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CNAY’s Champions for Change ready to convene

WASHINGTON — The Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) will welcome its eighth cohort of CNAY Champions for Change (Champions) to Washington, DC, in February.

This marks the first convening of the year-long leadership program. The 2020 Champions include Owen L. Oliver (Quinault (Chinook) Indian Nation & Isleta Pueblo), Jazmine Wildcat (Northern Arapaho), Warren Davis (Navajo Nation), Isabella Madrigal (Cahuilla Band of Indians & Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians) and Shavaughna Underwood (Quinault Indian Nation).

Each year, CNAY selects five inspirational Native youth ages 14-24 from across the United States to be Champions for Change. Champions are up-and-coming leaders with a desire to better their communities.

The Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth’s 2020 Champions for Change. (Aspen Institute/Facebook)

The Champions program is a Native youth leadership initiative designed to highlight positive stories impacting Indian Country through experience-based learning and tailored advocacy training.

As a group, the 2020 Champions are working to revitalize language and culture, advocate for gun control, destigmatize mental illness, implement traditional coping mechanisms for intergenerational trauma, increase visibility and Native storytelling, among other important initiatives.

“These inspiring young leaders are joining a community and national network of other leaders from across the country,” said Erik Stegman, executive director for CNAY.

The Champions will participate in a panel discussion Feb. 11 at The Aspen Institute.