Annual Conventions

Every year, JSA students plan more than 30 conventions at the chapter, state, and national level.  JSA conventions are a place for learning by doing, political engagement, and connecting with peers interested in politics and current issues.

JSA's major conventions are held three times per year and bring together chapter members in individual Junior States to debate, dialogue, and engage with activism projects and organizations. At JSA conventions, students are challenged to speak on many issues and understand complex arguments and logical fallacies. Conventions expose students to perspectives and ideas that they might not otherwise encounter in their local communities.

2018 Convention Themes

Fall State

Building Bridges: The Road to Compromise

One of the most pressing issues of modern American politics is the increasing political divisions which has intensified over the last 50 years. While our elected leaders demonstrate unwillingness to compromise, JSA delegates come together, across ideological differences, to discuss a variety of issues facing our nation and the world. At Fall State, debate resolutions will investigate factions of society — from political parties to rural constituencies to activist movements — and aim to inspire empathy and understanding. By bringing together large groups of students with diverse opinions and perspectives, JSA young people learn how to approach problems with open-mindedness and practical solutions.


Winter Congress

You write the bills. You cast the votes. You make the laws.

Learn how government works hands-on. JSA’s winter convention simulates Congress so students can learn how bills are made and passed. Some JSA students travel to the nation’s capital and also have an opportunity to see political centers like the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Supreme Court up close. Join your fellow delegates for Winter Congress, and take on the job of legislating the toughest issues facing our country. In the legislative branch of the United States government, the debates that matter most are those on the floors of the House and Senate. Bills cover topics that the nation faces actively, like gun control, immigration, healthcare, and many more issues -- all written and decided by you. During this convention, participants attend committee meetings, offer amendments and watch the markup process on proposed legislation. Hone your public speaking skills as a sponsor for a bill and negotiate to gain supporters for your issue in the House and Senate sessions. Shepherd your bill through committee sessions and fierce debates, and defend it in full sessions of the House and Senate. Or try to amend the United States Constitution itself.


Spring State

America Moving Forward: Democracy in the 21st Century

Every era brings change—cultural, environmental, and political. Over the decades, democracy in the United States has adapted to new conditions. In the 21st century, radical developments in science and technology has led to great political and cultural upheaval. With rising threats to American influence in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, some argue that democracy faces serious challenge with the rise of authoritarianism and demagoguery. At Spring State, JSA delegates from across the nation will propose a myriad of options and solutions to the global, national, and local issues arising for democracy in the 21st century. Listen to the debates, propose a Thought Talk, and engage in civil dialogue to improve the understanding—and change—the democracy we live in. Armed with new knowledge, delegates will be empowered to activate change in their communities. In addition to discussing the future of global democracy, JSA delegates will also campaign, vote, and elect new JSA leaders.


Fall State

Winter Congress

Spring State

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