Metanoia theme will be ‘Youth for Change,’ Herbst announces


Faith Gemmill speaks about her Alaskan tribe fighting human rights violations and how the global changes are impacting the northern lands they live on. The keynote speaker was part of the semester long Environmental Metanoia event. (Nicholas Hampton/The Daily Campus)

University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst announced the theme of this year’s Metanoia will be “Youth for Change” in an email to the UConn community Wednesday afternoon.

“It will be a discussion of the most pressing issues facing young people today,” Herbst said in the email. “It will be a conversation on the issues themselves and a set of dialogues on nuts-and-bolts strategy.”

Metanoia is an annual week-long series of events at the University of Connecticut which focuses on a different issue each year. Last year’s theme was the environment.

“We chose this theme [Youth for Change] because it seems one of the most relevant things to discuss on a college campus…is the upsurge in activism among young people across a range of issues,” Chris Vials, the co-chair of the Metanoia Steering Committee with Wanjiku Gatheru, said.

Yara Shahidi, an activist, model and actress on the ABC show “blask-ish” and its spinoff “grown-ish” will be speaker at the kickoff event on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. in the Jorgensen Theatre. Tickets are free to all UConn students, faculty and staff and limited to two tickets per UConn ID, according to the SUBOG website.

On Monday, March 4 at 7 p.m. David Hogg, a survivor of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, will speak at Jorgensen. Details on this event and others are forthcoming, according to Herbst’s email.

The Steering Committee which organizes Metanoia is currently accepting proposals for events to take place the week of March 4-8, the official week of Metanoia.

“Young people are invested in a wide range of social issues, and don’t all think in the same direction, so we didn’t want to focus on one specific topic,” Vials said. “It’s important that we hear from the UConn community and get proposals that reflect what people want to talk about.”

Anna Zarra Aldrich is the associate news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at She tweets @ZarraAnna.

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