2020 International Affairs Family Conference

The 2020 season on Star Island is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The International Affairs Family Conference will take place virtually.
Our original 2020 theme “Women in Leadership: Why it Matters” will take place in 2021.

Photo Credits

2020 International Affairs Family Conference

The 2020 season on Star Island is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The International Affairs Family Conference will take place virtually.
Our original 2020 theme “Women in Leadership: Why it Matters” will take place in 2021.

Photo Credits

2020 International Affairs Family Conference

The 2020 season on Star Island is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The International Affairs Family Conference will take place virtually.
Our original 2020 theme “Women in Leadership: Why it Matters” will take place in 2021.

Photo Credits

2020 International Affairs Family Conference

The 2020 season on Star Island is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The International Affairs Family Conference will take place virtually.
Our original 2020 theme “Women in Leadership: Why it Matters” will take place in 2021.

Photo Credits

Virtual IA Conference 2020

WELCOME TO VIRTUAL IA 2020

Below are our offerings for Virtual IA 2020.  You are welcome to join any session you like.  Sessions will be held using the free Zoom online meeting service.  Using Zoom on a computer with a webcam (either a desktop or laptop), rather than through a phone or tablet, will provide the best experience.  If you have never used Zoom before, feel free to join us on Friday, July 24th, to try it out before sessions start on Saturday, July 25.

Each session below has a link to the zoom meeting that will be open at the indicated time.  For meeting security, all zoom meetings will have a password that will be emailed separately to the IA mailing list.  Most sessions will have unlimited participants, no registration required.  For those sessions, there is an optional registration link if you would like automatic reminders and calendar invitations sent to your email address.  Some sessions will have a limited number of spots available to the first number of people to register.  Those sessions have a required registration link below.

If you have any questions about the offerings, technical support, or other issues please send email to VirtualIA2020@gmail.com .

Friday, July 24

12-5pm.  Open access hours for technical support

Committee members Gretchen Donehower and Iyabo Obasanjo available to help anyone who has never used zoom. More…

Join Now

Saturday, July 25

11am.  Youth Program Morning Circle

We’ll come together for some favorite songs and announcements and then break-out into groups to connect with our leaders and age group friends! Sunscreen and hand washing optional. 😉

Join Now Optional Registration

4pm.  Virtual Fire & Water

No fire, no water, we just liked the name. More…

Join Now Optional Registration

5pm.  Happy Hour

Hello you wonderful IAers! More…

Join Now Optional Registration

8pm. Chapel

Led by IA Committee Chair Iyabo Obasanjo

Join Now Optional Registration

Sunday, July 26

11am.  Community Meeting/Talk on the Rocks

Joe Watts, the CEO of Star Island Corporation will give us up to date information on how our beloved Island is faring without us this summer.

Join Now Optional Registration

2pm. Pandemic Talk

Dr. Daniel Griffin is a physician-scientist, educator, researcher, clinician and author and board certified in Infectious Disease with expertise in Global Health. He practices in New York and is at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. He will provide us with insight on the pandemic from the trenches. This will be a thrilling exposure into COVID-19 pandemic from an expert.

Join Now Optional Registration

4pm.  Workshop: Compassionate Communication: A Source of Hope in Difficult Times

With Ellen and Barry Johnson-Fay. More…

Join Now Optional Registration

Monday, July 27

11am.  Workshops

Lifelines Senior Women’s Group

Led by Anne Howe and Eleanor Jaffe. A continuation of last year’s community offering. New participants welcome. More…

Join Now Optional Registration

Senior Men’s Group

Brad Howe will lead a discussion for the first twenty men who sign in each day. For New and Old Shoalers alike. More…

Join Now Required Registration

8pm. Chapel

Kenneth Torquil MacLean is a longtime IA Week shoaler and his chapel will focus on our experience of gender.

