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NC high schoolers empowered to be “catalysts” at weekend conference

February 18, 2019 • Erin Reitz • No Comments

This past weekend UNC Catalyst Conference welcomed one hundred North Carolina high school students onto campus to interact with social justice issues. Through high-energy workshops, interactive discussions, and leadership trainings, Catalyst counselors empowered students to see themselves as “catalysts” for positive change within their own communities across the state. Catalyst co-director, Kirstin McGinty, personally understands the impact of this transformational weekend; she participated Catalyst Conference when she was a high schooler and hoped to pass along the inspiration and encouragement she once received.

“I was once in the [Catalyst participants’] shoes and know what it is like to feel inadequate in making change in my community. Now coming full circle as director, I’ve been able to instill that sense of fulfillment and passion for change in students,” McGinty said. “I hope our participants left with a deeper sense of self-awareness, new lifelong connections, and a greater passion to take up space and create change in their own communities.”

Check out photos from the weekend below, and visit to find a list of movies, books, podcasts, and more that can spark social justice conversations at high schools and beyond.

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