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Posted: June 23, 2020
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Artwork by Evynn Richardson (Haliwa-Saponi Tribe). Image courtesy UNITY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2020

2020 UNITY Virtual Conference Launches Thursday with Congresswomen Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids
The country’s first Native American congresswomen will speak at the first general session, along with Native American actor Tatanka Means.

Mesa, AZ – United National Indian Youth, Inc. (UNITY) will kick off its first ever virtual national conference this Thursday, June 25, at 2 p.m. PT, with a general session featuring three prestigious guest presenters. United States congresswomen Deb Haaland of New Mexico and Sharice Davids of Kansas, the country’s first two Native American congresswomen, and award-winning Native American actor, stand-up comedian and motivational speaker Tatanka Means will share inspirational words for Native youth and families.
UNITY encourages Native youth to be politically informed and active. Having the congresswomen speak, and having other aspects of the Virtual Conference like the Business Plan Competition, Talent and Cultural Showcases, and a Virtual Native Youth Forum with the  U.S. House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States, will empower Native youth – who are the future leaders of our country, communities, and businesses – to think big and innovate.
Before the launch of the National UNITY Virtual Conference on Thursday, the organization will be also hosting a pre-conference training Wednesday, June 24 at 4 p.m. PT with UNITY trainers, Robert Johnston and Juanita Toledo. The two will speak on ways that Native youth can make the most of the virtual conference.
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is the presenting sponsor of the conference with additional support provided by Bank of America, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Arizona State University’s Office of American Indian Initiatives and Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Common Counsel Foundation, The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Whiteskunk Accounting & Consulting, LLC, Comcast NBCUniversal, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, MHA – Three Affiliated Tribes, Phoenix Suns Charities, Chickasaw Nation, National Indian Health Board, Titan, and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Sponsors of the Business Plan Competition are The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development and American Indigenous Business Leaders.
Registration for the National UNITY Virtual Conference – which will be held on June 25, July 9, and July 23 – is free, and can be completed on UNITY’s website.
ABOUT UNITY
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.
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