The Power of Youth: Thousands of Teen Leaders Gather to Affirm Their Roles as Societal Change Makers and the Builders of a Better Tomorrow

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 11, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT Debbie Shemony, 202.857.6691; mailto: [email protected]

BBYO hosts International Convention (IC) 2020, the largest and most epic celebration of teen culture and leadership in the world

DALLAS, TX—At a moment in time when young people are building a new order of global leadership and engaging in large-scale advocacy to impact humanity’s trajectory, over 3,000 teens from 45 countries are convening in Dallas, Texas, for BBYO International Convention 2020 to declare that, “Tomorrow Happens Here.” This monumental event, taking place over Presidents’ Day weekend, February 13–17, 2020, will offer countless opportunities for Jewish teens to connect with their peers, grow as leaders, and commit themselves to new causes, social challenges, and bold initiatives.

In total, more than 5,500 of the Jewish community’s top teen influencers, educators, thought and business leaders, celebrities, and philanthropists from around the world will unite in Dallas for one of the largest and most vibrant Jewish communal events of the year. Delegates will hear from and meet inspiring speakers, expand their leadership skills, serve the local community, celebrate Shabbat, have access to exclusive music performances, and do their part in strengthening the Jewish future.

Among the many slated to address the crowd at IC this year are:David Dobrik, YouTube Creative; MKStav Shaffir, Member of Knesset, State of Israel; Craig Kessler, Chief Operating Officer, Topgolf; Sophia Bush, Actress, Activist, Director, and Producer; Chris Ulmer, Founder, Special Books by Special Kids; Bari Weiss, Editor, The New York Times; Cornell Brooks, Director, Social Justice Collaborative, Harvard and Former CEO, NAACP; and youth activists, Claire Sarnowski and Naomi Wadler.

BBYO IC 2020 will also feature a historic anniversary celebration asthe Order of the B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG) marks the culmination of its 75th birthday. Celebrations throughout IC will recognize women who have made an impact in their communities and around the world, and there will be numerous programs focused on women’s leadership, gender equality, and women’s rights. Leaders, mentors, and activists who are scheduled to speak on these tracks include: Sarah Hurwitz, author and former head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama; Kate Lieberman, Vice President of Guest Service at Live Nation; Jori Epstein, NFL Reporter for USA TODAY; Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, interfaith activist and CEO, Afghan Institute of Learning; Sarah Tuttle-Singer, Editor, The Times of Israel; and many others. There will be a BBG @ 75 Lounge at IC, sponsored by The Female Quotient, Glamsquad, Kendra Scott, and the Jewish Women’s Archive, offering opportunities for young girls and women to network with one another and participate in interactive exhibits and programs.

IC will also serve as a gathering place for many of the Jewish community’s leading philanthropists, professionals and influencers to collaborate on key issues facing young people and youth-serving organizations. Specifically, this year’s sessions will focus on the ways in which young people connect with Israel and the role Jewish organizations can play in meeting the health and wellness needs of adolescents. A stakeholder reception prior to IC Opening Ceremonies will thank hundreds of Dallas Jewish community members for their role in supporting the event.  

This year’s event will further showcase the diversity of the BBYO community, with nearly 300 delegates from 45 countries attending. Teens will have access to a wide range of programming throughout the weekend that will focus on empowering them to bring new ideas to fruition. As is customary, delegates have chosen to rally around a local organization to collect donations for those in need. This year they are collecting socks, one of the most-needed but least-donated articles of clothing, for The Genesis Women’s Shelter of Dallas—an organization bringing attention to domestic violence while providing safe shelter for women who are victims.

Some other unique IC program highlights this year include:

  • A performance by actor, Sam Primack, “Evan,” of the National Tour of Dear Evan Hansen 
  • Over 50 hands-on service opportunities at sites across the Dallas metropolitan area
  • A special moment honoring two of the last surviving WWII U.S. military personnel who liberated Europe’s concentration camps and in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust
  • The launch of Voice Your Vote, a year-long national voter registration drive and civics campaign
  • A private Brand Marketing Summit tour and training at Custom Ink headquarters
  • An AZA Lounge featuring personal wellness coaching, spike ball tournaments, boat racing, and a TikTok Studio
  • An immersive, international onsite cafe to explore cultures, try languages, and embrace traditions from peers across BBYO’s 50+ countries
  • A Texas State Fair experience full of live animals, armadillo races, games, and signature Texas fair fun
  • ...and much more!

“This weekend is truly about celebrating the power of youth. There is simply no other segment in society that can match the power, enthusiasm, and courage of this generation to create positive social change in the world,” said Matthew Grossman, Chief Executive Officer of BBYO. “IC has proven to be an incredible platform wherein participants can learn from and engage with a plethora of speakers and public figures. Our hope is that through innovation and imagination, delegates are inspired to take action on what matters most to themin their schools, in their communities, and in the world.”

For those unable to attend IC, BBYO will be livestreaming select sessions on Facebook Live. Livestreaming will be accessible on BBYO’s Facebook page, and videos will later be posted on BBYO’s YouTube channel. Schedules for streaming will be posted on BBYO’s International Convention event page and BBYO’s Facebook page,

WHAT: BBYO International Convention (IC) 2020
             Full overview of events available upon request

WHO: Approximately 5,500+ stakeholders expected (including Global Ambassadors Week) including:

  • Teen Participants: 3,000+ teens expected with representation from:
    • 713 communities worldwide
    • 489 North American and global chapters
    • 43 North American states, districts and provinces
    • 45 countries (including United States and Canada)
  • Adult Participants: 2,500+ adults expected, including:
    • More than 300 featured speakers, guests, and popular music performers
    • Alumni, philanthropists, clergy, friends, and business and thought leaders
    • Dozens of program educators and Jewish enrichment consultants
    • Over 300 program partners and sponsors
    • Professional BBYO international staff
    • Hundreds of local volunteers and parents
  • Partners: 300+ brand, program, and community partners, including:
    • Brand partners: Bombas, Custom Ink, The Female Quotient, Glam Squad, Lost Tribe Esports, Microsoft, Outdoor Voices, Spikeball, TED-Ed, Top Golf—and many more
    • Program partners: Born This Way Foundation, Dallas Cowboys, Dior, Live Nation, March for Our Lives, The New York Times, Patagonia, Southwest Airlines, SXSW—and many more
    • Community partners: AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, Dallas Mavericks Gaming Hub, Dallas Mayor's Star Council, Dallas Morning News, FC Dallas Toyota Stadium, The George W. Bush Presidential Institute, North Texas Food Bank—and many more

WHEN: February 13–17, 2020; Pre-IC Summits begin February 12

WHERE: Multiple locations in Dallas, Texas

Please Note: Schedule and speakers are subject to change.

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About BBYO
BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For more than 90 years, BBYO‘s leadership programs the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA, high school fraternity) and the B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG, high school sorority) have been providing exceptional leadership programs and identity enrichment experiences, shaping the confidence and character of more than 400,000 alumni who are among the most prominent figures in business, politics, academia, the arts, and Jewish communal life. Now, BBYO’s network of Jewish teens, alumni, parents, volunteers, and philanthropists serves as the Jewish community’s most valuable platform for delivering to the post Bar/Bat Mitzvah audience fun, meaningful, and affordable experiences. With year-round activities in hundreds of local communities and inspiring world-wide travel experiences, BBYO’s broad program menu enables teens to explore areas of leadership, service, civic engagement, Israel education, and Jewish values.

Please note that BBYO should not be referred to as the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, but rather as “BBYO.”

For more information on BBYO, please visit bbyo.org and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.