Written by Anthony Moujaes
Youth from the United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ are using their skills to share the story of why they are working for justice.
Youth and young adults of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) across the country are converging in a newly-formed group created to raise awareness and encourage action on climate change through social media artwork.
The initial challenge for the group, which came together during the 2016 National Youth Event in Florida, is to come up with a name for itself. So, the Rev. Brooks Berndt is holding a naming contest, for just the next 10 days, with the winner receiving a $50 gift card for iTunes (or another digital source of music, books, and movies).
"I witnessed an explosion of creative energy and talent at NYE," said Berndt, UCC minister for environmental justice. "When you connect an issue of profound consequence for youth with an outlet for expression, passion and excitement are quickly generated. The goal is to maintain that passion and excitement, so that we can truly make a difference in the world."
The yet-to-be-named group expressed interest in networking with each other at the conclusion of an NYE workshop that Berndt co-led with Jessie Palatucci, "Digital Revolution: Create Videos, Photos, and Art for Social Media." Two planned workshop sessions expanded into four, and each of those sessions was filled to capacity with more than 60 young kids creating artwork, photos and videos to share on social media.
"The most powerful tool we have in advocacy work is our story, and social media gives us an opportunity to tell our own stories, about why we work for justice, in ways we never had before," said Palatucci, online communications specialist for the UCC office in Washington, D.C. "It is a powerful tool and I think that young leaders understand that intuitively."
More details about the contest are available on the UCC website. Name submissions should be sent to Berndt by Aug. 19.