Published February 17, 2017
MESA, ARIZONA — Nationally renowned trainers and presenters will kick off the UNITY Midyear Conference on Friday in Tempe, Arizona. Robert Johnston, Choctaw/Muscogee Creek, Juanita Toledo, Jemez Pueblo, Marcus “Emcee One” Guinn, Osage/Potawatomi, and Sleepyeye LaFromboise, Seneca/Dakota/Sac and Fox/Kickapoo/Potawatomi, are set to provide leadership training to more than 350 Native youth and youth advisors from around the country. The UNITY Midyear Conference, with a theme of Creating Balance through Cultural Awareness, takes place at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel and Conference Center in Tempe, Arizona from February 17 – 20.
As is tradition, UNITY youth leaders will serve as peer leaders during the conference. The UNITY Executive Committee, representing 10 U.S. regions, and the UNITY 25 Under 25 Honorees will facilitate sessions, serve as speakers and lead workshops. Among the highlights include a Scavenger Hunt, Speed workshops, Cultural Night and a mock Mr. and Miss UNITY pageant and staff led sessions regarding two important initiatives entitled Today’s Native Leaders and Wellness Warriors.
Other speakers include Loretta Tuell, Nez Perce, with the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Chairman of UNITY’s Council of Trustees, Representative Wenona Benally. Navajo, (D) Arizona Legislative District 7, Kevin Bonds, Tule River Indian Tribe, Tribal Council Member, Greg Mendoza, Gila River Indian Community, UNITY Trustee/UNITY Alumnus, Thosh Collins, Onk-Akimel O’odham/Wa-Zha-Zhi/Haudenosaunee, Photographer and Co-Founder of Well for Culture. and Rep. Isela Blanc, (D) Arizona Legislative District 26.
Adult advisors and chaperones will also participate in team building and youth advocacy workshops. The agenda lineup will make this UNITY Midyear conference one of the best, ever!
For more than 40 years the National UNITY Conference has brought Native Youth Leaders to cities across the United States to participate in a drug and alcohol-free setting. The youth-led four-day conference will have a packed agenda including motivational messages, team-building exercises, health and fitness activities, cultural exchange, workshops, luncheon, and closing commitment ceremony.