JR Cook has stepped aside as UNITY’s executive director, a position he held since the organization’s birth in 1976. When announcing the transition, JR said, “It’s been quite a journey. I thank the Creator and everyone who has been involved with and helped make UNITY into an organization I’m proud of and have been privileged to serve. I thank Mary Kim Titla, our incoming executive director, for her many years of participation in UNITY; first as a college student, then in various leadership and supportive roles, and now for her willingness to accept the challenge to lead during difficult times. I’m confident that UNITY’s leadership has passed into capable hands.”
More than 1200 Native American youth from throughout the U.S. participated in regional caucus meetings, held elections and selected a national male Co-President and female Co-President during the National UNITY Conference last week in Los Angeles. Nataanii Bahozhonii Hatathlie, 19, Navajo, is the new male Co-President and Dominique Lombardi, 20, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, is the new female Co-President. They will work with 10 regional representatives addressing Native youth issues during the next year as part of the National UNITY Council’s Executive Committee.
After more than 37 years, a major leadership change will occur for United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. aka UNITY, a national non-profit youth leadership organization. Mary Kim Titla, a San Carlos Apache, will become Executive Director on July 1 as UNITY’s founder JR Cook, Cherokee, steps aside after leading the organization since its birth in 1976. Titla, who attended one of UNITY’s first youth leadership conferences, has been serving part-time as Associate Director since April 1 and is coordinating the upcoming National UNITY Conference in Woodland Hills, California.
“I’m humbled and honored to be serving Indian Country in this capacity. I’ve come full circle having been part of UNITY as a kid, then serving as a member of its board of Trustees and now Executive Director. No one can fill the shoes of JR Cook who has worked tirelessly over the last 37 years to make this organization what it is today. Through UNITY JR has touched the lives of thousands of people like me who are now UNITY alumni. I will do my best in continuing this important work,” said Titla, who will base her office in the Phoenix area.
Oklahoma City—The national UNITY organization is creating an alumni association and is seeking potential members. UNITY stands for United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. Have you ever attended a National UNITY conference or a mid-year UNITY conference? Have you ever been a member of a UNITY affiliated Youth council or have you ever served as an Advisor for a UNITY affiliated youth council?
UNITY is hosting an informative financial and career planning event for Native youth on May 2, 2013 in Oklahoma City. See the event poster here for further details.
This opportunity is made possible through the cooperative efforts of UNITY, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.