A Global Guest Who Inspires: António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, Visits the HRM

The fall season is heading into high gear, with new exhibitions and programs to remind us that there are many ideas, issues, and places to explore. As if to underscore that point, this weekend we received a special visitor, one whose work motivates us all. On Sunday, September 29, we were thrilled and honored to welcome António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, to the HRM. We at the Museum find great inspiration in his tireless dedication to confronting climate change, advancing gender and educational equity, and promoting social justice around the globe. We were especially appreciative that he made time to visit us so soon after a full week of meetings during the UN General Assembly in New York City.

Our current fall exhibitions Janelle Lynch: Another Way of Looking at Love and James McElhinney: Discover the Hudson Anew, speak to Guterres’ work in advocating for human connection and profound respect for the natural environment. It is particularly meaningful that following his tour of the galleries, the Secretary-General took the time to speak with our HRM Junior Docents, who are high school students from Yonkers Public Schools. The Junior Docent Program partakes in an annual group visit to the United Nations and when we go this year, our teens will have the satisfaction of knowing they have personally met the leader of this incredible organization and that he is aware of their work.

Guterres and his colleagues recognize teens’ potential and their critical role in forging new paths. As he stated at the recent Climate Action Summit 2019, “young people – above all, young people – are here providing solutions, insisting on accountability, demanding urgent action.” We are confident that our teens are ready to lead us in facing these challenges, but we cannot leave it all to them. To follow Guterres’ work and that of his colleagues at the UN, and to learn more about ways to participate, visit https://twitter.com/antonioguterres and https://twitter.com/un.

Being part of a vibrant community can take different forms, and we are pleased to offer many ways to do so. Whether you wish to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month or take an art and nature hike overlooking the Hudson to heighten your appreciation of our gorgeous region and why it’s urgently worth protecting, we have designed an experience with you in mind. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that peak leaf season happens so close to the border of New York City, but we’re lucky that way!

Let’s take to heart that we can each do our part to make our communities and our planet endure and improve, while meeting uplifting people in the process. On that note, this is an excellent opportunity to remind everyone that the Museum is currently accepting applications for our award-winning Junior Docent Program. Perhaps a future Secretary-General of the UN is currently a Yonkers teen leader who is ready to be mentored right here at the HRM!


Masha Turchinsky