Join Now Optional Registration

Tuesday, July 28

11am.  Multigenerational art project

Led by Wendy Stasolla More…

Join Now Optional Registration

4pm.  Compassionate Communication: A Source of Hope in Difficult Times

With Ellen and Barry Johnson-Fay

Join Now Optional Registration

7:30pm.  Book Discussion

The Yellow House:  A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom, discussion led by Suellen and Nina Peluso More…

Join Now Optional Registration

Wednesday, July 29

11am.  Workshops

Lifelines Senior Women’s Group.

Led by Anne Howe and Eleanor Jaffe. A continuation of last year’s community offering. New participants welcome.

Join Now Optional Registration

Senior Men’s Group

Brad Howe will lead a discussion for the first twenty men who sign in each day. For New and Old Shoalers alike.

Join Now Required Registration

7:30pm. Timely Topic: George Floyd, Systemic Racism and the 8th Principle

Bruce Pollack-Johnson & Paula Cole Jones lead an interactive presentation about systemic racism and the 8th Principle that has been proposed for UUs to commit to dismantling it. More…

Join Now Optional Registration

Thursday, July 30

11am Workshops

Narrative Healing: Poetry as Transformation

With Holly Wren-Spaulding and Lisa Weinert. More…

Join Now Optional Registration

Senior Men’s Group

Brad Howe will lead a discussion for the first twenty men who sign in each day. For New and Old Shoalers alike.

Join Now Required Registration

4pm. Compassionate Communication: A Source of Hope in Difficult Times

with Ellen and Barry Johnson-Fay

Join Now Optional Registration

7pm. Pandemic Talk

Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo, IA Committee Chair and expert in global health, will present on the epidemiology and global population dynamics of Covid19.

Join Now Optional Registration

Friday, July 31

11am.  Youth/Family Chapel

Youth and families (and anyone else) will connect in community to reflect on our summer experiences and Star memories.  Led by Katie Bender, Youth Program Coordinator

Join Now Optional Registration

5pm.  Happy Hour



Join Now Optional Registration

7pm.  Chapel

Rev. Rali Weaver is the minister of the First Church and Parish in Dedham and will speak on the faith-based empowerment of women throughout the world. More…

Join Now Optional Registration

A Perfect Summer Vacation

Star Island Corporation statement on 2020 island closure due to Covid19

Star Island and the International Affairs (IA) conference have often been described as a perfect summer vacation and one that keeps people coming back year after year, generation after generation.  Please join us and make IA part of your summer tradition.  Click through the images below for a short description of what you might expect.

For some…

For some…

… it is the opportunity to interact and share a diversity of ideas and experiences with a group of friendly, open-minded, and inquiring people.  For others, it is the chance to be removed from the world, retiring for a week from daily routines to a small beautiful island to reconnect with family and friends, relax on the porch with a good book, and watch the sunrise or sunset.

Start your day…

Start your day…

… with a polar bear dip in the chilly Atlantic Ocean to get the blood flowing,  join the morning stretch session on the Front Porch, or grab a cup of coffee or tea and settle into a porch rocker to watch the day begin to emerge.  Later in the morning, make your way up the hill to the stone chapel for a thoughtful morning sermon delivered by our minister of the week.

Stimulating theme talks…

Stimulating theme talks…

… with follow up discussions take place late morning.  These are led by recognized experts and  provoke conversations among conferees which spill over to  the front porch, Happy Hour and the dinner table.

In the afternoon…

In the afternoon…

… there are several workshops from which to choose, such as chorus, yoga, art, and writing. Other afternoon activities include softball games, swimming, visits to the Marine Lab, kite-flying, rowboating the harbor, trips to the snack bar, and more relaxed time spent rocking in chairs on the porch. Evening activities include a bonfire, intergenerational dance, Island staff talent show, lay-led chapel services, and more.

For children…

For children…

… the Youth Program is a time to experience the freedom of island life and to gain a deep appreciation of the natural environment in the midst of caring, attentive adults. Activities related to the conference theme together with community building activities, games, crafts, and time to explore the island round out the week. The program offers children the experience of wonder and friendships of long duration, the kind that cause them to start counting down the days until the next year’s IA conference even as they depart on the boat at the end of the week.

