Dealing with Generation Change

Among the questions that face ICPJ is how we should deal with generation changes. In particular, ICPJ faces three questions about recruiting the next generation of activists:

  1. Should we intentionally focus on trying to recruit, train, and engage a younger crop of activists? (For those of you who don’t know, ICPJ’s membership tends toward the older edge of the age spectrum.)
  2. If so how do we go about that recruitment?
  3. Finally, are we willing to make the changes necessary to recruit younger activists?

I often hear people assert the need to get more young people involved. What I don’t hear is a willingness to move the table so we can be welcoming to them.  Are we willing to:

  • give up meeting in church basements;
  • spend the extra time to recruit childcare volunteers for every meeting and event;
  • have more fun;
  • spend less time in meetings in  chatter;
  • spend more time in meetings in  chatter;
  • put more energy into online outreach;
  • make it easier for time and attention-starved people to get involved;
  • do more outlandish,  civil-disobedience type events; or
  • give up lecturing and telling people how to organize?

These are just some examples. I don’t know what would have to change to be a more welcoming environment for younger activists. I do know that we will need to change.

Jesus taught that you don’t pour new wine into old wineskins (Mat 9:17). If ICPJ is going to welcome the next generation of peace and justice activists into our midsts, we will need to renew ourselves. We will need to change.

Are we willing?

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  1. Pingback: Ideas of membership are changing. How can we get with the program — The Warp Report

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