Thrive: Leadership Schools for Youth and Young Adults of Color
This information is about Thrive Youth, for high-school aged youth of color. Check out details about Thrive Young Adult for young adults of color aged 18-35! REGISTER NOW for 2019 Thrive Young Adult to be held in New Orleans, LA on August 31-September 2.
*REGISTER NOW!* 2019 Thrive Youth will be held on July 17-21, 2019 at First Universalist Church of Minneapolis, MN. Registration is open with a priority deadline of April 30th, with registrations accepted on a rolling basis until the event is filled.
"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 2015
"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
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 connections to community, place and purpose. Thrive participants will be guided by experienced co-facilitators as we worship, feast, play, explore the communities we come from, engage the histories of the communities we visit and practice the transformative leadership skills into which we are called by our histories, faith and communities.
A day at Thrive looks like this:
A workshop led by local community organizers
Making connections between the workshop and our own stories and our UU faith.
Thrive Youth is for any youth of high school age who is in 9th-12th grade during the 2018-2019 school year (or the equivalent for homeschooled). It’s also open to any youth who bridges into young adulthood in the summer of 2019.
For young adults 18-35 see Thrive Young Adult!
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 our stories and hone the skills to get engaged!
Register for Thrive Youth
The two-part registration process includes an online form and a letter of recommendation.
The online registration form includes the following short-answer questions, so it may be helpful to complete these answers in a word document ahead of time, then cut-and-paste them into the online form. (Limit your answers to about 200 words per question.)
- Why would you like to be a part of Thrive Youth?
- What experiences have you had as a leader?
- What is one challenge you face as a UU Youth of Color?
- What inspires you these days as a Unitarian Universalist?
The online form also includes the opportunity to request financial aid and/or travel subsidy to assist in getting there. If you want to do so, it will be helpful to fill out that part of the form with a parent/guardian, as it requires household financial information (which is kept confidential and secure).
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 at youth [at] uua [dot] org.
Cost of Thrive Youth
The cost to participants for Thrive Youth 2019 is $325, 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.
You will not pay when you register; we'll let you know the calculated financial assistance you are granted, then you will have one month to pay your registration fee or arrange a payment plan.
From time to time we hear from parents or guardians who would like to know more about the UUA's policies and practices for providing supervision or assistance during their youth's event, or what they can expect for travel or lodging, before their youth enrolls. Check out the UUA Youth Event Travel Guidelines for Parents/Guardians (PDF, 2 pages) to learn how we support the youth entrusted to our care.
If you have a special situation, please contact us at youth [at] uua [dot] org or 617-948-4355 and we'll be glad to put you in touch with the lead coordinator for the event to discuss your youth's issue and how we can ensure they get the most out of their experience with the least amount of worry for you.
Learn More About Thrive Youth
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
Staffing for Thrive
Thrive Youth programs are staffed by UU religious professionals of color with years of experience. For more information about a staff role, see the Thrive Youth 2017 Staff Call.
Sponsors of Thrive Youth
Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Ministries and Faith Development and Multicultural Growth and Witness Staff Groups and the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA).
History of Thrive
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 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.