Multicultural Affairs

Next Step Social Justice Retreat

"Absolutely amazing"  "Inspirational. Powerful." "Life changing."

The Next Step retreat will happen on January 25-26, 2019, and you can be a part of it! An event that happens annually at a number of schools across the country, this will be the sixth year the program will be presented at Union. Next Step gives students a forum to develop knowledge and skills to become better change agents, leaders and activists in regard to diversity, equity, power, privilege, prejudice and discrimination. The mission of Next Step is to create a safe and inclusive, yet challenging experience for students, staff, and faculty where issues of social injustice and oppression are discussed honestly and openly through the experiences and stories of each other.

What are Next Step Alums saying about last year's Social Justice retreat?

"The diverse mix of people and the challenging but important conversations we engaged in, are hard to find anywhere else at Union"

"A place where you can really learn about each others' life experiences and how we can make social change."

"A retreat for those who want to grasp or expand on their definitions and personal meanings of social justice. A place to plan actions that will shape our world into a community with more respect and consideration for each others story and outlooks on life."

"I would describe it as a weekend of understanding peers on a deeper level while becoming more comfortable with who you are in a seemingly homogenous and non-accepting setting."

Next Step will take place on January 25-26, 2019 in College Park Hall (tentative).

Are You Ready for the Next Step?

Participation in Next Step Includes

  • Deepening your awareness of identity
  • Developing your sense of community
  • Telling your story
  • Connecting with new people
  • Building relationships on campus
  • Learning about social justice
  • Building coalitions

Benefits of the Retreat

  • Participation in a dialogue group of 8-10 participants & 2 facilitators
  • Full group activities on identity, power & equity
  • Video clip screening & discussion
  • Evening workshops planned by participants
  • Personal action planning
  • Stress relief space for reflection & recharging
  • Unstructured breaks for socializing, networking, & coalition-building
  • Meals provided to facilitators & participants throughout
  • T-shirt & certificate of completion provided to all participants
  • Accommodations & transportation included
  • Direct access to staff, faculty, and student leaders & activists

The Union College Next Step Social Justice retreat is a model adapted from the Next Step Retreat at the University of Vermont, that was collaboratively developed by numerous dedicated student affairs professionals, students, faculty and social justice educators hoping to make a positive impact in their community. Colorado State University hosted the first Next Step program in 1994.

If you are interested in applying to be a facilitator, please fill out the application in this link by Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 at 11:59pm. (Note: In order to be a student facilitator, you must previously have participated in the retreat)

Those students interested in participating in this year's retreat are asked to fill out an application here by Friday, Dec. 21, 2018.