Activate: New OrleansRacial Justice & Beloved Community
The UU College of Social Justice was jointly founded in the summer of 2012 by the UUA and UUSC, so this year we are celebrating a big anniversary. We are grateful for all of our alumni and supporters who have made our work possible! In honor of of all of you and our...
Don’t just learn about justice — do justice!
Black Lives Matter! ….and how shall we respond as Unitarian Universalists to the call for racial justice? This one-week training for high school youth offers interactive social justice education and meaningful hands-on work with local organizations building a thriving New Orleans. In a program grounded in UU values and practices, participants will engage issues of race and class against the unique backdrop of New Orleans. Together we will develop skills for producing social change through community engagement, and learn about how we can work towards building the beloved community.
From the wetlands to the Mardi Gras Indian bands, from jazz to bounce, from gumbo to beignets, from Plessy vs. Ferguson to the Black Panthers, New Orleans offers so much to discover — including yourself and your call to justice.
Youth who attended high school during the 2017–2018 school year are invited to attend.
Upcoming Activate Opportunities
Upcoming Open Enrollment Activate Trainings
How to Apply
To join this program, you will need to submit an application and a reference form. If you attend a UU or other religious congregation, we request that this reference be your minister or your director of religious education. If you do not attend a congregation, this reference should be an adult who is not a relative, and who can speak to your personality and leadership development. Teachers, coaches, and supervisors are all good options. When asking an adult to be your reference, send them this link with more information and the reference form: uucsj.org/activatereference
Once both parts of your application have been received, you will receive a response within two weeks.
Cost and Financial Assistance
The full cost of this program is $880 per participant. Financial assistance is available by application for those with demonstrated financial need. With financial assistance, this program’s direct cost is as low as $225.
If you would like to be considered for financial assistance, be sure to fill out the relevant questions on the application. Financial aid is contingent on the availability of funding, and is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cost includes lodging, food, supervision, and all programming. Cost does not include transportation to and from New Orleans.
What Participants Had to Say
“This program changed my life, spiritually certainly, as well as giving me a better sense of what I can do in the world for social justice.” —Ian C.
“I learned that no matter where a group of people is from, the sense of community and connection can be almost instant, and within a week, a group of strangers can become a group of life long friends!” —Sarah P.
“We learned about racial equality, social justice, other parts of the country, New Orleans, the UU faith, other faiths and beliefs. I met amazing people that have impacted my life and the way I see things.” —Marie H.
Accommodations and Supervision
Participants will stay in the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal’s hostel-style dorm rooms, which have bunk beds; linens are provided. There is an on-site laundry room, indoor and outdoor showers, and access to the unique culture and incredible food of New Orleans. For more information, visit celsjr.org.
This is an active, urban program. Participants will be supervised by adult staff overnight and during the day for the duration of the program. Our UUCSJ Program Leaders for Activate New Orleans 2017 will be Rev. Kimberly Quinn Johnson and Sam Wilson.
The Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal (CELSJR) is a catalyst in the New Orleans area for promoting social, economic, environmental, and racial justice. The organization does this though activism, community engagement, and transformational learning. We are thankful to the CELSJR team for their leadership and partnership, including Co-Directors Ruth Idakula and Rev. Deanna Vandiver, and Coordinator Coleen Murphy. Please visit www.CELSJR.org to learn more about their great work!