Preparations Underway for TNL National Summit
Preparations are well underway for the Today’s Native Leaders National Summit, to be held from 8:30 a.m – 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 6 at the Hyatt Regency Denver, Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO.
Over the past 3 and one-half years, UNITY has been in partnership with the US Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to conduct regional and national gatherings that help prepare youth to gain valuable real life experiences while preparing them for successful future leadership roles.
The primary goal of Today’s Native Leaders (TNL) is to engage youth and youth-serving programs in efforts to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors in youth, schools, communities, and families. Today’s Native Leaders staff has worked to provide opportunities for Native youth to learn from one another about community service project planning and implementation.
The TNL project has traveled to regional centers such as Anchorage, AK, Boston, MA, Palm Springs, CA and Rapid City, SD to conduct service project planning workshops. Youth who attended a TNL training session had the opportunity to complete a service project and submit a proposal to the Advisory team to showcase their work in a national forum.
The event is being planned by an advisory committee, chaired by Leslie Locklear (Lumbee) and Nataanii Hatathlie (Navajo), comprised of Native youth representing a diverse range of tribes and geographical regions. Youth teams who have attended a TNL training session will highlight the results of their service projects and will lead their peers in breakout sessions designed to encourage dialogue and raise awareness about issues affecting tribal youth.\
Highlights of the TNL National Summit include presentations by groups who have completed a service project, remarks by OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry, and the opportunity to network with youth groups from across the country about ideas to take action and make a positive change in their communities. More than 400 youth and the advisors from throughout the country are expected to attend.