Keynote Speaker Rev. Dr. William Barber II face emanates neon purple rays against a background of dark blue with dark teal concentric pentagonal shapes that subtly meet one another to create a cohesive pattern as they radiate out in to space. Race Forward Presents Facing Race: A National Conference.

The White House is hosting the first-ever Tribal Youth Gathering today in Washington, D.C. More than 1,000 young Natives from 42 states, representing 230 tribal nations are in attendance. The event is an opportunity for Native youth to meet and speak with senior Obama administration officials. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz were also in attendance. 

It kicked off at 8:30 a.m. local time and so far, Michelle Obama—who sometimes shook with emotion—was pretty inspiring. Reminding youth that they had the support of everyone in the room, she said, “You definitely have a president and a first lady who have your back.” 

Hamilton Seymour of the Nooksack Indian Tribe introduced the First Lady, who told youth that Native ways “are at the heart of the American story.”