at the Junior League of Houston. This annual celebration marks the adoption of the UN Charter in 1945. "The annual celebration is significant because it reflects the global diversity of Houston, the unique international educational programs of the UNA, and the importance and need of the UN to continue its mission of fostering global peace," stated Hon. Teta V. Banks, President, UNA Houston.

The 2014 Special Guest was UN Secretary-General Spokesperson Hon. Stephane Dujarric de la Riviere.The 2014 awardees were Ambassador Edward Djerejian, Founding Director of the Baker Institute at Rice University, recipient of the 2014 Global Impact Award, and Mr. Vincent Maggio, recipient of the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.   Special acknowledgements of the work of the UN and UNA-Houston were given by the Mayor's Office, the Consular Corps of Houston, the U.S. Congress, and the United Nations.

Special performances were by the Impande African Drum and Dance Troupe, the B.E.C.A (Colombia dancers), pianist Dr. Yung-Chui Wang, and the UNA International Choir. Major sponsors were the University of Houston-Downtown, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas , and Houston Community College.Mr. Larry Payne of HCC-TV was the emcee.Donations are still being accepted for the support  UNA Houston educational programs. The UNA-Houston is a 501(c)3  non-profit organization and donations are tax-deductible. Contact info@unahouston.org.



"Wines Around The World" -Humanitarian Program

The UNA-Houston's annual "Wines Around The World" Humanitarian Program was held September 26, 2014, 7-9p.m. at Archway Gallery, located at 2305 Dunlavy Street in Houston, TX. The purpose of the event was to raise funds to provide assistance to children in critical needs areas of the world. The attendees enjoyed wines from over 30 countries, art work of contemporary national and international professional artists in one of Houston's unique art galleries. Some of the previous projects have been the support of an orphanage in Haiti, the building of a water well in Zambia, and supporting a safe home in Oaxaca, Mexico. Our 2014 project is to support a safe school, Children's Home for Girls in Tenjo, Colombia. Donations can be made this website or by direct mail to the UNA office.  For more information, please send query to info@unahouston.org.







UNA-USA 2014 Annual Conference in Washington, DC

The UNA-USA Annual Conference was held June 7-10 in Washington, DC. Representatives from the 180 chapters nationally participated in forums, workshops, consultations, meetings and receptions. Executive Director of the UNA-USA Chris Whatley presented the Annual Report which reflected the growth of membership and programs. In the last 3 years, the membership has doubled to 18,000, with 9,000 GenUN (youth) members. Some of the workshops this year included "Securing resources for UNA Chapters", "Pursuing an International Career", "The Value of Partners and Members at Chapter Events", "Actionable Advocacy", "Beyond Model UN: Reaching and Teaching Students,"  and "Post- 2015 Development Agenda."   UNA Houston President and newly-elected National Steering Committee member, Hon. Teta Banks, was a presenter along with Mary-Frances Wain, the UNA-USA Deputy Executive Director, at the resource development session. Among the keynote speakers were  Hon. Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN (via video); Peter Yeo, VP for Public Policy at the UN Foundation; Will Davis, Director of UN Development Programme (UNDP);  and  Hon. Thomas Pickering, Former Ambassador to the UN, Russian Federation, Israel, Nigeria and Jordan. UNA members held pre-conference sessions on advocacy to prepare for the "Day on the Hill" which was on June 10. Members met with U.S. Congressional House and Senate representatives to discuss the critical issues advocated by the UN.  The Hon. Barbara Lee of the US Congress was presented an award at the Capitol Hill breakfast. The various meetings during the conference were held at the National Education Headquarters, the UN Foundation Headquarters, and the U.S. Capitol.  

Cultural Dinner Series: Focus on The Caribbean

The UNA Houston and the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce partnered to sponsor "Celebrating The Caribbean" on June 6 at the International Trade Center Building. The evening included food, dance, art, music of the Caribbean by local and national Caribbean artists. Finalists of the Miss Caribbean Pageant greeted the guests. UNA members and other guests had the opportunity to meet and greet  members of the Caribbean community and share experiences. The purpose of the Cultural Dinner Series is to foster cultural understanding among the many international communities of Houston.  Recent previous dinners highlighted the cultures of Malaysia, India, Brazil, and France. 

Global Classrooms 2014/Model UN: "Learn. Live. Lead."

