Each year the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) hosts its Intergenerational Spring Seminar. The 2019 theme was Equity in Action: Gender in an Intersecting World and looked at how to engage locally and globally to support gender equity and take action to address the global trends of misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, and other oppressions.
Taz Trefzger, a youth from the Kingston Unitarian Fellowship, was one of two Canadian youth participants this year. They had participated in a previous seminar two years ago but found the topic this year especially relatable.
“This year the topic was about non-binary genders and gender equity and intersectionality,” they said, “and I’m non-binary so it helped make it a lot more applicable to my everyday life and it was a much more touchable topic.”
Taz was this year’s junior youth dean for the seminar, meaning they took an active role in planning many of the events; and they also served on the workshops committee, resulting in a workshop they planned and led on gender equity and how it relates to Unitarian Universalism. They found participating in the seminar was a good way to meet Unitarians from outside Canada, and were able to both share with and learn much from American participants during the event.
Taz acknowledges the seminar’s relatively high cost may be a barrier to broader attendance by Canadian youth, but says their youth group helped meet this challenge by serving food for fundraisers for the local charity Child Haven International. They encourage Canadian youth to think creatively about opportunities in their communities for raising the necessary funds, for they believe the cost was definitely worth it.
“Often it’s hard for youth — like it’s hard for everybody — to really feel like they’re changing the world, but especially youth ‘cause less life experience I guess,” they said. “But it’s really cool to be in a space where everyone feels empowered, and it feels like they can do something about the world. And there are things that they set up that you can do. So, I think it’s a very important thing for every youth group to go at least once."
Click below to learn more about the 2020 Intergenerational Spring Seminar on climate justice and apply for one of several open youth and adult leadership positions!