Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Community Partners,
As many of you know, for the past four years, students and teachers at Chief Sealth International High School have organized a weeklong festival called World Water Week. This year we are doing something new and exciting: the first annual Washington State Global Issues Network (WAGIN) Conference.
March 6-8, 2015 (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) we plan to host a few hundred middle and high school students at Chief Sealth IHS. We are partnering with Global Issues Network (GIN), a nonprofit that supports Global Issues conferences in Latin America and Asia. They have worked with a couple of independent schools in the U.S., but our conference will be the first international youth conference of its kind in the United States. The latest GIN conference took place in Buenos Aires in late October. You can watch videos of the student workshop sessions on the conference YouTube channel.
Here’s what WAGIN 2015 will look like:
- We will have some school-wide events and activities during the week leading up the conference. The content of the conference includes water, but is much broader. See our conference website for the list of 20 global issues.
- All students who attend the conference will present workshop sessions about action projects that they have carried out (connected to one or more of the 20 global issues). All workshops are youth-led.
- Keynotes (2-3 per day). We are in the process of inviting some exciting speakers.
- Throughout the weekend, students will meet in “Global Villages” – these are groups of 10 students, all from different schools, who will have small group discussions (facilitated by youth).
- Each team of students that attend (2-6 in a team) will create a 1-2 minute trailer for their workshop. These will be shown as part of a film festival throughout the weekend.
- There will be a Global Action Fair with nonprofit organizations who carry out work related to the 20 global issues. Our 9th grade students will also be sharing their Water Ecology and Sustainability Action Team (WEST) Projects at this time.
- We are inviting schools from around the region to participate. We will also be hosting several schools from Latin America and Asia that are part of the GIN network.
- There are over 100 leadership roles for students for planning and implementing the conference. Several student committees have been meeting for the past two months.
We have started our fundraising efforts. We are reaching out to several local businesses. (We will charge a registration fee for student teams that covers meals and other general expenses – we hope raise enough money to allow local public school students to attend for free).
WAGIN will share some things in common with World Water Week:
- global issues focus
- it will touch all students in our school
- powerful keynotes
And it will bring some new elements:
- broader list of topics
- we will bring together students from public, private, and international schools
- weekend event
- larger budget
There are several ways that you can be involved in the WAGIN Conference:
- Participate in the Global Action Fair on Friday, March 6. Organizations will have tables, and some may choose to present workshops.
- Be a keynote speaker or connect us to dynamic individuals who would be excited to speak to youth.
- Connect us to local businesses and organizations that might want to be a sponsor or provide in-kind donations (we are looking for breakfast and snack items right now).
- Spread the word about this opportunity to teachers and school networks. Registration information will available soon.
Social Studies / International Education
Chief Sealth International High School