UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar
With a deep passion for and commitment to international human rights, youth and adults from all over North America gather annually for our three day seminar to dig deeply into issues with global impact.
The intergenerational seminar is an opportunity to collaborate with others while learning how to be a global activist. Through workshops, peer and expert-led panel discussions, community building activities, and worship services, participants undergo a transformative process of learning, reflection, and growth as we explore some of the most challenging issues facing humanity today.
2020 Intergenerational Spring Seminar
Our 2020 Seminar will take place April 16-18, in New York City. (Youth and sponsors arrived April 15th for orientation.) Addressing the 2020 theme of climate justice, participants will consider both local and global engagement with issues such as:
- Understanding the impacts that climate change is already having in places around the world and expected expansion into the future.
- Individual and structural changes that can transform lifestyles to enhance sustainability and climate justice.
- Work for climate change mitigation in conjunction with dismantling systems of imperialism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and other forms of oppressions.
- United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 13: "Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts" - and all its associated targets.
Registration for all attendees will be open from December 2019 through February 2020.
The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) is excited to partner with the UU College of Social Justice on this event! Programming during the Intergenerational Spring Seminar is interactive, encouraging participants to reflect on how the topics addressed affect them in their lives, their spirituality, and how they are called to respond. Moving from ideas to concrete action, participants will learn tools and skills to help them with future collaboration and activism. Each person will participate in an intergenerational Collaboration Group, touching base periodically throughout the seminar to reflect on and process the issues discussed.
Youth at Spring Seminar
The UU United Nations Office's Intergenerational Spring Seminar is open to anyone age 14 and up, and typically around half of all participants are between ages 14 and 18. Youth orientation begins a day early, so for Seminar 2020 youth will arrive by 6pm on Wednesday, April 15. Safety is our top priority—all youth attending the seminar must be accompanied by an adult Sponsor (maximum 5 youth per Sponsor). Upon arriving, a thorough orientation will be provided for Youth and their Sponsors. See our 2019 FAQ sheet for Youth and Sponsors (PDF) to learn more.
This Intergenerational Seminar will take a broad and intersectional view of working towards gender equity – we hope that our Planning Committee will reflect the diversity of identities that exist in our world. People with disabilities, people of color, indigenous people, Hispanic/Latinx, and LGBTQ candidates are encouraged to apply.
- Spring Seminar Deans: The Seminar Staff includes one Adult Dean (one-year position) and two Youth Deans (2-year position) who serve as leaders of youth programming during the seminar and key members of the Seminar Planning Committee. All fees, including registration, travel, food, and lodging are covered by UU-UNO. Applications for Youth Dean and Adult Dean are now closed.
- Spring Seminar Chaplains: The Seminar Staff includes two Adult Chaplains and two Youth Chaplains. Their role is to provide a listening ear to participants who need to process the spiritual or emotional impact of their experience. Must receive chaplain training prior to start of the seminar. All fees, including registration, travel, food, and lodging are covered by UU-UNO. Applications for Youth and Adult Chaplains are now closed.
- Spring Seminar Planning Committee: (Position open to youth or adults!) In the months leading up to the Spring Seminar, our Planning Committee convenes via video conference call in teams to determine and coordinate the events of the Spring Seminar. Registration fees covered by UU-UNO. Applications for the 2020 Planning Committee are now closed.
The Planning Committee consists of the following teams:
- Trajectory of Learning Team: Coordinate the trajectory of learning including activities such as workshops, panel discussions, keynote speakers, etc. towards achieving the Seminar objectives.
- Physical Reality & Logistics Team: Coordinate logistics and plan the physical aspects of the Seminar to ensure clarity and accessibility for all attendees.
- Spiritual Grounding Team: Organize worship and incorporate spiritual engagement throughout the Spring Seminar.
- Communications & Community-Building Team: Publicize the Seminar to promote registration and coordinate communications with registered participants to ensure they are prepared; connect participants with one another and with the wider community.
- Collaboration Group Leaders: (Position open to youth or adults!) Seminar participants have the opportunity to facilitate intergenerational small discussion groups called Collaboration Groups that meet periodically throughout the Seminar. All participants gather in Collaboration Groups to struggle together with the issues raised during the Seminar, process and discuss ideas, and reflect creatively on solutions. Guiding readings and prompt questions will be provided, and Collaboration Group Leaders will receive a virtual training prior to the seminar. Applications for Collaboration Group Leaders are coming soon.
Identity Group Facilitators: (Position open to youth or adults!) During the Seminar there will be time when all Seminar participants will gather in gender- and race-based affinity groups for structured conversations about race and gender. Learn about race-based identity groups. Experienced facilitators are needed to help guide these conversations - these facilitators might also be Collaboration Group Leaders. Applications for Identity Group Facilitators are coming soon.
Previous Spring Seminars
- 2019: Equity in Action: Gender in an Intersecting World
- 2018: When Crisis Calls: Advancing Just Migration for All
- 2017: Arm in Arm: Interfaith Action to Disarm Our Planet
- 2016: The Colors of Inequality: Costs and Consequences
- 2015: International Criminal Justice: From Punitive to Restorative
- 2014: Sacred Roots: Indigenous Rights, Resistance and Reclamation
- 2013: Sex, Love, and Violence: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in a Globalized World
- 2012: Beyond Borders: Breaking Barriers of Race and Immigration
- 2011: Empower Women for a Better World
- 2010: A Climate of Change