For one weekend in February, 100 high school students from across North Carolina travel to UNC’s campus to participate in the Catalyst Conference, a three-day event put on by UNC students to educate participants on various social justice issues.
The weekend is action-packed with small discussion groups, panels led by UNC students and various games and activities. Other events include a talent show and a surprise banquet the organization holds for its participants.
“Crossing the Line” is one of the most memorable activities for attendees. During the activity, students stand side-by-side on one side of a room. An announcer will call out a statement, which start out simple and delve into deeper issues over the course of the game. If this applies to a participant, they walk to the “yes” side of the room. If it does not, they stay on the “no” side. There are no “maybes.”
“It was not to isolate anybody or ostracize anybody,” said Ashley Clarke, a senior from Farmville Central High School in Pitt County. “It was there to help people find people that have the same problems as them, to let people know that they’re not alone and provide support for them throughout the whole conference.”