The natural beauty…

The natural beauty…

… and spirit of the island, together with the intellectually stimulating theme talks, the spiritually uplifting sermons, the myriad of daily activities, the strong sense of community among the conferees, and the vibrant Youth Program make the International Affairs conference a truly unique and memorable vacation.

2020 IA Conference

For 2020, IA WILL OFFER A LIMITED NUMBER OF VIRTUAL ACTIVITIES DURING THE WEEK OF JULY 25-AUGUST 1.  DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED.

“Women in Leadership: Why it Matters” will be the conference theme in 2021, although speakers and other details may change.

The following describes the conference originally planned for 2020.

Women in Leadership: Why it Matters

Having women in leadership is a relatively new and increasing global phenomenon.  History records powerful queens and notable female warriors, but the entrance of women in large numbers into leadership began in the 20th century. 

Having leadership more closely reflect the populations governed is a worthwhile endeavor on its own, but how is this change impacting governance around the world?  Theoretically, diversity in various forms in leadership improves deliberations and outcomes. Bringing women into leadership brings different views and life experiences into public debate and may improve overall policy and governance. 

At the 2020 International Affairs Conference, we will hear researchers discuss the evidence on what is different about women’s leadership and whether gender diversity in leaders yields better outcomes for governments and people.  We will also learn from the experience of practitioners in promoting women’s leadership and how their fight for women’s full parity in leadership can improve societies and our world.

Speakers

Jeanne Dietsch is a member of the New Hampshire Senate, representing the 9th District since 2018. Prior to joining the legislature, Jeanne Dietsch was a tech entrepreneur. She co-founded MobileRobots Inc/ActivMedia Robotics in 1995, and also served as its Chief Executive Officer until the company was sold in 2010 to Adept Technology in Silicon Valley. Under her leadership, MobileRobots’ Pioneer became the launch platform for Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio. The company is now owned by Omron Automation.

John McMahon is Assistant Professor of Political Science at SUNY Plattsburgh. His research interests include feminist political thought, black political thought, political theories of work and labor, and political phenomenology. He mainly teaches courses in political theory, but has also taught American politics and constitutional law courses. John is one of the co-hosts of the Always Already Podcast, a critical theory podcast collective. More information about John can be found at his website.  

Tanya Henderson is the founder and Executive Director of Mina’s List, which provides tools and resources for female candidates in low income countries.

E. Scott Osborne is a gender equity advocate, lawyer, teacher, and international development professional. She speaks regularly on activism and the global gender gap. She has lived in seven countries on four continents, working with schools, international development agencies, and local non-profits. While living in India, Scott’s research on gender issues led her to the concept that would become SPOILED, a play about violence and masculinity. Scott serves on the national board of UN Women USA and is Chair of the Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival. She is currently writing a book about the lives of women and girls in India. www.elizabethscottosborne.com

Liza Featherstone is Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs and writes for the The Nation magazine.

Minister of the Week

Minister of the Week is Rali Weaver, Minister at First Church and Parish, Unitarian Universalist, Dedham, Massachusetts. 

Youth Program

Children and teens at IA are enthusiastically welcomed into the Youth Program by friendly faces and engaging children’s staff that help to fill each day with fun and new experiences. The program is filled with cool, age-appropriate activities and interesting topics related to the conference theme.
The Barners
In 2019 the youth were divided into seven groups:

  • Toddlers: 18–36 mos
  • Barners: PreK-K
  • Larries: K, 1st & 2nd grades
  • Brookies: 3rd, 4th & 5th grades
  • Newtons: 6th & 7th grades
  • Marshlandians: 7th – 9th grades
  • Parkers/Seniors: 9th-12th grades

Find out more…

Register

Registration is now open!  For information on prices and how to register see Star Island’s registration page for IA, or go directly to online registration.  The deadline to register for the conference is March 10, 2020.  Please contact the IA registrar Kristin Laverty with any questions at kristin@laverty.org

Information on financial assistance can be found here.

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