Conventions

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.

2019 Convention Themes

Fall State

Liberty & Justice for All

This Fall, the Junior State of America will hold its annual Fall State Convention throughout our ten states. Student leaders hope you can join hundreds of other students and teachers from across your JSA state for an exciting educational experience at this weekend-long examination of the changing privileges and opportunities afforded to residents of the United States..

The United States of America prides itself on guaranteeing rights to each and every person within its borders. The rights to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to bear arms, and protection from unwarranted search and seizure are just some that are critical to the very essence of this great nation. However, they have always been subject to debate and have been challenged many times not only by the American public but in court as well. As citizens of the United States and future voters, it is essential that students learn about their rights and protections, as well as those who seek to challenge or modify them.

As politicians across the country spar over the rights of the American public, this weekend will allow students to debate and educate themselves on what rights they have and need so that they and to enter and explore these conversations. From the Second Amendment to abortion to internet privacy, no topic is off-limits. We hope you leave Fall State 2019 with a greater understanding of the rights and freedoms you have and a passion to ensure every American is protected by its government.

Fall State is the highlight of the fall semester and offers you a one-of-a-kind opportunity to express your opinions, think critically about your own beliefs, and challenge the views of others in a tolerant, supportive atmosphere. Through spirited debates, Thought Talks, Activism events, nighttime activities, and a dance on Saturday night, you will have the chance to interact with hundreds of high school students from across your state and not only learn from each other, but also build friendships that will last long beyond your time in JSA.

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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.

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Spring State

Dawn of A Decade

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.

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Fall State

Winter Congress

Spring State