The Summit is full of workshops and activities that enable young people to learn, lead, and empower themselves and their peers. For a preview, check out last year's schedule!
We follow three main tracks:
- Build knowledge and understanding of important global issues
- Develop skills in 21st century leadership and teamwork
- Create cross-cultural connections and strengthen community
This year, we will be focused on the Millennium Development Goals. What should we do when the current MDGs expire in 2015? We’ll explore global issues covered by the MDGs, like poverty, gender equality, and HIV/AIDS, and we will add some new ones, like youth empowerment, and water and sanitation. As always, we will invite experts from many fields—lawyers, bloggers, artists, researchers, and politicians, to name a few—to train our youth advocates in leadership skills and to discuss current events, like the conflicts in Syria and South Sudan.
1: Building Knowledge and Understanding of Important Global Issues
- Child Trafficking. Last summer, we welcomed Hussainatu and Hassanatu Blake, the twin sisters who founded Focal Point Global, who led a workshop on the topic of child trafficking. About their organization: “Addressing the need for global youth-peer education, Focal Point Global delivers global-minded, technological innovated learning to youth in the US, Cameroon, and Namibia, in order to create the ethical leaders of tomorrow.”
- Education for All (Girl Rising). We screened the exciting film, Girl Rising, produced by a media partner of Plan International USA’s, 10x10. About the film: “Girl Rising spotlights the stories of unforgettable girls born into unforgiving circumstances”—and emphasizes the importance of education for all children.
- Media and Representation (“Visualizing Humanity”). We welcomed Lina Srivastava and Linda Raftree, Plan's Senior Advisor, who led a workshop called “Visualizing Humanity,” which examined some of the ways that "the poor" have been portrayed in marketing materials and the media, and also encouraged us to to re-think how we see, learn from and listen to those that we want to support.
- Water and Sanitation. Members of Plan’s own expert Water, Sanitation, and Health (WASH) team led a workshop on the importance of clean water in communities around the world. Water changes everything!
- Youth Empowerment. All of our sessions that focus on our network, Youth United for Global Action and Awareness (YUGA), have dealt explicitly with youth empowerment as a method for raising awareness and creating change.
2: Developing Skills in 21st Century Leadership and Teamwork
- Campaign Planning. We met with YUGA members past and present to get advice on running campaigns and hosting awareness-raising events, and then plan new campaigns for the coming school year.
- Facilitation. All participants were encouraged to take a turn facilitating an icebreaker game, group activity, or entire workshop.
- Gender Equality + Online Activism. We welcomed Sam Meier of PolicyMic, a news and analysis website for millennials. She writes, edits, manages, and promotes writing on a variety of social justice topics, and she led a workshop on online activism and organizing.
- Oppression and Equality. We welcomed Laurie Jo Wallace, the Director of Training and Capacity Building at Health Resources in Action (HRiA) in Boston, MA. She led a training on the topics of oppression and equality, as well as the skills that young people need to work for social justice in their schools and communities.
- Presentation and Public Speaking.
- Service Learning. We performed community service in and around Bristol, Rhode Island to learn through volunteering!
- Voting and Elections. At the end of the Summit, we elected new members of the YUGA Steering Committee, through the democratic process.
3: Creating Cross-Cultural Connections and Strengthening Community
- Dancing and Drumming
- Scavenger Hunt
- Talent Show
- Team Games