Posse Plus Retreat 2019: The State of Our Union

 

Image Via: Posse Foundation

The Posse Plus Retreat is an annual weekend-long retreat, that gives an opportunity for Posse scholars, members of the larger student body, faculty, staff, and administration to engage in conversations with the goal of discussing an important campus issue identified by the Posse Scholars. The Posse Plus Retreat takes place on over 57 campuses, Agnes Scott College included.

The topic for this year was the State of Our Union. The retreat took place from January 25th to the 27th. Everyone on campus is welcomed and encouraged to come. The Posse Plus Retreat creates a safe space for dialogue between people who most likely would not be engaging in these types of conversations. The retreat has become a huge staple in the Posse Foundation by being a safe space for Posse Scholars and the community to engage in social, cultural and political issues.

Image Via: Posse Foundation

The weekend always starts off with an introduction about how the retreat will run and how to respect one another as we engaged in these tough conversions. Across all Posse Plus Retreats we tend to have similar “rules”: Don’t freeze people in time, “what’s shared here, stays here but what’s learned here, leaves here,” and one mic, one voice.  It’s always great to remember that the reason we go to these retreats is to learn from one another and see what we can do as collective to improve our community, the nation, or even the world.

Images Via: Posse Foundation

Throughout the weekend, there are many workshops that are fun but also challenge you to think deeper on the topics that are being shared. The topics can be very heavy, but with stories that everyone shares, you tend to connect. The State of Our Union theme included subtopics such as immigration, health care, masculinity, education, mass incarceration, racism, LGBTQ+ discrimination, and gentrification. You realize that people are more similar to one another and that you're not alone in the world. It gives hope and promises that there are people who want to help and improve our world. It also makes a space where you can have a dialogue with people who have opposite viewpoints from you. It’s not an opportunity to force them to change their minds, but to see where everyone is coming from. Every day you grow and gain new insight, and you’re no longer the same person you were yesterday.

You open up to a lot of new possibilities. Everyone is encouraged to get into deep conversations with people that they don’t know, and not just hang out with their friends (you’ll see them during meal time). The activities range from having a small group discussion to the whole group discussion, or even one-on-one dialogue.

Image Via: Posse Foundation

The Posse Plus Retreat is an important event to attend. If you didn’t make it to this year’s retreat, I highly encourage you to go to the one next year. It gives you hope on issues and it’s not something you want to miss.