An Official Statement from Youthprise President, Wokie Weah

Published on December 4, 2020 | Written by

An Official Statement from Youthprise President, Wokie Weah

On behalf of the Youthprise staff, Board of Directors, and the young people of Minnesota, we extend our sincerest appreciation to Lathrop GPM for your invaluable pro bono efforts in advancing our case to achieve equity in the distribution of unemployment benefits for Minnesota’s high school students. We are especially grateful for Greg Merz’s acumen, tenacity, and professionalism, which were foundational to generating a favorable ruling by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Your generosity is much more than a simple act of corporate responsibility. Lathrop GPM’s support comes at a critical time for Minnesota’s youth, who are enduring unprecedented conditions, including a global pandemic, civil unrest, and a severely polarized society that is crippling to our state and our nation. Now more than ever, our young people need to know that their opinions are valued, their voices are heard, and the things that impact them are prioritized by those who have the power to bring about change. Lathrop GPM's involvement with this case helped us accomplish that by standing with our youth, advocating on their behalf, and giving voice to their concerns.

As you know, this victory has given thousands of youth access to apply for millions of dollars in unemployment benefits to which they are entitled. This ruling is a win for all youth, but even more so for young people who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color – as the adverse effects of issues associated with income and employment are more dire for youth from these communities.

Thank you again for advancing equitable treatment and fairness for Minnesota’s youth. I hope our paths continue to cross as we collectively strive for a more just and equitable community for all.

Wokie Weah
President of Youthprise

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