News Releases – Page 8 – UNITY, Inc.

2014 National UNITY Conference News

The following story is from a July 15 UNITY News Release.

More than 1,400 Native youth leaders converge
in Portland, Oregon for the National UNITY Conference

July 15, 2014, Portland, OR – More than 1,400 Native American youth from throughout the U.S. gathered to participate in the annual National UNITY Conference at the Oregon Convention Center on June 28 – July 2, 2014. The five-day agenda was packed as youth addressed the theme “Healing and Empowering Aspiring Leaders with Tradition and Heritage”. Many of the youth who attend the conference represent the 145 UNITY affiliated youth councils from 35 states.
 
The National UNITY Council, made up of youth representatives from affiliated youth councils, hosted the proceedings, as they were responsible for developing the agenda, which tackles various youth issues in Indian country.  Native youth face similar challenges as all American youth but statistics show the issues such as suicide, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, and high school drop out rate are dangerously amplified.  Once the conference was called to order after the ceremonial lighting of the UNITY Fire, youth were immersed in leadership development through educational keynotes, activities, and workshops focusing on the areas of spiritual, physical, social, and mental development.
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UNITY “25 UNDER 25” Honorees Announced

Inaugural Class of Native American Youth to be Honored June 28
at UNITY National Conference in Portland, Oregon

Mesa, AZ – United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) has announced the 2014 inaugural class of its new national youth leadership recognition program, the “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leadership Awards”. The awards program is designed to celebrate the achievements of Native American and Alaskan Native youth ages 14 to 24 who embody UNITY’s core mission and exude living a balanced life developing their spiritual, mental, physical and social well-being.

Honorees will be recognized at a ceremony during the UNITY National Conference taking place June 28 – July 3 in Portland, Oregon, with each receiving a hand-made beaded “25 Under 25” medallion. There, they will join more than 1,300 Native youth who are converging at the National Conference for a full week of youth leadership development, featuring Tribal leaders, expert trainers, and Native youth peers from throughout the country.

“We are thrilled to announce and congratulate our first class of the UNITY 25 Under 25 awards program” said Mary Kim Titla, Executive Director of UNITY. She added, “Our regional voting panelists had a major task, vetting each candidate and narrowing the field to those who stood-out and exemplified what the UNITY organization has stood for, for the past 38 years. We look forward to seeing the honorees in Portland, and I encourage everyone to congratulate these outstanding individuals for putting their best foot forward in representing our Tribal communities and Native youth leadership.”

In addition to being recognized, each awardee will receive special training by UNITY over the period of one year that is designed to build on their individual achievements. The inaugural class will be recognized as UNITY ambassadors, serving as stellar examples of Native youth leadership in Indian Country today.

A larger version of the above left graphic is attached.

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