Shaping our Future Together

On May 28, 2020, UNA-USA San Diego gathered the voices of our members, community partners and local activists and shape the world’s largest conversation on The Future We Want. The full recording of the session is available in the video below! 

UN75: 2020 and Beyond

Marking its 75th Anniversary, the United Nations is calling for a worldwide dialogue within all communities and countries – across sectors and generations – to assess current and future risks, opportunities and source solutions for global cooperation. Under “UN75: 2020 and Beyond”, topics range from human rights, poverty and inequality to cybersecurity, and climate change. The views and ideas generated will be gathered and presented to world leaders and senior UN officials on 21 September 2020 at the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly.

As part of a network spanning more than 20,000 members and 200 chapters across the U.S., the United Nations Association of San Diego coordinated its local “Global Consultation” on May 28, 2020. Hosted virtually, the moderated discussion centered around three (3) main Themes, see below. Interested in who represented San Diego? Scroll down to see all participants.

  • The State of the World if Current Trends Continue
  • The World We Want to Create
  • Immediate Action to Create an Inclusive and Sustainable Future for All

You will find the recorded conversation posted to this webpage the first week of June. In the meantime, submit your vote on the future you want to see with the UN75 One Minute Survey HERE

Welcome by Michael Connolly Miskwish, Kumeyaay Nation

A member of the Campo Kumeyaay Nation, Michael helped establish and directed one of the first tribal Environmental Protection Agencies in the U.S. in 1990. Michael researched and implemented traditional environmental practices in contemporary land and resource management, while working on environmental policies for the National Congress of American Indians, National Tribal Environmental Council, the Good Neighbor Environmental Board and several US EPA advisory committees. 

Mr. Connolly Miskwish consults with tribal governments and governmental agencies on topics of economics, resource management, taxation and education. He works directly with the Kumeyaay Diegueno Land Conservancy and Kumeyaay Community College. He continues to write and lecture on Kumeyaay history and culture.

Michael Connolly Miskwish

Campo Kumeyaay Nation

Lisa Laskaridis

United Nations Public Information Officer, Head of Communications for UN75

Opening Remarks by Lisa Laskaridis, United Nations

Lisa is leading the communications and outreach for the United Nations UN75 initiative. UN75, launched by the UN Secretary-General in January, aims to strengthen global cooperation, and is the world’s largest and most inclusive conversation on the future we want. Before starting her position at the UN Secretariat in 2019, Lisa was in charge of press and communication at the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN 2016-2019, where she conceptualised and implemented the public diplomacy strategy delivering on Sweden’s foreign policy priorities during its two-year term on the UN Security Council (UNSC). In 2017, she was awarded ‘Innovator of the Year’ from the Foreign Ministry for delivering cutting-edge advocacy campaigns. She was also a key member of the small campaign team that got Sweden elected to the UNSC. 

Lisa has been a ‘New Yorker’ for ten years, she has a Master in International Relations from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, and she is from Stockholm, Sweden. With 10 years of experience in public information at an international level, Lisa believes in communications as a means for making a positive difference and has a proven track record of shaping public narrative on global and foreign policy issues through new technology and media relations.

Moderated by Lynne Gilliland, Global Development Advisor

Lynne Gilliland, M.S. CPCC began her career in socioeconomic development for women in Latin America and many years ago transitioned to transforming leaders and teams. Her unwavering focus, expertise and approach has contributed to many organizations, teams, and leaders going beyond what they thought was possible.

The results of Lynne’s work with leaders, teams and entire systems demonstrates the effectiveness of her approach. Client organizations range from the World Bank to USAID to nonprofits to for-profit organizations. Lynne is also the creative, host and founder of the podcast Lessons From Leaders.

Lynne Gilliland

Global Development Advisor

PARTICIPANTS (Alphabetical Order)

Chris Marsh

Managing Director, UBS Financials San Diego

Chris Marsh leads the San Diego Market for UBS helping Advisors and Field Leaders to both anticipate the needs of the clients they serve and address those needs in forward thinking, creative ways. He is passionate about giving back and helps to engage and strengthen community and global philanthropic efforts throughout San Diego and beyond. The focus is always on finding meaning and purpose around one’s wealth in impactful ways.

