Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
Dear Opportunity Youth United Members:

Today is the 50 th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  This morning Congressman John Lewis (D-Atlanta), one of the heroes from the Civil Rights movement sent out the letter below and the very moving video.  Given the power and depth of his words and his role, and their relevance to all of us and the work we do, we are moved to share it with all our members.

Please click here to check out the letter and video from John Lewis. 
National Action
Young Activists Unite to End Gun Violence in Schools and Communities
Hundreds of thousands of young people and their adult allies are standing up against the inaction of elected officials who have not addressed gun violence in America.  School walk-outs, the March for Our Lives Rally in D.C. and over 800 other communities on March 24, voter registration campaigns, and a call for young people to meet with elected officials in their home offices are demonstrating the power of young people mobilized and united for change, determined to have an impact. 

The DC Rally brought young people not only from Parkland to talk about the impact of the school massacre they experienced from a lone shooter with an automatic rifle, but also young people from various cities that face ongoing street violence due to poverty and lack of opportunities and resources.  Many young leaders spoke passionately about the impact of gun violence in their schools and their communities.

Students from Chicago, Alex King and D’Angelo McDade, united with the students of Parkland, to speak their truth about their experiences dealing with gun violence claiming the lives of friends and family members in their communities. They called for unity and for more resources in their communities to address the underlying causes of street violence. 

Click here to check out Alex and D’Angelo’s testimony

Click here for more info about March for our Lives:  https://marchforourlives.com/mission-statement/
OYU National Council Members Create a Vision for 2018 and Beyond!
In early March the OYUnited National Council gathered for a three-day weekend in Phoenix, AZ for our annual planning retreat. At the retreat, council members were welcomed by Phoenix Vice-Mayor Laura Pastor , spent time practicing self-care and bonding, and built unity and cultural competence through learning about Native American history and culture from Councilmembers Philan Tree and Kyle Knox. They also welcomed two new council members, James Fields from Mikva Challenge, and Kyle Knox from the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions.  

The meeting took place at Phoenix City Hall and Arizona State University (ASU). ASU is the anchor organization for the Phoenix OYU Community Action Team (CAT) 
Millennial Voters in 2018 and Beyond!
OYUnited leader, Lashon Amado, presented on a panel in DC at the “MIllenial Voters in 2018 and Beyond” event, hosted by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University on March 1 st in Washington, DC. While on the panel, Lashon shared his perspective on how to reach “non-traditional” voters, including low-income communities and opportunity youth. There was also a presentation by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Life and Engagement (CIRCLE ) staff, which included an overview of two new CIRCLE products: YESI for 2018 and Youth Political Ideology Analysis .
Lashon shared the stage with Michaela Bethune from DoSomething. org , Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg from CIRCLE , and Steven Olikara from Millennial Action Project . There were also remarks from Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (FL). 
Please check out CIRCLE’s website to find the YESI for 2018 and Youth Political Ideology Analysis tools and more, including data and research on youth voter turnout. 
Local Action
OYUnited Leaders Breaking Down Barriers to Employment for Opportunity Youth in Atlanta!
OYUnited National Council members, Kimberly Pham (Aspen, Philadelphia), Lashon Amado (YouthBuild, Brockton), Shanice Turner (Atlanta), Shawnice Jackson (Public Allies, Baltimore), and Timothy Gunn (The Corps Network, Charleston, SC) represented OYU at the “Creating a More Inclusive Economy: Igniting Systems that Produce Results for Youth Employment” event in Atlanta, GA on March 6, 2018. The gathering was hosted by the Center for Law and Social Policy’s (CLASP) and took place at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Throughout the day, national and local cross-sector leaders engaged in discussions about ways to create more economic opportunity for young people in the Southeast, especially Atlanta.

OYUnited National Council members helped to coordinate and plan the event, gave opening remarks, and served on several panels to share their perspectives on the most effective practices of workforce development programs for opportunity youth. Members of the Atlanta CAT were also present and engaged in the audience. 
OYUnited Leader Featured on Fox 32 Chicago
OYUnited National Council Member, James Fields (Mikva Challenge, Chicago), made the airwaves during an interview on FOX 32 Chicago. He was joined by two other young leaders, Alexandra Ramos and Kevin Diaz, who gave their personal testimonies of how MIkva Challenge supported them in their transition back into high school. During the interview, James discussed MIkva’s approach to helping young people returning from the juvenile justice system transition back into school. He also discussed the work of Mikva’s Juvenile Justice Council, which is one of six of their Citywide Youth Councils, focused on how to reduce rates of incarceration and recidivism among juvenile youth in Cook County.

Click here to view the recording on Fox 32 Chicago
Resources & Tools
Get Ready for the 2018 Mid-term Elections
2018 is an important election year. All federal Congresspeople are up for re-election, plus many Senators, Governors, Mayors, and local officials at all levels. Just because there is not a presidential election doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention, choose the people who represent your views, and then VOTE!!!!  We want you to be prepared to have your voice heard!  

Please get prepared now by checking out our Turbo Vote tool and signing up. It will notify you when your elections are happening, and give you the information you need to vote with confidence. You can sign up to receive election reminders, get registered to vote, & apply for your absentee ballot!
In Solidarity,
Lashon Amado
National Coordinator of the Community Action Teams of Opportunity Youth United
Lashon Amado