Learning with Alumni: Emcee One on Lateral Violence – UNITY, Inc.

Learning with Alumni: Emcee One on Lateral Violence

Watch and Learn with UNITY lead trainer and Alumni Marcus “Emcee One” Guinn for more tools to better understand and address lateral violence.

The UNITY Network Voted in 2020 on their top ten issues facing Native youth, and #5 most common response was “Bullying, gossiping, cultural bullying or lateral violence”.  Let’s work together to address this. In some homes, young Native people grow up witnessing the isolating effects of poverty, substance abuse, domestic violence, and feeling “less than.” Without social supports, they may want to make themselves feel better and release their anger and frustration, so may resort to bullying others, including other AI/AN youth.

Generations of internalized systemic racism, contribute to Native people bullying each other through lateral violence. Often those who have had to defend their identity will lash out on others to show their own “Nativeness.” Lateral violence and cultural bullying are a sign of unresolved traumas and identity insecurities surrounding belonging. With limited resources given to Tribal Governments, Tribes can turn on each other to prove that they are “more native than others” as a survival mechanism. The fighting over resources is often referred to as the “crabs in a bucket” mentality that Native youth can inherit from older generations. These negative coping skills are not traditional ways of identifying ourselves.

With the loss of cultural teachings over time, unhealthy lateral violence habits can be adopted to fill the void of self-worth that were once filled by coming of age ceremonies and communal recognition of belonging. At it’s core, those who hurt others are lacking a strong identity within themselves. Cyber-bullies or “Keyboard Warriors” often seek approval from their online followers, yet do not see the effects of their own pain being inflicted on other Native youth.  UNITY aims to provide resources and teachings to increase Native youth wellness. UNITY is a place of healing and inclusiveness. 


Learn More about UNITY Alumni Marcus Guinn:  I am Osage / Potawatomi / Delaware & Puerto Rican. I come from that unfortunate All-American, alcoholic, abusive, dysfunctional background.

“My grandma had my mom when she was fifteen. My mom in turn had me at fourteen. My mother also had a drug and alcohol problem that was due to the pain of early childhood sexual abuse. In ’96 she passed on. She died of AIDS, from an HIV infection received from sharing heroin needles. But somehow in all that mess, I believe may come the best message. My style is not to shine the light, but to let the light shine. My message and my music are just reflections of my relationship with God and all people.”

Marcus has served with many youth, and youth organizations nationally since 1994. Executive council member for United National Indian Tribal Youth, Facilitated workshops for National Congress of American Indians, NIEA, AISES, multicultural centers, detention centers, public schools. He was most notably the national speaker for Parents Speak up, and was an invited speaker for “Helping America’s Youth”; the (former)First Lady’s national White House Youth Conference (while in office). Currently he serves all the “Today’s Native Leaders” training by the Office of Juvenile Justice & UNITY inc, The White House’s initiative “Generation Indigenous” / White House Tribal Youth Gathering, & represents nationally as an official DJ for Nike N7 events.

“I love to be apart of redemptive events.  Occasions where people are encouraged, for the betterment of their own life & or the lives of others. To increase in “wellness” physically, mentally, emotionally, or socially. The goal is for the youth to walk out with the necessary data to begin a life change and to make better choices. I use my music experience to relate. The fact I’ve met and or recorded with people they may know, gains me the “right to speak” in their eyes. I use hip hop, workshops, trainings, leadership camps, as platforms for the message.”


Healthy choices,
Healthy Relationships (intimacy, and delaying early sexual activity),
Leadership Conflict resolution Healthy lifestyles,
Refusal skills
Hip hop culture vs. Native culture
Finding your Voice, Public Speaking
suicide Prevention, etc…


He has most recently teamed up with 2 time all american, 6 time state champ, former pro runner for NIKE, Chance Rush to develop “ONE CHANCE” (one choice at a time). Be on the look out for one chance leadership conferences, and visit: http://www.onechanceleadership.com