The Bishop’s Forum, which has been inviting young people aged 17-26 from across the province to meet together on the Bishop’s campus each year since 2017 is still going ahead, but in a slightly different form. Rather than cancel the gathering entirely in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the forum will be taking place online over the course of four days from August 8 to the 11.
“The catalyst and the drive for making that shift really came from the youth advisory committee,” said Yolande James, the Director of the forum, explaining that the committee is made up of past participants who work together to help build the program for future events.
“We had already been out recruiting in March and here was momentum moving towards the forum in August but as things changed, like everybody else, we just sort of put everything on pause,” she recalled. “I was just not sure that we would have (the forum) at all, but the message was pretty clear that (the committee members) felt like this was important.”
With the decision to go ahead in hand, the question than became, how?
“That is the challenge for this year,” James said “Yes (participants) have an opportunity to hear from great speakers and learn and exchange and so forth, but it’s the connection that they make with each other that is so important, so how do we work on that when we are not physically in the same place?”