KNOXVILLE, TN (May 5, 2021)
The inaugural City of Knoxville Mayor’s Youth Council consists of 17 young people who share a desire to be more involved with local government, decision-making, and in building successful outcomes for all young people.
“Young people are our future, and their perspective is invaluable to the City,” says Mayor Indya Kincannon. “I look forward to finding ways we can implement the ideas the Youth Council brings to the table.”
“We are so excited to work with such a diverse group of young changemakers,” says Kathy Mack, Community Engagement Manager in the City’s Department of Community Empowerment. Mack heads the Empower Knox initiative, which works to build successful life outcomes for Knoxville’s youth and will coordinate and support the Mayor’s Youth Council.
Earlier this year, Empower Knox invited youth ages 12 to 20 years old to attend one of two virtual forums Youth Forums in February 2021 to ask young people about their thoughts about the City of Knoxville and what changes they’d like to see made in the community. Read this blog post to for the results of those conversations. The participants identified strategies for both improving the inequities in the City and Knoxville’s long-term growth. Many participants also identified violence, inequities, transportation and activities for young people as their top concerns.
The council will meet routinely, starting this summer. Primary activities will include education on municipal services, collaborations with peers and youth-serving nonprofit organizations, and strategic planning.
“Education and team-building will be instrumental in sustaining a solid group,” Mack says. “They are from different backgrounds and experiences. It’s important for them to build a strong foundation, so they can start moving forward together. Our government is built on collective change, work that our young people are excited to be a part of.”
Click on the following link for the schools and student members of the inaugural 2021 Mayor’s Youth Council.
My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Alliance focuses on building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear pathways to opportunity. It is an initiative launched in 2015, by Pres. Obama to address national, persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color. The MBK Alliance has continued under the Obama Foundation.
The MBK Pledge for mayors, city councils, and police oversight bodies to address police use of force policies and commit to the following actions:
1. REVIEW your police use of force policies.
2. ENGAGE your communities by including a diverse range of input, experiences, and stories in your review.
3. REPORT the findings of your review to your community and seek feedback.
4. REFORM your community’s police use of force policies.
Learn more about the My Brother’s Keeper Mayor’s Pledge at www.obama.org/mayor-pledge
Learn more about the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance at www.obama.org/mbka