YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Youngstown man is launching a new organization to help people who want to get involved in community activity.

Derrick McDowell says there are many people who would like to give back or get involved but don’t know where to begin or to whom to reach out. So, he is launching a new initiative called “We Are a Generation.”

“‘We Are a Generation’ is what I like to call a CEO. It’s a community empowerment organization. It’s largely meant to gather, engage, and empower the people of this community to go out and do the work that we know is necessary to face the challenges of a city like Youngstown,” McDowell said.

Monday, McDowell made the announcement at his building in downtown Youngstown. He said the date held a special meaning.

“September 19, marks the 45th anniversary of what was known locally as Black Monday. Each year for the last four years, we’ve done a look back on the heritage in history of what the mills have done for this community, but we also take a look at where we’re at now and we begin to plot a course for our future,” he said.

Now, he wants the organization to bridge the gap between residents who want to help and the work that needs to be done in the city.

“There are folks who are out there doing the work already, and then there are folks who want to join in with that work as well and they just don’t know how. So this, ‘We Are a Generation’ initiative is to bridge that gap,” he said.

McDowell says it’s not just Youngstown that will benefit from the organization, but anywhere that the people involved want to lead it. He says they will hold workshops and training sessions teaching people ways to get involved and help make connections with other organizations already established.

“We’re going to bring people together and we’re gonna get to know them. We’re gonna find out what their skill sets are and we’re gonna empower them to take what they do and reshape it and use it for the empowerment of the community,” he said.

McDowell said he wants people to come the way they are.

“The resident are the people we’re after. It doesn’t matter where you’re at, I know that folks don’t believe they have a skill set, they don’t believe they have something in their hand that they can contribute, but what we’re looking for is folks who are willing,” he said.

McDowell said one of the first things they will do is have a gathering with everyone who would like to get involved and get to know each other.

Anyone who is interested in getting involved can reach out to McDowell through social media, on the “We Are a Generation” website, by email at or by phone at (330) 565-5483.