Hannah Jimenez

Senior, La Jolla High School

Hannah Jimenez is currently a senior at La Jolla High School. She has been involved in clubs and sports teams throughout her high school career, such as the Interact Club, the Mariners Club, the Mock Trial team and the swim team. Through those organizations, Hannah has gained unique and worldly perspectives, as well as insight on the social, economic, and environmental differences across the US-Mexico Border. Since discovering her passion for community outreach in high school, Hannah has become an intern for the San Diego Junior Lifeguard Program, where she spent her last two summers.

Jason Berkovitch

Congressional Field Representative, San Diego

Jason was born in Madison, WI, raised in Puerto Rico, and then graduated from the University of California-Riverside with BA in Business Economics and minor in Political Science.  Jason works as a Field Representative for Congressman Scott Peters, where he has been since March of 2013, specializing in immigration, foreign affairs, and financial services. Jason began his political career as an intern for Congresswoman Susan Davis.  Previous to his work in politics, Jason was a financial advisor and loan officer with various financial institutions.

Kathleen Owens

Reverend, First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego

Reverend Kathleen Owens became the church’s first openly lesbian lead minister in 2013.   Under her leadership, the congregation forges new community partnerships and collaborations.  To meet the needs of a changing and diverse population, Reverend Owens experiments with a variety of worship styles to include those that often identify as spiritual but not religious. No matter race, culture, sexual orientations and gender identity, mental and physical abilities, people of all occupations are invited to join the services.

Lauren Garces

President, National Association of Asian American Professionals 

Lauren Garces is a city-wide event producer and artist, currently based in San Diego, focuses on diverse community empowerment and sustainable, inclusive economic development. She directs the marketing, outreach, and events with the Asian Business Association San Diego representing over 30,000 Asian Pacific Islander owned businesses. Her work is bridged as the Special Events Director of the Convoy District, one of Southern California’s largest pan-Asian economic hubs. A leader and advocate in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, she serves as President of the National Association of Asian American Professionals – San Diego. Her event production passion and engagements are dedicated to providing platforms and connections for diverse communities and cultures to be highlighted, bridged, and empowered. 

Melanie Mijares

Bilingual Community Outreach Coordinator, San Diego Pride

Mel is a queer, chicanx feminist raised in National City, CA. She is a graduate from San Diego City College and San Diego State University (SDSU), where she obtained a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Counseling & Social Change. She currently serves as the Bilingual Community Outreach Coordinator at San Diego Pride, where she works to provide accessible and culturally sensitive programming to the Latinx and Spanish-speaking communities in San Diego and across the US-México border.

Michael Torti

Entrepreneur and Climate Activist

As an environmental advocate and small business owner Michael has worked with business leaders to reduce environmental impact in our community through education, advocacy and programs. His involvements include: Co-creating the Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurant Program, actively developing a green portfolio (fossil fuel divestment) toolkit, and  Co-chairing the Business For Good Environmental Health Committee. Furthermore, Michael works with other business leaders to reduce environmental impact in our community through education, advocacy and programs. Furthermore, Michael engages with local business to lead advocacy on local environmental policy initiatives around waste and water quality.

Morelia Fernandez

Marketing Student, San Diego State University;
Social Media Manager, UNA-San Diego

Actively pursuing a marketing degree at San Diego State University, Morelia Fernandez has been interning with the UNA-USA San Diego for over a year, managing their social media presence. Motivated by her desire to expand change through the growing world of social media. She is devoted to ensuring that the voices of all, particularly younger individuals, are encouraged, respected, and implemented, to achieve a more positive environment. Morelia’s devotion began upon the creation of “Humans 4 Humanity,” a high school club, which she is a founding member of. Through this, and her time spent working with the UNA-USA San Diego, she has developed a larger appreciation for the importance of both teamwork and communication in order to leave a bigger impact on others.

Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi

Association for the Advancement of Colored People and National Lawyers Guild

Ms. Ijadi-Maghsoodi is a committed attorney dedicated to the issues surrounding poverty in all of its forms and to providing assistance to San Diego’s impoverished communities. She currently  works as the Assistant Director of Public Service at University of San Diego Law, where she advises public interest students and directs USD Law’s Pro Bono Program. Furthermore, Parisa serves as a County Commissioner, appointed by County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher to the San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.

Rafael Velazquez Flores

Autonomous University of Baja California, México

Rafael Velazquez is professor at the University of Baja California. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Miami. He is past president of the Mexican International Studies Association. Fostering the rigorous study of International Relation, Rafael has authored several publications that serve as base literature for International Relations Curricula. His research interests are Mexican Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, International Relations Theory, International Cooperation and Global Development.