Philadelphia, April 1, 2014 –  The White House announced that Jamira Burley, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Youth Commission and co-founder of Gen YNot, will be honored as one of nine grassroots leaders for their work to reduce gun violence in their communities as a White House Champions of Change on Thursday, April 3.


“Jamira Burley is an incredible public servant who is uniquely connected to the youth experience in Philadelphia.  Her advocacy and work to improve the lives of young people in our great City is a true benefit,” said Mayor Nutter.  “In the two years since she joined our Administration, she has raised the stature of the Youth Commission and continued her personal projects focused on improving the lives of young people.  I want to congratulate her on this tremendous recognition and thank President Barack Obama and the Champions of Change team for this honor.”


In her work, Ms. Burley supports youth civic engagement, global citizenship, comprehensive education reform, black male achievement and gun violence prevention.  Ms. Burley helps lead the youth engagement on the City’s National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention working group and Cities United.  She is also a member of the Roosevelt Institute Millennial Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and is the United States representative to the United Nations Global Education First Initiative Youth Advocacy Group.  Ms. Burley was inspired to improve the lives of others using her own personal experience after the shooting death of her brother in 2005.


“I am honored and appreciative to be selected as a White House Champion of Change for gun violence prevention.  I accept this recognition not for myself, but for every person who stands beside me in this work,” said Ms. Burley.  “We recognize that everyone is affected by gun violence and if we’re going to prevent another young person from losing his or her life to the barrel of a gun, we have to work together.”


The White House created the Champions of Change program to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower, inspire and support members of their communities.


The event is closed to press but will be live streamed on the White House website. To watch this event live, visit at 10:00 am ET on April 3.  To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program and nominate a Champion, visit



Philadelphia Youth Commission:

The Philadelphia Youth Commission represents Philadelphia’s youth in public hearings and gives testimony that reflects the youth perspective. The Commission works with the City, non-profits, community organizations, and private entities to develop strategies to improve the lives of Philadelphia’s youth.


Generation Y Not (GenYNot)“Young people are the experts of their own experience.”

Youth have traditionally been a special interest group that are forgotten and ignored until their votes are needed during election cycles. If we want youth to be civically engaged, we must engage them all year around. GenYNot is a platform that allows young people to share their thoughts, concerns, and solutions on issues affecting their communities and the world at large.


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