In case you hadn't seen it, there's a discussion thread on the Philocrites blog on the withdrawal of official UUA support for the Young Religious Unitarian Universalist (YRUU) Continental Conference ("Con Con"):
"So much for 'Con Con: The Movie.'"
The author/editor of the Philocrites blog is Chris Walton, the Senior Editor for the UU World magazine.
Frankly, I'm both puzzled and disappointed by the "blame anti-racism" attitudes in the original blog posting and the replies to that posting.
My only experience with Continental YRUU anti-racism work was at the 2003 YRUU Long Range Planning Conference and it was an overall positive experience for me. However, I've also encountered anti-racism work in other UU settings.
The anti-racism and anti-oppression work I've experienced in other UU settings (congregational workshops, LREDA Fall Conference, SWUUSI youth camp, YRUU Cons, ConCentric) have varied greatly from being highly effective and challenging to highly ineffective due to a lack of participant support.
I have seen the same lack of interest in my congregation's adult community with the Welcoming Congregation program. We've even had some of our naysaying members complain that the Welcoming Congregation program is out of touch for the "real UUs" in our congregation, the UUA staff has been taken over by "hippies," etc.
To me, this suggests that the problem with Con Con isn't one of "elite" YRUU vs. local congregational youth. It's more like our UU youth (non-congregational and congregational) simply reflect the rest of the UUA in microcosm. Face it -- most adults and most youth are not involved in UUA denominational events outside the walls of their congregations. Oftentimes, the results of our denominational decision-making surprise who are not connected with the wider association.
If Con Con and Youth Council are "out of touch" with local youth groups, isn't the same "out of touch" situation also present with General Assembly and adults in UU congregations, SWUUSI and adults in the SW District congregations, etc?
Most adults in my district don't attend my district's summer institute, district conferences, General Assembly, etc. Most youth don't attend the Con Con, the summer institute's youth camp, or YRUU rallies (what my district calls YRUU cons). This is often called "not meetings the needs of all youth" but it's considered acceptable for adults though.
The "fragility" of our youth programs that Philocrites refers to on his blog is also present in our adult UU programming. As an "association of congregations" or a "denomination" (pick whatever term is appropriate for your view of our polity), too many adults know too little about what is going on in other UU congregations, in their districts, and throughout the UUA.
This is not a youth-only issue but apparently a denominational issue in my opinion. I see the same trends in UU adults. We are not a well-interconnected cooperative network of congregations promoting faith development throughout the lifespan. And part of this is due to our congregationalism being taken to the point of unhealthy "idolatry."