Thrive: Leadership Schools for Youth and Young Adults of Color
Save the dates! Thrive Youth West is July 9-13, 2016, at First Unitarian Society of Denver and Thrive Youth East is July 27-31, 2016, at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, Maryland!
"Being able to bond with other people of color within the UU faith was honestly something that brought joy and hope to my heart, and makes me feel much more connected in my faith.”
—Rhea, alum '15
"I am grateful for you and the UUA for giving him the space to openly discuss and gain insight with other UUs of color. I think this experience has changed his perspective on whether he fits in this faith. He is now 'one of many' instead of being 'the one.'"
—Laura, parent of alum
New for 2016!
This year, the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA’s) annual leadership development schools for youth and young adults of color are getting a new name—Thrive, for young adults of color, and Thrive Youth, a separate program tailored for youth of color. Thrive Young Adult with a focus on racial justice organizing is in the works—stay tuned!
About Thrive Youth
Join other Unitarian Universalist Youth of Color (People of African Descent, Caribbean, Native/American Indian, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latina/o and Hispanic, Middle Eastern/Arab, and Multiracial) for a five-day gathering to deepen our faith, lift our spirits, and build critical skills for leadership in the face of our uncertain, broken and beautiful world. Thrive participants will be guided by experienced co-facilitators as we worship, feast, play, explore our racial and ethnic identities, practice transformative leadership skills, and create authentic, supportive community. Thrive Youth is for any youth of high school age who is in 9-12th grade during the 2015-2016 school year (or the equivalent for homeschoolers). It’s also open to any youth who bridges into young adulthood the summer of 2016.
This year, as the struggle for racial justice lives on in our streets and classrooms, in courtrooms and corner stores, Thrive invites you to come get connected to hope and to the skills to lead!
The two-part application process includes an online form and a letter of recommendation. Space is limited, so please apply promptly. The first step is to fill out this online application. The final deadline to apply is March 1st.
Letter of Recommendation
You need to submit a letter of recommendation from a minister, religious educator or other religious professional. You can submit it with your application or your recommender can send it directly. Give this information page (PDF) to the person writing your letter. If you have difficulty meeting the requirement that your letter come from a religious professional, please contact us.
The cost to participants for Thrive Youth is $300, which covers all programming, lodging and food. Through the generosity of our donors, the Annual Program Fund and the Alumni Giving Program, some need-based financial assistance and travel subsidies are available.
Check out these reflections from alumni about their experiences:
- My Voice, My Experiences and My Journey by Byron Herbert '14
- Not the Only One by Aisha Pierre '11
- Daughter, Arab-American, Person of Faith by Ranwa Hammamy '11 and staff '14, '15
- Lifting UU Voices: Anger Welcome by Kenny Wiley '15
- Voices from #MLS2015: Radiating Love by Sunshine Alvarez ‘15
- Voices from #MLS2015: I, too, am Unitarian Universalism by Yashasvi Janamanchi ‘15
Thrive is the newest iteration of the many ways that UU youth and young adults of color have gathered to nurture leadership and sustain spirits. In the past, through Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) Youth and Young Adult gatherings, Leadership Development Conferences and most recently Multicultural Leadership School, UU youth and young adults of color have gathered to form lifelong connections, carve out belonging, create practices of resilience and healing and build skills to lead.
For more information, contact UUA Leadership Development Associate for Youth and Young Adults of Color at yayaofcolor [at] uua [dot] org.