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Join UNITY in honoring its Founder, J.R. Cook

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UNITY calls upon its family & friends to join us today, March 2, 2022, at 2 pm CT, in a moment of silence in honor of our beloved founder, J. R. Cook.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of J.R.’s passing. But his legacy and influence live on in the thousands of lives he has touched,” said Mary Kim Titla, UNITY Executive Director. “We will continue to honor his memory and spirit by living UNITY’s mission and developing the next generation of Native youth leaders.”

United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) is saddened to announce that its founder, J.R. Cook (Cherokee), passed away at the age of 83 on February 25, 2022, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Cook started the UNITY organization in southwestern Oklahoma in 1976 with a small group of Native American youth interested in leadership development. Today, it is the oldest and largest national Native youth leadership network organization in the U.S. Headquartered in Mesa, Arizona, UNITY has more than 320 youth councils in 36 states. Since its inception, UNITY has touched the lives of more than 250,000 Indigenous youth from rural and urban communities, both nationally and internationally.

Inspiring Hope & changing lives for over 45 years.
Thank you for your vision J.R Cook!

Founded in 1976, United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) is a national network organization promoting personal development, citizenship, and leadership among Native Youth. UNITY’s mission is to foster the spiritual, mental, physical, and social development of American Indian and Alaska Native youth ages 14 -24 and to help build a strong, unified, and self-reliant Native America through greater youth involvement. UNITY’s network currently includes 320 affiliated youth councils in 36 states. Youth Councils are sponsored by Tribes, Alaska Native villages, high schools, colleges, urban centers, and others.