Among the many things I have been a part of in my life one which has stuck with me was my participation in United Synagogue Youth (USY) which is the youth group for kids and teens in Judaism's Conservative Movement (no relation to political conservatives).
Every year USY holds its annual convention in a different city during Christmas week. Besides the kids being off from school it is probably the least expensive week of the school year to hold a convention in any city that is not NYC. Anywhere from 800 to 1200 high school students gather at the convention for all sorts of activities over five days including prayer, education, social action/charity work, and election of officers (plus lots of social fun time).
From time to time the youth leaders of the organization decide to take on an issue by holding a rally or march. In the past the group has made public statements about teen drunk driving, Soviet Jewry, homelessness, hunger, and Darfur. This year, after Newtown, the teen leaders decided to make a public statement about gun violence in the United States. For security reasons these events are generally not open to the public but they always get local media attention, which is a big reason to hold such an event in the first place.
Today at 11:30 EST USY will be holding a Rally Against Gun Violence. Pastor Corey Brooks of the New Beginnings Church of Chicago will address the group along with Colin Goddard of the Brady Campaign, who is a survivor of the VA Tech shootings. The event will be broadcast live at livestream.com/usyic2012.
I think it is wonderful to see my old youth group (a) teach the members a bit about activism and (b) stand up and say something about this issue.