The 2014 UNA Global Classrooms Program was held on April 5 at the Lanier Middle School. Over 300 middle and high school students from the Houston area attended  the one-day United Nations mock session. The Global Classrooms students participate in a year-long curriculum on international issues and the UN, then participate in a region-wide session at which they implement their knowledge. This year, the UN committee topics featured were the following: UNESCO: Access to Education for Women, UNHabitat: Migration in Latin America, UNEP: Energy for Sustainable Development/Alternative Energy, and Security Council: Situation in Syria/SC Reform.  Participating schools were the following: Burbank Middle School, Lanier Middle School, Houston Academy for International Studies, International High School at Sharpstown, St. Agnes Academy, and YES Prep Brays Oaks.  The Secretariat was composed of students from statewide higher education institutions including Houston Baptist University, University of Houston, Texas A&M University, University of Texas, Houston Community College, and University of St. Thomas. Keynote speakers at the session were Hon. John C. Roberts, Diplomat-in- Residence for Southeast Texas and Louisiana;  Hon. Edward Djerejian, Director of the Baker Institute at Rice University and former US Ambassador to the UN, Israel, Nigeria, Syria, Jordan,and other countries; and  Troy Wolf, UNA-USA Director of Education.  Planning for the 2015 Global Classrooms is now underway. Email   info@unahouston  to sign up your student or school.  


Mission Statement

Our Chapter’s mission is to educate people about the UN’s role in international affairs, how it impacts individuals and communities, and to strengthen US support for this institution whose purpose is to promote social justice the foundation for universal peace. UNA Houston achieves this through its various programs including Global Classrooms, UNA Film Festival (UNAFF Traveling Film Festival in conjunction with Stanford University), Know Your UN series, Cultural Dinners series, Young Professionals for International Cooperation (YPIC) programs, Advocacy Alerts and training, outreach lectures and programs.

Its distinguished Board of Directors and volunteers are dedicated to the work of the UN. Many of the members have served in some capacity with the U.S. government, international governments, the United Nations, the UN Foundation, and international businesses.


Other Events

UNA-USA National Conference, Washington, DC

Members of UNA -USA attended the UNA-USA National Conference in Washington, DC. The conference included UNA-Houston's Education Director Sara Timms presenting on "Global Classrooms" and UNA-Houston's President Hon. Teta Banks presenting on the topic "Effective Advocacy Communications."

Image of Model UN Session with students in Houston, Texas

Global Classrooms 2014

Students from across the Houston area participated in the Annual Global Classrooms Conference on April 5. Middle school and high students studied a year-long curriculum emphasizing international issues and the work of the United Nations. The culmination was the Model UN session where they debated, developed resolutions and solutions to global crises. Keynote speakers were Ambassador Edward Djerejian, Founding Director of  the  Baker Institute at Rice University, and The Honorable John C. Roberts, Diplomat-in-Residentce, U.S. Department of State. (See more details on the Global Classrooms tab and the UNA-Houston newsletter.)

Houston Area Model UN (HAMUN39)

The UNA-Houston sponsored the 39th session of the Houston Area Model United Nations (HAMUN), the largest session in the southern United States. More than 1,000 students attended. UNA-Houston former president and Legacy Member Mrs. Dolores Goble addressed the session and shared her personal history and recollections of the forming of the United Nations. Students held UN Committee discussions, developed resolutions, and addressed global crises amidst the session.

World Water Day 2014-

The UNA -Houston partnered with Houston Community College and sponsored a one-day forum in recognition of World Water Day and the UN International Year of Water Cooperation. UNA-Houston Board member Dr. Sunny Tang addressed the conference. In 2013, UN Board Member and Advocacy Chair, Dr. Frank Elvin, presented a lecture on Global Climate Change. UNA-Houston President Hon. Teta Banks made a presentation on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the initiatives of the UNA-Houston Water project in Zambia, directed by Board member Terry Stierman, Chair of the "Wines Around the World" Humanitarian Project of UNA-HOU.

Ongoing Programs


Nothing But Nets and UNA-Houston Partnership

The Houston Dynamo Soccer Team partnered with the UNA Houston and UN Foundation to advocate for the "NothingButNets" anti-malaria project. Donations from ticket sales went to support the purchase of bed-nets to save lives in malaria-stricken countries in Africa. Visit Houston Dynamo website.

Know Your UN

The UNA-Houston sponsors the series "Know Your UN" under the direction of former UNA-HOU president and Legacy Member Dr. Anna Louise Bruner. The series is an informal round-table community discussion of issues related to the United Nations, its structure, programs, offices, and actions.

UNA-NASA Girl Up Program

This program is a partnership between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Education Division and the UNA Houston. The purpose of the program is to provide mentoring, academic enrichment, leadership development, and Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) studies development. Students are able to participate in local, national, and international projects, all with the goal of empowering students for development as future global leaders.

World Cafe

The "World Cafe" series is an issues and advocacy program  in partnership with the Houston Public Library. Expert panelists discuss critical topical issues and  engage the audience in a dialog forum. The program venue is a cafe setting in the international section of the library. 



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by Dr. Radut.