Senator Dorgan Launches Champions for Change at the Center’s Native American Heritage Month Event

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Contact: Erin
Bailey, Director
Center for Native American Youth
The Aspen Institute

US Senator Byron Dorgan Launches New Initiative at Native American Heritage
Month Event

Center for Native
American Youth highlights inspirational 
Native youth and announces a program called
“Champions for Change.

DC, November 19, 2012
On Monday, November 19 Senator Byron Dorgan, the
founder and chairman of the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen
Institute, will moderate a panel-discussion to commemorate November’s
National Native American Heritage Month and announce the launch of a new
initiative – Champions for Change. The local DC Native community, supporters
of Indian Country, and new stakeholders will join the event titled,
Celebrating Native Voices: Native Youth – Our Future, Our Inspiration.”

“The Center is excited to play a role in
raising awareness of the inspirational Native youth and positive stories in
Indian Country. We hope this event helps to generate more attention and
resources to support Native youth,” says Erin Bailey, the Center’s

The Center’s new Champions for Change program, a
spin-off of a White House initiative, will be announced at the event.
Champions for Change will recognize and encourage inspirational Native
American youth working in their tribal or urban Indian Communities to promote
hope and make a positive impact. Native youth will be invited to apply for
the program and five finalists will be selected to serve on a new youth advisory
board at the Center. These Champions will be recognized by Senator Dorgan and
the Center at a Spring 2013 recognition event in Washington, DC. Young Native leaders can visit to learn more about the Champions for Change
program and application process. 

“I have met remarkable young Native Americans
in Indian Country and the Champions for Change program will allow us to
celebrate the work they are doing to make a positive difference in the lives
of others,” remarked Senator Dorgan. “Native American youth are
doing inspiring things and setting positive examples for others to follow. At
the Center for Native American Youth, we want to engage and encourage these
young leaders.”

The event will be structured as a panel discussion,
continuing the dialogue on Native youth policy priorities, and exploring the
inspirational contributions Native youth are making in their communities. The
panel will include Patty Talahongva, Center board member and esteemed
journalist; Teressa “Tessa” Baldwin, Alaska Native youth who
founded Hope4Alaska; and WhiteSun Yazzie, Native American youth and student
council president from Pine Hill High School on the Ramah Navajo Reservation.
Event details are provided below:

Event Title: “Celebrating Native Voices: Native Youth – Our
Future, Our Inspiration.”
19, 2012
to 1:30pm EST
One Dupont Circle, NW;
Suite 700; Washington, DC 20036




The Center for
Native American Youth
dedicated to improving the health, safety and overall well-being of Native
American youth through communication, policy development and advocacy.
Founded by former US Senator Byron Dorgan in February 2011, the Center is a
policy program within the Aspen Institute, headquartered in Washington, DC.
The Center works to strengthen and create new
connections, as well as exchange resources and best practices that address the
challenges facing Native youth. Visit the Center’s website for a
comprehensive list of resources available to young Native Americans, tribes
and the general public. For more information, visit

Aspen Institute 
is an educational and
policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster
leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for
dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC;
Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also
has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For
more information, visit

About the Center
Founded by former US Senator Byron Dorgan, the
Center is a policy program within the Aspen Institute, headquartered in
Washington, DC. While a part of the Aspen Institute, the Center is also
overseen by a Board of Advisors. The goal of the Center is to bring greater
national attention to the issues facing Native American youth, and to foster
solutions, with special emphasis on youth suicide prevention.
you can help

 Link to The Aspen Institute
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