Blog  Sci-Tech + RAC = Social Justice Academy!

Sci-Tech + RAC = Social Justice Academy!

URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy East has always understood the power of science and technology and how STEM shapes and affects our world in incredible ways. At camp, we learn that we, as current and future inventors and scientists, have a responsibility to use our knowledge and STEM skills in the pursuit of creating a more whole, just, and compassionate world.  

With that spirit in mind, we are excited to announce a brand-new partnership between URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy and the Religious Action Center (RAC) for our teens in grades 9 through 12!

We want YOU to join Sci-Tech’s teen cohort in the newly launched RAC Social Justice Academy—the RAC’s new program for the 2020-2021 year to offer meaningful, fun, and actionable Jewish social justice training in a virtual setting (and for our cohort, all through the lens of science and technology)!

Social Justice Academy begins on October 14, with registration closing on Friday, October 9, so be sure to register soon!

WHAT IS THE SOCIAL JUSTICE ACADEMY? 
Sci-Tech campers and camper alumni in grades 9 through 12 who participate in the Social Justice Academy will be part of a fun and engaging virtual learning and training program led by the RAC and Sci-Tech Academy. Teens will leave with actionable steps to advocate for a better world and will build their skills as an informed Jewish social justice activist, all while connecting with other like-minded and motivated teens across North America.  

WHAT WILL WE BE LEARNING?
The Academy’s three units cover topics relevant to the moment and will provide teens with skills to last beyond the span of the Academy.  In addition to RAC-led sessions listed below, there will be Sci-Tech specific sessions where our Sci-Tech cohort will delve deeper into how STEM can be a tool in the construction of a better world. 

These Sci-Tech specific sessions will include: learning about the legislative and advocacy processes that relate to science and technology, discovering how STEM plays a big role in either disrupting or perpetuating different forms of exclusion and asking ourselves how the core Jewish values that guide our camp can be a launching pad for taking action to create systematic change. 

Below is a brief description of each unit:  

    • Unit 1: Civic Engagement – Teens will explore the important role of young and emerging voters in democracy and the call Judaism makes to us to act in this moment.   
    • Unit 2: REDI (Racial Equity, Diversity, Inclusion)– Teens will learn basic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practices, examine how our identities inform how we function in society, understand the importance of disrupting dominant culture, and learn how to make important changes on an interpersonal and communal level.   
    • Unit 3: Action & Advocacy – Teens will explore being a Jewish voice for justice, discover how their moral voice can influence policymakers, identify an issue around which they can advocate to make systemic change, and learn how to take action.   
    • Teens who participate in all three units will be automatically enrolled in the Saperstein Scholars program. Learn more about this opportunity on the RAC’s website.   

WHEN IS THE SOCIAL JUSTICE ACADEMY?
The RAC Social Justice Academy will consist of three units facilitated by the RAC. On these dates, we will be with other teen cohorts from across North America.  

The RAC-led meeting dates are as follows: 

    • Unit 1 Civic Engagement: Wednesdays October 14 and October 21 at 7 PM ET. 
    • Unit 2 REDI: Wednesdays November 11 and November 18 at 7 PM ET. 
    • Unit 3 Action & Advocacy: Wednesdays February 24, March 3, and March 10 at 7 PM ET. 

Our Sci-Tech cohort will meet separately one or two times per unit, outside of the above times, for deeper discussions. The dates and times of these Sci-Tech specific meetings will be determined once we have identified the members in our cohort. 

To be a Saperstein Scholar for the RAC, you must participate in all three RAC units. However, you can still participate in our Sci-Tech cohort even if you can’t make it to every RAC or Sci-Tech specific session! We encourage you to register for the sessions you can attend.

HOW DO I REGISTER?
Click here to register for the RAC Social Justice Academy before October 9. As you register, you’ll be asked a series of questions regarding your group’s participation. 

    • Group you are participating with: URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy
    • Units our group is participating in: Civic Engagement, REDI, and Action and Advocacy (all three units) 
    • Dates and Times of sessions: Sci-Tech group members are slotted to attend the RAC led sessions on Wednesday at 7 PM ET for all three units. 
    • Your congressional district: You can look up your congressional representatives right here by plugging in the ZIP code of your home address. 
    • You must complete the registration process in one session since there isn’t a way to save and return to it later. It should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. 

WHAT DOES IT COST?
The RAC is using a pay-what-you-can model for participation in the Social Justice Academy in order to make this program accessible for all who wish to participate. The program fees cover the costs of staff and program development. More information can be found here.  

The suggested program fees are listed below: 

    • Unit 1 Civic Engagement: $40 
    • Unit 2 REDI: $60 
    • Unit 3 Action and Advocacy: $60 

WOW, THIS PROGRAM SOUNDS AMAZING… BUT WHAT ABOUT SWAG?
We would NEVER forget the swag! To celebrate our teens’ dedication to tikkun olam, Sci-Tech Campers and Alumni who become RAC Saperstein Scholars by attending all three units will also receive a special piece of Sci-Tech specific swag!

Despite the challenges we are facing as a community and a society, and in fact because of them, we are fiercely committed to pursuing justice alongside some of the most powerful and passionate advocates across our Movement, our teen leaders.  

Sign up before October 9 to learn and act powerfully and together at RAC.org/Academy.   

Questions? Email scitech@urj.org or call 857-246-8677.

Author: jmallindine

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