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Service and Social Justice for Youth

Service and social justice work are some of the ways that people talk about putting their faith into action. Here are a few different ideas, resources and groups to get you started.

Ways to Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved in service and social justice work as a Unitarian Universalist (UU) youth. Here are a few:

  • Plan a project in your own community as a youth group.
  • Partner with the social action committee in your congregation to plan a project that involves the whole congregation.
  • Partner with other groups in your community—religious groups, community groups, etc.—to plan an event or project.
  • Organize a service trip to take as a youth group or as a congregation.
  • Participate in a service trip organized by another group.

Resources for Project Planning

  • Blue Boat Post: "3 Steps for Service Learning: E, S, and R"
    This Blue Boat blog post lays out the three steps to a successful service project, mission trip or other endeavor: Educate, Serve and Reflect.
  • Learn More About the Issues
    Check out the Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA’s) Social Justice pages for in-depth information on a variety of topics, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) welcome and inclusion, immigration, environmental justice, reproductive justice and more.
  • When Youth Lead: A Guide to Intergenerational Social Justice Ministry
    This book offers guidance, suggestions and advice for youth programs generally and social justice work specifically. It includes 101 project ideas.
  • Journeys of the Spirit: Planning and Leading Mission Trips with Youth
    A guide for youth and advisors to plan, lead and unpack a transformative service project. This guide covers everything from choosing a mission and gaining support to logistical and safety concerns.

Organizations, Groups and Campaigns

  • Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice
    Offers service trips and other programs, including the Youth Justice Summit. The College of Social Justice is a partnership of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the Unitarian Universalist Association. (Note that not all trips are available for youth). 
  • Standing on the Side of Love (SSL)
    An interfaith public advocacy campaign, sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association. The SSL site contains resources, information and more to help you take action in your community. Check out their calendar of events for an event near you.
  • Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal (CELSJR)
    A collaboration of the three UU congregations in the Greater New Orleans Area, the CELSJR runs a volunteer program hosting groups on service trips. Combining education about the effects of Hurricane Katrina with hands-on work, this program often hosts several groups at one time. Youth groups are welcome.

For more information contact youth @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Tuesday, November 25, 2014.

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