YJA Convention 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Posted by: Manju AN
The 10th Biennial YJA National Convention 2012 was a revolutionizing experience for its attendees. From July 5th-8th at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay in Tampa,FL, nearly 600 young Jains gathered to experienceYJA 2012 - iJain: Evolution of a Mind. Youth
attendees left the convention inspired by the sessions they attended and the speakers they met. Attendees had the opportunity to connect with other youth and make lifelong friendships while learning how Jainism is a source of support at each phase from the teenage social network to a young graduate’s career. YJA 2012 allowed youth to connect, to learn, and to share their thoughts with one another on a variety of subjects. Sessions, speakers, and new friends all came together to complete the Evolution of a Mind. Through a variety of fun, innovative, and interactive programming experiences, attendees engaged in wideranging activities and sessions related to atma (the soul), developing leadership, and creating a bettercommunity.
This year’s convention featured a diverse group of speakers ranging from a variety of fields, including politics, social activism, and bodybuilding. Attendees experienced more of an interactive dialogue with speakers and not only learned about the evolving opportunities to practice Jainism in today’s modern society, but also were challenged to ponder about issues facing our generation. YJA 2012’s social events provided an avenue for young Jains to make everlasting friendships. The
weekend was full of fun and excitement as YJA 2012 brought a twist to tradition. The first night started off with Bollywood Mela Night - Garba with a Twist.
The night continued on to the ice cream and cupcake socials. The second night brought out the best of the best as attendees kicked off their shoes, sat back and relaxed for a non-stop flight from Tampa to India on Destination India. This talent battle flew through some of the most coveted regions of India, displaying talent from Jains all around the nation. The second night was topped off with a 90’s Social for the younger crowd and a Masquerade Ball for the older crowd. The weekend ended with a formal full of illusions as everyone attended the Alice in Wonderland Formal and reminisced at the JNF Starlight Slumber Party. Overall, the goal of YJA 2012 was to provide Jain youth the opportunity to engage in spiritual, networking, and social activities. On top of enriching dharmic discussions, the convention offered unique social events from a range of activities that involve art (music, dance and drawing competition) to a night of memories (formal dinner and dance). The
result was a large network of Jain youth built to carry our tradition to the next generation.
SAMPLE OF SESSIONS & SPEAKERS:
Vivek Maru - Keynote Speaker. Founder and CEO of Namati:
Served as senior counsel in the Justice Reform Group of the World Bank. Work focused on justice reform and governance, primarily in West Africa and South Asia. Co-founded and co-directed for four years Timap for Justice, a grassroots justice program in Sierra Leone. Previously worked at Human Rights Watch and clerked for Hon. Marsha Berzon on the Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Graduated from Harvard College, magna cum laude, and Yale Law School.
Prem Jain - Keynote Speaker. Co-CEO of Insieme Networks:
Served in various senior positions at Cisco. First VP of JAINA and JAINA director for JCNC. Founding advisory member of The Ahimsa Center, focused on interdisciplinary teachings and learning about nonviolence and its practical applications at various levels. Current board member of JERF.
Robert Cheeke. Best-selling author of the book Vegan:
Bodybuilding & Fitness - The Complete Guide to Building Your Body on a Plant-Based Diet. A two-time natural bodybuilding champion. Considered one of VegNews Magazine's Most Influential Vegan Athletes. Tours all over North America giving talks about his story transforming from a skinny farm kid to champion vegan bodybuilder.
Generation Waking Up: Wake Up. Stand Up. Build Up:
Called a WakeUp for short - is an interactive, multimedia, peer-led workshop that moves young people into lasting hope and inspired action toward a thriving, just, sustainable world. Through powerful videos and music, dynamic group processes, and engaging dialogue, participants explore the critical questions facing society today. Attendees gain an expanded sense of identity and purpose, as members of a generation of young people to transform our world.
Jain in the Media: Interactive Mediums:
These days, we deal with numerous forms of media. Some, like film, take up your day, stunning you with both visuals and audio that stretches the bounds of the imagination. Others, like music, color your day with beats and lyrics. Books, posing queries, telling stories, etc. all play a major role in society. In recent years, increasing interest has been expressed in a new field called Interactive Media. While most media can be passively consumed, interactive media demands more of the audience. It demands cooperation, thought, and even a bit of attention. What role can Jainism play in this new and exciting world? How will it be reflected in Interactive media?