Stand Up for Equality/Acceptance Campaign

At the start of February, USYers were asked to weigh in on a International USY Social Action/Tikun Olam platform to be for the upcoming year. Three weeks and nearly 700 responses later, USYers spoke and collectively chose a platform that speaks to our generation. USYers voted to set the 2014 Social Action/Tikun Olam platform as a focus on acceptance and tolerance including, but not specific to, gender, special needs, LGBTQ, and racial equality.

The goal is for USYers to become social activists. With this specific focus, we will stand up for acceptance, tolerance, and equality within our communities, synagogues, chapters, regions, and as International USY. USYers will be a positive influence within our communities that advocates for acceptance of all people.

In the spirit of Purim, USYers will be modern day “Esthers” committed to standing up for those who need help. Esther stood against Haman to protect her people from his wrath; USY will stand for those whom may be different than ourselves with the intention of protecting their rights and demanding their equality.

The 2014 Social Action/Tikun Olam platform fits in perfectly with the International Convention Educational Theme: V’ahavtah L’reyacha Camocha – Love Your Neighbor As Yourself. USYers will have the opportunity to help their neighbors and in order to live in peace and harmony with the rest of the world. At International Convention, our year of social activism will culminate as just the beginning of a culture change focused on Tikun Olam.

Chapters and regions will be encouraged to partner with different local organizations that focus on promoting equality and acceptance. The voices of USYers will be heard in order to make a difference in the lives of others.

However, the work does not stop with just this one cause. Throughout the year, USYers will participate in Operation 54,000: USY’s social activism campaign to take a stand as we change the world. USY members across North America will accomplish this massive goal in their chapters, regions, and synagogues to develop engaging social activism programming that encourages going out into our communities and making a difference. USYers will log our social action hours into an online database to visually see how the amount of hours USYers fulfill make a positive impact in the lives of others. Don’t forget to take SA/TO to social media – make sure to send volunteering pictures and blurbs to sato@usy.org.

Responsibility starts with each of us: it is our job to make an impact, to make a change. This year, USYers will utilize SA/TO in USY as a platform to promote social change. USYers are the next generation to take control of our destiny and changes the world. USY, it is time to stand up and ignite the fire within.