Governor Bryan announces advisory council to engage young Virgin Islanders in government decision-making
During a press conference at the RT Park on St. Croix on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, United States Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. (D) introduced the five-member leadership board of his newly appointed Governor’s Millennial Council, which is a group of 14 young adults who Governor Bryan has tasked with providing the younger generation’s perspective for assisting the Bryan-Roach Administration’s policy decisions.
The Governor has been a proponent of involving more youth and young adults in the Government of the Virgin Islands as a way to bolster the future of the territory economically, innovatively, and energetically by bringing in talented younger individuals who will influence the direction the US Virgin Islands takes as it grows into his vision of economic stability with up-to-date digital infrastructure and an open and transparent government.
During his introduction of the Millennial Council leaders, Governor Bryan recalled a conversation 10 years ago about the Millennial generation and telling colleagues that the younger generation wasn’t going to have to adapt to his colleagues’ world, but they would have to learn to live in the Millennials’ world.
“Today, Millennials are the largest part of the American workforce. They’re actually disrupting and dictating how things will go, not only in America but globally,” Governor Bryan said.
The five leadership members of the inaugural Governor’s Millennial Council, which has a goal of “Amplifying Access and Innovation,” are:
- Nyaila Callwood, 25, who is a co-founder of VI Crawl and currently is developing a federally funded afterschool arts program.
- Kevin Dixon, 30, who is the Territorial coordinator for Youth Services at the Virgin Islands Department of Labor.
- Millennial Council Treasurer Michael Pemberton, 28, who is a co-founder of the technology firm Avera Tech, which is a participant in the RT Park Accelerant Program.
- Millennial Council Vice-President Shamari Haynes, 29, who is the assistant director of the Division of Festivals at the Department of Tourism.
- Millennial Council President Khalarni Rivers, 29, who is a co-founder of VI Crawl media and education company specializing in cultural programs.
Governor Bryan has tasked these individuals, as well as the other nine members of the Governor’s Millennial Council, with providing regular reports on issues and policy to him, as well as playing an active role in developing the policies and innovations they come up with for the future of the USVI.
“In a time when we stand on the doorstep of a new territory and a bold new beginning in restructuring our education system, health care, our roadwork, sewer, you name it, for the next 10 years we’re going to have unprecedented development in the Virgin Islands. It has already started,” the Governor said. “We’ve devised a 20-year-plan to dictate this course that we will change to. But it can’t happen unless we get the people who will be most impacted by the course-change involved.”
However, Governor Bryan noted that it isn’t enough that the Millennial generation simply be in the room, and they must also have a say in how the change is brought about, and have to have a part on boards and commissions to play an active role in dictating where things will go and who will get to access them.