(OPride) – The International Oromo Youth Association (IOYA) is holding a one day youth summit in Minneapolis, Minn. on Jun. 29. This year’s gathering is dedicated to promoting discussion about the status of Oromo youth in the diaspora and the future of IOYA.
IOYA was formed by Oromo youth activists in 2006 to serve as an umbrella organization for various Oromo youth and student associations around the world. Over the last few years, as political and social dynamics shifted within the Oromo diaspora, IOYA members have raised different questions about the organization’s purpose and mission. What is the role of an international youth organization in the lives of young Oromos? How can we build a broader and stronger youthorganization? What issues or challenges are most pertinent to Oromo youth in the diaspora today? What should be IOYA’s direction going forward?
As members of a growing diaspora community, young Oromos have important roles to play. This is not lost on IOYA’s current leaders. “All over the diaspora, we see youth groups emerge to connect with each other and create spaces to become productive members of their particular communities,” said Ayantu Tibeso, IOYA’s current chair. “Over the past seven years, IOYA has sought to open up a wider space for Oromo youth to collectively engage in issues they deem relevant.”
IOYA’s outgoing leaders say these burning questions will be at the heart of the upcoming summit. The day long summit is expected to focus on reorienting IOYA’s vision to the needs of its constituency, young Oromos in the diaspora. “It will afford participants an opportunity to shape IOYA’s future direction by sharing their thoughts and ideas on the issues relevant to their communities,” Tibeso told OPride in a Jun. 19 email. “Active participation of young people is crucial to the organization’s survival and success.”
OPride asked IOYA why people should attend this summit:
To share your ideas, vision, and concerns about Oromo youth and the future.
To hear the insights, ideas, concerns and visions of others.
To meet and interact with other young people who have an interest in strengthening the capacity of Oromo youth organizations.
To learn of concrete ways to get involved in the organization.
The summit is scheduled to tip off at 11:00 a.m. at the Augsburg College Riverside Campus. Those interested in attending are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 651-329-2436.
RSVP at http://bit.ly/IOYASummit2013. There are no fees for attendance.