Happy UWC Day to the UWCSEA community!
I see examples every day in our community of unity and purpose, of supportive collaborative partnerships, of our values in action, as we work to fulfill our mission for our students, past, present and future.
Over the last eight months, since the arrival of COVID-19, we have seen how we can face the unexpected and the uncertain together; and we have seen how our values can bring us together to face new challenges, and overcome them.
The world is facing so many important issues, requiring urgent solutions for urgent times. Depending on where you sit in the world, the most pressing or most obvious emergency may not be COVID-19, but climate crisis, water poverty, famine, war, human rights, censorship and gender issues. There is an urgent need to find social justice and equity for all.
As part of a global community, we are marking today's UWC Day under the rallying cry "United We Can". The benefits and impact of coming together with our fellow schools and colleges in the movement to discuss, debate and resolve these challenges is increasingly obvious. By coming together, we are helping to ensure our mission-led education is a force for good.
Last weekend marked the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, with the hashtag #NationsUnited. In marking this significant occasion, António Guterres said:
“Let's be humble. Let's recognise our fragilities and let’s understand that only in unity and solidarity will we be able to address them. It’s true in each one of our countries and it's true at the global level."
None of us can face these challenges alone: not as individuals, a college, a nation or even the UN. The UN also released a call to action, in the form of a new film, Nations United which tells the story of the world as it is, as it was, and as it could be. The focus is on issues and solutions, highlighting specific action which will create real change. From debt relief, to cutting fossil fuel subsidies, to universal access to healthcare, from quality education to digital financial empowerment - this film presents the steps needed to build a better world, together. It is a powerful vision for unity, for seeking common solutions to shared global challenges. The urgency is captured in the Decade for Change, with our collective ambition to achieve the Global Goals by 2030 as a key milestone.
Last weekend sadly also saw the passing of the US Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Among her huge body of important work focused on equity and social justice, I have always found so inspiring her call to "Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you".
RBG truly embodied the power of the individual to inspire the many, and to unite for change.