YB Memories – UNITY, Inc.

Catching up with UNITY Founder J.R. Cook

UNITY began through the efforts of J.R. Cook, a Cherokee from Oklahoma, who has worked with Native youth in leadership development for more than three decades. The organization grew from a small group of interested Indian youth in southwestern Oklahoma in 1976 to a national organization today with affiliated youth councils operating in 35 states and Canada. J.R. stepped down as Executive Director in 2013 to focus on writing about UNITY’s history. J.R. agreed to share more about himself and answer some questions about UNITY. Read More

40 Years – UNITY Historical Timeline

This year UNITY celebrates its 40th anniversary of serving the nation’s Native youth. During this four decade journey, there have been many milestones to mark the progress along our path. Now, at this juncture between the past and what is envisioned for the future, it is an appropriate time to reflect back on what has been accomplished. But, even more importantly, we must consider how to build on those past successes and more effectively involve our youth in the important work of building a stronger and more self-reliant Native America. That is our vision as well as our mission.

The linked document entitled, “UNITY Historical Timeline,” spotlights some of the important events that many of you in the UNITY Family have been a part of and contributed to. Please take a few minutes to read and send your thoughts to us about other notable happenings, accomplishments, and uplifting memories that you believe those across the UNITY Network would enjoy and find encouraging.

List of Past and Present NUC Co-Presidents

Follow the link to view a list of past and present National UNITY Council Co-Presidents.

Earth Ambassadors Complete Circle of 95 Training

UNITY News ScanThe first class of Earth Ambassadors met at the Anytown Camp near Prescott, AZ in 1995 to receive training. Twenty three Ambassadors participated and received training conducted by Bea Shawanda, long time UNITY supporter and youth advocate. A scan of the original article that appeared in a print copy of UNITY News may be viewed HERE.

For many years UNITY printed 14,000 copies of a quarterly issue of UNITY News that was distributed to those in the UNITY Network. Over time the print version was phased out and replaced by the UNITY website and the use of other digital communications tools.

Also, of interest on the image is a list of the top ten issues to Native youth that was compiled by the National UNITY Council in 1996. Of interest because many of those same issues from 20 years ago would in all likelihood be identified in a similar survey of the current members of the National Council.