Introducing: YUUP (the Young Unitarian Universalists Project)!
YUUP is a fledgling network for UU youth and recent bridgers to forge connections, work together, support each other, and find leadership opportunities. It is a platform on Mighty Networks that will have a variety of different topics and groups within it for youth and recent bridgers across the country to participate in. So, we’re extending an invitation to all you UU youth and recent bridgers!
There are a couple of steps to joining the network: first, the youth must fill out the Youth Drop-In Registry for their region or registry for recent bridgers. Once the registry is filled out and confirmed by a parent and a minister or church administrator, youth will receive a Mighty Network invitation to get on YUUP and a Zoom invitation to our launch party on November 14th at 7:30 EST. Spread the word! YUUP is for everyone. We hope to see you soon!
Support for Recent Bridgers
The YUUP leadership wants to ensure that this online platform is fulfilling, accessible, and safe for those who participate in it. The UUA staff collaborating with the YUUP Leaders—Jennica, Shannon, Stevie, & Alex—have been working with them, especially around applying the Youth Safety Guidelines and guidance for Online Youth Safety.
Recent bridgers (young people who graduated in 2020 or the homeschool equivalent), you have faced a particularly difficult context this year, with the pandemic disrupting different expectations and experiences of bridging and transitions out of high school (moving, starting jobs, starting school). YUUP leadership was attentive to this as they planned the network. YUUP Leadership has extended the invitation for recent bridgers to join the YUUP network for a year.
While the UUA staff recognizes that this is an exception to our typical expectation that bridgers transition out of youth communities, we are making sure you (recent bridgers) are supported on YUUP and beyond, in the following ways:
- a separate registration process that includes a “community contact” reference, a point of accountability and support for the recent bridger
- being explicit about behavioral expectations for recent bridgers, and explaining why they are in place
- a specific orientation (run by UUA staff) for recent bridgers on how you navigate power and responsibility in this new life stage
- a space within the YUUP Mighty Network just for recent bridgers to connect
- ongoing adult UUA staff support to help recent bridgers navigate your engagement
- another network, to be created this church year, that is for emerging adults and/or young adults
We hope that this will help with the transition into emerging adulthood in this year.
To figure out how to approach this exception, the UUA staff consulted with the UUA’s Youth Safety Committee (Sarah Lammert, Evin Carvill-Ziemer, Alex Sherwood, Ted Resnikoff). They’re a great resource. Questions regarding this can be directed to Stevie Carmody (email@example.com).