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Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas and Actress Alaqua Cox Announced as Keynote Speakers for the 2024 National UNITY Conference

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March 29, 2024

Media Contact: Melissa Kaszuba                   

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Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas and Actress Alaqua Cox Announced as Keynote Speakers for the
2024 National UNITY Conference

Discounted registration ends Sunday, March 31


Mesa, Arizona – United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) will feature several special guest speakers at its National Conference, including actress Alaqua Cox and hip-hop artist Jaime Gomez, aka Taboo, of Black Eyed Peas. The National Conference will occur at the Portland Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, from June 29 to July 3, 2024. Attendees receive an early registration rate of $400 through March 31. On April 1, the price will go up to $500.

“We are looking forward to yet another dynamic and engaging National Conference,” said Mary Kim Titla, UNITY executive director. “Each year, we look for speakers and panelists who can inspire our Native youth with the motivation and skills to help them become community leaders.”

Alaqua Cox (Menominee/Mohican) is an up-and-coming actress known for her breakout role as Maya Lopez/Echo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Taboo (Shoshone/Hopi/Mexican) is a member of the Grammy Award-winning group Black Eyed Peas and advocates for Indigenous rights and helping disadvantaged youth.

UNITY is also partnering with Nike, whose world headquarters are in Beaverton, Oregon, for a special presentation and activity for Native youth participants.

The National Conference will engage more than 2,000 Native youth nationwide through
workshops, breakout sessions, regional caucuses, career and education fairs, leadership
development activities, cultural sharing, and more. The host hotel is the Hyatt Regency
and rooms are filling quickly. More information about the conference, registration,
exhibit space, awards, and sponsorships can be found here.

Applications close at midnight Friday, March 29, for the 25 Under 25 program. It recognizes Native American and Alaska Native youth ages 14 to 24 who embody UNITY’s core mission and exude a balanced life that develops their spiritual, mental, physical, and social well-being. Nominations and applications can be completed here.

In addition, workshop opportunities are available. The conference offers two full days of 45 minute workshops. Suggested topics may include health, advocacy, career, and culture. Organizations or individuals are invited to apply to present a workshop on one or both days by completing an online application. The deadline to submit is April 19, 2024.

About the Guest Speakers

Alaqua Cox is an actress known for her breakout role as Maya Lopez/Echo in the Marvel
Cinematic Universe. She debuted as Echo in the Disney+ series Hawkeye, starring Jeremey Renner and Hailee Steinfeld. This year, Alaqua’s solo spin-off series, Echo, premiered at number one in viewership for Hulu and Disney+. Since Alaqua’s casting in the MCU, she has inspired many and continues to be a strong advocate for the deaf community worldwide. She was born and raised on the Menominee Indian Reservation in Keshena, Wisconsin, and is of the Menominee and Mohican nation.

Taboo, aka Jimmy Gomez, is a member of the Grammy Award-winning music group Black
Eyed Peas. Taboo, who is of Shoshone and Mexican descent, didn’t know much about his
Shoshone heritage until he was older, learning his history from his maternal grandmother, who was from Jerome, Arizona. She played a significant role in his rise to success, encouraging him to work on his performing skills from a young age.

Despite his success, Taboo’s journey to the top has also had a few bumps. In 2004, he was diagnosed with stage 2 testicular cancer. After aggressive chemotherapy, he is now cancer-free and released a single entitled The Fight, chronicling his healing journey and raising money for the American Cancer Society.

Taboo’s latest fight has been in the name of Indigenous rights in North America, speaking out against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, North Dakota. Taboo released a song and video, Stand Up/Stand N Rock #NoDAPL, in 2016, supporting the Standing Rock Reservation and the Sioux Tribe as they lead a peaceful and powerful movement to stop the pipeline. Taboo is also passionate about helping disadvantaged youth. He visits schools to inspire them to dream and help motivate them to reach for those dreams.


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. Tribes, Alaska Native villages, high schools, colleges, urban centers, and others sponsor Youth Councils.