On March 7, 2015, the United Macedonian Diaspora’s Next Generation Program, Generation M (Gen M), officially launched in the United States. The presentation was held at the Macedonian Cultural Center in Sterling Heights, Michigan, where Detroit Representative, Alek Vasilevski, and Co-Chair, Filip Jotevski, delivered Gen M’s message — to educate, empower, and unite young Macedonians worldwide. Close to thirty Macedonians from the Detroit area were in attendance joined by youth leaders from Toronto, Columbus, Cincinnati, and other areas of Michigan, including from the various Macedonian-American Student Associations at University of Michigan and Wayne State University.
UMD Board Member and Secretary George Peters started off the event telling a story about his personal experiences as a Macedonian-American and the benefits of being involved in Generation M. Following this introduction, the presentation went through a variety of Gen M goals and plans.
One of the initiatives mentioned was Birthright Macedonia, a UMD program that will allow students to live and work in our ancestral homeland Macedonia for an internship in their field of interest for three weeks. They explained how the students will immerse themselves in Macedonian culture firsthand, by living with a local Macedonian host family for the duration of their internship.
Another program highlighted was Task Force Macedonia, a youth think tank where individual teams compromised of college students would focus on issues present in the Republic of Macedonia, human rights in neighboring countries, Diaspora needs, and offer recommendations, suggested policies, and research to make a difference in the homeland. Some of the fields include foreign policy, infrastructure, agriculture and other areas that students focus their current studies on.
“There has never really been a strong and influential voice for the Macedonian youth, so I think that it is very important for Generation M to be the program that can accomplish this. Having already launched this important initiative in Toronto, having a successful launch in Detroit is a huge step in the right direction for us” said Vasilevski.
There were also a few notable guests in attendance. Not only did UMD Board Member and Secretary, George Peters join, but also the Consulate General of the Republic of Macedonia to Detroit, Elena Zarkovska, attended the presentation of Generation M. We would like to sincerely thank Peters for speaking on behalf of global UMD, as well the Macedonian Cultural Center for allowing their space for the launch.
The Gen M team looks forward to expanding to other cities in the United States. As a result of this successful launch, a new Detroit Committee led by Alek Vasilevski that will meet monthly will be formed. The committee is looking forward to collaborating with existing Macedonian groups and organizing more successful events in the Detroit area.
“After extremely successful launchings in the two largest diaspora communities in North America, Gen M is gradually working towards a solid, unified base of young Macedonians. Listening to all of the amazing feedback and enthusiasm truly shows that there’s no other way but up for our generation,” said Jotevski.
Generation M encourages all young Macedonians to stay updated on social media (twitter.com/GenMacedonia, facebook.com/GenMacedonia), attend all of its events, and join the movement. Detroit is another positive step towards a bright future for the next generation of Macedonians. Congratulations, Gen M!