World Affairs Institute

50th Annual World Affairs Institute for Student Leaders
Redefining Youth Education: Our Vision, Our Voice

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
The World Affairs Institute is FREE and open to all high school students.

Students must register on Eventbrite by December 1 (CLICK HERE).

This year marks the World Affairs Institute’s 50th anniversary! On Wednesday, December 2, 2020, we are going to host the World Affairs Institute in partnership with Rotary International as part of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh’s end-of-year gathering.

The Institute engages high school students in a discussion of key issues in international affairs so that they can understand and think critically about their world. This year’s by youth, for youth World Affairs Institute will explore local and global issues with youth activists and change-makers from around the world!

At the 50th annual World Affairs Institute for Student Leaders, we will work to empower and inspire you to meet your potential. At this event designed by and created for youth, we will explore local and global issues and find strategies to become part of the solution. The event will feature in-depth sessions on social justice issues, highlight youth making change locally and globally, and provide opportunities to gain skills and motivation for taking sustained and meaningful action. We hope that this day-long Institute will inspire you to tackle global issues and take your skills to change your community for the better!

Prizes will be awarded throughout the event based on engagement and participation!

Additional Speakers Include: Youth Activism Project, 1HOOD, Benjamin Gutschow – Casa San Jose, Samantha Podnar – The Polar Opposite Project, Alliance for Climate Education Action Fellows, GirlGov, Green Building Alliance, Repair The World, Prichard Committee Student Voice Team, Destiny Perkins, Open Field International, Felicia Savage – Yoga Roots on Location, Awaken Pittsburgh


7:30 – 8:00 AM: Welcome + Introductory Remarks + Invitations to Participate

Exploring Social Justice Issues

8:00 – 8:50 AM: Session 1: Moderated panel discussion addressing social justice issues + Q&A

9:00 – 9:30 AM: Session 2: Deep drive on the issues + Q&A
(Students choose one Track.)
Tracks include: BLM and Police Reform, Sustainability & The SDGs, Gender Equity, Reimagining Education, and more!

9:40 – 10:00 AM: Session 3: Short remarks from youth taking social justice action

10:00 – 10:20 AM: Break featuring local youth artist performance (optional)

Youth Locally and Globally Making Change

10:20 – 10:40 AM: Session 4: Short remarks from youth making change locally and globally

10:50 AM – 12:20 PM: Session 5: Workshops on taking action
(Students choose one A Workshop (10:50 – 11:30 AM) and one B Workshop (11:40 AM – 12:20 PM).)
Workshops include: How to Take Political Action, How to Organize a Climate Action Movement, How to Take Grassroots Action/Volunteer, How to Raise Awareness about a Cause, and more!

12:20 – 12:30 PM: Session 6: Write a public action statement

12:30 – 1:00 PM: Break featuring a game (optional)

Methods to Use When Needing Motivation

1:00 – 1:20 PM: Session 7: Motivation to take action and advice on how stay engaged

1:30 – 2:10 PM: Session 8: Individual action or collective organizing
(Students choose one Track.)
Tracks include: Time Management, Staying Organized and Focused, and Avoiding Burnout and Networking with Peers and Organizing for a Cause

2:20 – 3:00 PM: Session 9: Self-care
(Students choose one Track.)
Tracks include: Music/Sound Therapy, Meditation and Mindfulness/Yoga, and more!

3:10 – 3:30 PM: Closing Remarks + Ways to Stay Engaged

Please make all inquiries to Kathleen Newell at:

The World Affairs Institute is a collaboration between the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and Rotary International.

Letter to Rotary Club Presidents

Rotarians can also fill out this form to make sure your Club receives information about topics, speakers, event schedule, and the World Affairs Institute as we approach the date!