University of Vermont

The Next Step: A Social Justice Retreat

Occurring each January, Next Step provides 65 participants (undergraduate, graduate, staff and faculty) with a personal and collective experience in which to further develop their own knowledge and skills about their own social identities. Participants learn how to become better change agents and activists against racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, religious discrimination, classism and other socially constructed oppressions.

We believe that to be an effective social justice activist one must:

  • understand one's own cultural backgrounds;

  • hear the experiences and stories of others;

  • learn about the roots of specific forms of oppression and privilege;

  • discover ways to address everyday bias, stereotypes, and discrimination as an ally (or someone who isn’t personally impacted, but who is responsible based on their privilege). 

Next Step’s long term goal is to impart concrete skills to students so that they can return to campus and their community and give value and voice to people and cultures which have historically been denied access in our society. Please explore our website to learn more about how you can be involved in The Next Step.

This year's retreat will be held Friday, Jan. 17th thru Sunday, Jan. 19th. Next Step facilitator applications are due Thursday, October 3rd at 11:59pm (login required via the Lynx) and participant applications are due Tuesday, Nov. 19th at 11:59pm.

If you have further questions, please email nextstep@uvm.edu, or contact Nicole Potestivo Holtz or Laura Megivern (the Next Step logistic staff) in the Department of Student Life, at (802)656-2060.  We are excited to have Erin Baker and Jeff Bukowski as this year's Next Step co-Lead Facilitators.  They can be reached via the UVM directory (phone & email).