Announcing the Student Justice Conference

Things have been a little loco around The Youth Cartel. While our team has grown, a little, we’re continuing to roll out new stuff at a pretty incredible pace. (We launched 5 new products this week!)

Not to be lost in that was our big… MONSTER…. MEGA announcement on Tuesday of our very first event for students, the Student Justice Conference.

A Series of Fortunate Events

This year, in both the course of doing some research as well as a series of conversations that followed we started to learn two facts, please forgive the simplified generalities:

  1. Social justice organizations, in general, have a hard time connecting with high school students who want to do stuff.
  2. Generally, high school students who were interested in stuff/getting training/doing something big had a hard time connecting with the right people.

This wasn’t a reflection of what organizations wanted. And there’s a lot of factors as to why this is the case. But it clearly isn’t intentional. The end result was two-way frustration. Students want to do stuff, social justice orgs want students to do stuff, they just need a little help connecting.

What’s SJC All About?

I’ll skip past all the boring details about our process of deciding to host SJC. Instead, let’s focus on what it’s about.

It’s for teenagers interested in justice…

SJC isn’t for every Christian teenager. It’s not a “bring your whole youth group” event. SJC is being intentionally and carefully planned to gather and activate teenagers who are passionate about issues of justice and global needs.

In other words, we’re asking you to think about the 4-5 students in your ministry who are fired up about justice and global issues, bring them to San Diego, and spend a few days with them– helping them learn about what they are passionate about. You are going to see them catch fire in a way you might not have seen before and it’s going to be totally amazing!

No teenager versions…

Morning seminars are going to have options for your students to go and learn from people who live and breath the things they are passionate about. One thing that’s been very important to me is that we’re not asking for “teenager versions” of content in these seminars. We’re asking presenters to train SJC students just like they would adult.

It’s about collaboration…

We have an amazing group of partners on this. It’s important that I point out that these aren’t sponsors putting their name on this thing. They are collaborating with us to provide content, ideas, prayer, and all sorts of support. For instance, in about 2 weeks we’re spending two full days with our partners to do the nuts & bolts planning on the content, theme, speakers, and all that jazz.

Inspiration and Education…

We’ll start and end our days with by gathering together for prayer, worship, and teaching. We don’t know 100% what that’ll look like quite yet. But we’ve determined that mornings will be about education and evenings will be inspiring students. Our goal isn’t that your students come and have a good time. We’re praying their lives are changed and that they put this stuff into action.

It’ll be practical…

So, the mornings will be pretty heavy. In the afternoon we’re looking to turn it very practical by putting students into cohorts with peers of people who are passionate about what they are passionate about. And these cohorts will be lead by folks with a bunch of youth ministry experience. In other words, they are going to help your students translate what they are learning into their day-to-day life.

It’ll have field trips…

One of the great things about having SJC in San Diego is that it’s our backyard. We think it’ll be great to have some opportunities to not just learn about stuff, and not just make plans for when we get home, but to actually spend a little time with people doing justice work right here in San Diego.

It’s on campus…

We’re really excited to partner with Point Loma for a few specific reasons. First, they really care about social justice, including their Center for Justice & Reconciliation. Second, they are our partners in this effort… they are doing a whole lot more than hosting us as a rental group. Third, we think it’s valuable to get your students on a Christian college campus. They might not chose to go to a Christian college but I think we’d all agree that it’s awesome to explore it as an option. Fourth, PLNU is a beautiful location that’ll offer inspiration all it’s own. It’s located on one of the most beautiful spots in San Diego… right on the Pacific.

It’ll be affordable…

Last thing, because this is important. We’re keeping this thing affordable. We know that for some folks just getting to San Diego will be expensive. But our registration will include program, housing, and food at PLNU. (Thanks to our partners for this… they are truly making it accessible for all.)

[button link=”http://studentjusticeconference.com” color=”red”]CHECK OUT THE STUDENT JUSTICE CONFERENCE WEBSITE[/button]

Thoughts on this event? I’d love to hear what you are thinking. 

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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