After going to General Assembly (GA), an annual national Unitarian Universalist event that is focused on voting on UUA procedure and attending workshops on social justice and other topics, two youth give an account of their experiences.
Noah Best, one of the youth says:
“As a lifelong UU, I’ve heard much about this mystical event that goes by the name of General Assembly throughout the years, and in having the opportunity to experience it this past June, it met and then blasted past my expectations. As a youth, the event is not necessarily geared towards my demographic, but I still reshaped my worldview more than any time since I attended Goldmine. This year’s thematic center was racial justice, as a result of the events that transpired earlier this year with the UUA president, and the youth were encouraged to participate in the many, many workshops aimed to educate the GA population on racial inequity and allyship. These opportunities were so important for me as a young person who desperately wants to aid the fight for justice in as many intersections of social justice as possible, and I would not be nearly as educated without my experiences at GA.
Additionally, and in a very relevant facet of my life, the other major appeal of GA was the opportunity to meet other like-minded youth. In my daily life, I have a circle of about six friends I am comfortable being liberal around, and with the rest I am more cautious due to fear of being singled out. However, in the environment of GA, every youth was guaranteed to share at least some basic beliefs about social justice with me, so I easily made strong connections with the youth.
GA has forever changed me as a person, and I will be forever grateful to our church for the chance to participate in it.”
Kira Whisenhunt, another youth in attendance, adds:
“GA provides a community like no other. Being a religion as small as we are it is not often we find ourselves in a group of specifically like-minded individuals with similar goals to our own. As a youth, it becomes even harder to try and find a community like this of my peers. This past summer at GA I was able to meet and interact with so many youths from around the country who brought different perspectives into the discussion around issues I really believe in. We had meaningful workshops talking about youths’ roles in activism and how we can work to combat racism and white supremacy in our own and global communities. It was so inspiring to hear from others of all ages about their experiences and ideas regarding social activism and community building. I want to thank our congregation as well as the Aninger fund specifically for supporting our group and making this experience possible for us.”
This was a special, life-changing experience for the youth who went, so from the bottom of our hearts we would like to thank the congregation for their support.