North America


We affirm that the family is a school of deeper humanity; within which each member learns best what it means to be a human person. There, each member of the human family, from conception to natural death, experiences the gift of unconditional, enduring love. Thus each human person is carefully taught by the family to be responsible, to commit, to share, and to love.

~ WYA Declaration on the Family

About the Emerging Leaders Conference

The ELC is an annual weekend long conference, which brings together our top young leaders from across Canada and the United States. The purpose of the ELC is to provide a forum for young people to vigorously engage, discuss, and debate the pressing issues of today, in light of the mission and vision of WYA.  REGISTER HERE FOR THE CONFERENCE.   

ELC 2014: Mad Men and the Modern Family

This year, WYA North America will partner with International Arts Forum to present our three-day conference:

Mad Men, Modern Family: Examining the Role of Men in Social Development

As we look around the world today, we are bombarded with views of cool, suave, sexy, disinterested, men, mistaking the pursuit of pleasure for the pursuit of happiness. But what does this mean for the future of men and the family?

This year’s ELC seeks to provide an alternative to contemporary myths of masculinity.  Arts professionals will be joined by scholars in sociology and religious studies to reflect on building authentic human relationships that mitigate loneliness and isolation, thus contributing to stronger families and communities. By equipping young people with the knowledge they need to critically evaluate contemporary cultural norms, it is our hope that this year's ELC will serve to affirm the role of men, the important role that men play in the context of the family, and the value of the family to the flourishing of society. We hope you will join us!

Friday, November 7


Registration and Welcome Meal* for Conference Participants


Opening Remarks by Clare Halpine, Director of WYA North America


"Strong and Stable: What Does Marriage Have to Do With Children's Social, Emotional, and Physical Health around the Globe?"
Lecture by W. Bradford Wilcox


WYA Chamber Orchestra performs at Taipei Economic and Cultural Office


Conference Participants invited to join WYA staff for drinks in Manhattan

Saturday, November 8




Welcome Remarks by Anna Halpine, WYA Founder




"A Revolutionary History of Men"
Lecture by Dr. Paul Nathanson & Katherine Young


Lunch Break


"The Disappearance of Women: Media, Technology, and the Obsolescence of Gender"
Lecture by Read Mercer Schuchardt



Saturday Evening Cocktail and Panel Discussion


Evening Cocktail Celebration* (Cocktail Attire Requested)


"Man Men, Modern Family: Examining the Role of Men in Social Development"
Panel Discussion featuring Wayne Adams, Paul Nathanson, and Katherine Young | Moderated by Juliana Reno

Sunday, November 9


Coffee and Bagels*


Presentations by ELC Artists


"How to get involved with WYA?" by Clare Halpine


Concluding Lunch for Conference Participants*

* = meal is provided


Dr Bradford Wilcox

W. Bradford Wilcox is director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies. Previously, he has served as a fellow at Princeton University and Yale University. His work on marriage, child well-being, fatherhood, and cohabitation is regularly featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Slate, and other media outlets. Professor Wilcox blogs at Follow at @WilcoxNMP

Dr. Katherine Young

Katherine Young is a professor emeritus in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University. She published in three fields: Hinduism, Ethics and Gender. Using her historical and comparative training, she provides background for some of the difficult problems of our time including marriage, reproductive technologies, euthanasia, violence, and academic freedom. On the topic of gender she has edited or contributed to sixteen books on women and with Paul Nathanson, she has co-authored three books on men focused on the problems of misandry (Spreading Misandry, Legalizing Misandy, and Sanctifying Misandy) with a fourth (Replacing Misandry) forthcoming his year and a fifth (Transcending Misandry) next year.

Dr Paul Nathanson

Dr. Paul Nathanson (BA, Bth, MA, MLS, PhD) is a researcher at McGill University’s Faculty of Religious Studies. He began his academic career by writing about the ambiguous relation between religion and secularity, especially on secular myths and secular parables. More recently, he and his colleague at McGill, Dr. Katherine Young, have written about secular religions: political ideologies on both the left and the right that function as (fundamentalist) religions. Dr Nathanson has authored articles such as “I Feel, Therefore I Am: The Princess of Passion and the Implicit Religion of Our Time” and  several books on attitudes toward men in ideological feminism. So far, McGill-Queen’s University Press has published the first three volumes in a series of five on misandry: Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture (2001); Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination against Men (2006); and Sanctifying Misandry: Goddess Ideology and the Fall of Man (2010).

Wayne Adams

Wayne Adams is a Brooklyn-based artist who received his B.F.A. from Calvin College and M.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.  Adams has exhibited throughout the Midwest, New York and Vienna, Austria.  Recent shows include, “Wayne Adams is Speaking in Tongues: A show of objects and images organized by the unrelenting voice of interpretation” Barrington Center for the Arts, Wenham, MA (2014), “Works Off Canvas” Denny Gallery, NY (2013),“Control Alt Delete” HKJB, Brooklyn, NY (2011), “Adams | Miracle” STOREFRONT Gallery, Brooklyn, NY(2010).  Wayne has written numerous articles for publications such as: SEEN (the journal of Christians in the Visual Arts), Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion, Site95, and Comment Magazine.  Adams is currently serving as president of the board of Christians in the Visual Arts.

Panel Moderator: Juliana Reno

Ms. Reno is an attorney in private practice with Kutak Rock LLP.  Ms. Reno is a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group, and she leads the group’s health and welfare division.  Currently, she spends much of her time advising employers concerning the Affordable Care Act. She regularly assists clients with issues involving ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, the mental health parity rules and the regulation of cafeteria plans.  She also has experience with retirement plans and non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements.  A recovering litigator, Ms. Reno is no longer in the courtroom regularly, but continues to provide counsel on a wide range of benefits-related litigation.  Ms. Reno received her BA in Religious Studies from Yale University, and received her JD from Creighton Law School.

Read Mercer Schuchardt

Read Mercer Schuchardt is Associate Professor of Communication at Wheaton College, where he was awarded the 2011-12 Leland Ryken Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities. . He is the editor of You Do Not Talk About Fight Club, founder of the cult film interpretation site Metaphilm, and Editorial Chair of Second Nature Journal. He is co-author of Understanding Jacques Ellul. He earned his B.A. in English at Swarthmore College, his Ph.D. in Media Ecology under the late Neil Postman at New York University. He travelled to 23 countries in 2013, speaking and teaching, and taught three courses for the University of Virginia for the fall 2013 50th anniversary voyage of the Semester At Sea program. He and his wife Rachel have nine children.


Answers to all of your pressing questions are on their way!