Teens: Learn what you can do to turn beliefs into actions

Posted on: December 30th, 2017 by tgregory

By TERI SOGOL, LCSW

Jewish Family Service 

The world is filled with unmet needs and issues that beg to be resolved—lack of affordable health care, hunger, homelessness, human trafficking, environmental threats—the list goes on and on. A sense of powerless to affect these seemingly overwhelming problems is enough to make us throw our hands up in despair. For really, what can one person do? 

Jewish teens are about to explore that question at “Turning Beliefs Into Action,” a program on social action being offered by Jewish Family Service in collaboration with the religious school directors of our local congregations on Sunday, Feb. 4, at the Gordon Jewish Community Center. Teens in grades 7 through 12 will participate in small-group discussions facilitated by Pat Halper, a passionate social justice activist. The discussions will be followed by presentations from two inspiring, dynamic speakers who recognized a social issue, had an idea to address it, and brought that idea to fruition:

Noted Nashville entrepreneur Marcus Whitney is president and co-founder of Briovation, CEO of Health:Further and founding partner of Jumpstart Foundry. He’s also co-founder and co-owner of the Nashville Soccer Club, has been listed in the Upstart 100 by Upstart Business Journal, Power 100 by Nashville Business Journal, and has been featured in Techcrunch, Fast Company and The Atlantic. 

He will be speaking to the teens about The Unlikely Company, a public benefit corporation he founded that exists to develop entrepreneurs who will have an opportunity to close the income-inequality gap while creating businesses that will address our society’s biggest problems, and Oasis Venture, a program he co-founded with Oasis Center that is designed to help youth create and start viable social enterprises. 

With 20 years of conservation and development experience, Julie Stein works to reduce human-wildlife conflict around the world by building markets and wildlife-friendly supply chains for goods and services that achieve the goals of people, profit, and planet. She leads signature efforts to link certified enterprises that protect the world’s most endangered wildlife with global partners in the food, health and beauty, textile and tourism sectors.

Stein consults with corporate members seeking to achieve conservation goals in high-biodiversity landscapes and participates in public-private partnerships to measure and improve outcomes in raw-materials sourcing for the benefit of people and wildlife around the world. She is a co-founder and executive director of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network.

The program goal is for the teens to gain a sense of empowerment as they realize the impact one person can make. Turning Beliefs Into Action will take place on Sunday, Feb. 4, at the Gordon JCC.  A continental breakfast will be available at 9:15 a.m. The program will begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 11:45 a.m. There is no charge to attend. 

Contact Teri Sogol, LCSW, casework director, at (615) 354-1662 with questions. •