This week we learned that United for a Fair Economy organizer and Center for Artistic Activism alumni and collaborator, Michael Young passed away.

Michael worked with the Center for Artistic Activism on several proposals to organize for economic and racial justice in the southern United States. He was absolutely committed to equity and justice and held all of us to high standards of effectiveness. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family. He will be missed by those who worked with him, and we all suffer the loss of a dedicated organizer.


It is with deep sadness that we share that United for a Fair Economy has lost our dear friend and colleague, Michael Young, who passed away January 9, 2021 after a battle with cancer. He was 46 years old.

Michael has been part of the UFE team since 2012, when he began organizing UFE’s state-level Tax Fairness Organizing Collaborative. In 2015, Michael moved with his wife Jennifer and two children from Boston back to his home state of North Carolina, where he has led UFE’s Inclusive Economies Project. A passionate and tireless organizer, his work in NC has focused on building the Raising Wages NC coalition to push for a statewide $15 minimum wage, and building a national network of living wage certification programs.

Words cannot express how much we will miss Michael’s vision, passion, wisdom, humor, camaraderie, and love of organizing. Our team is slowing down to grieve this loss and celebrate Michael’s impact and legacy. Join us in honoring Michael’s life and sending love and support to his family. We will share more about Michael in the days and weeks ahead.