National Urban League Leadership Series: Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr.

President 1971 - 1981

Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr.National Urban League

Introduction
Coming into the National Urban League on the heels on the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Civil Rights Act of 1968, Vernon Jordan ushered the organization into a new era of civic responsibility and leadership.

Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr.National Urban League

Jordan, a Howard Law School graduate who led the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) after winning a landmark lawsuit against the University of Georgia, spent the decade zeroed in on advocacy and programs.

The LEAP ProgramNational Urban League

Jones' Tenure
Under his leadership, the National Urban League expanded its social services efforts to urban communities through housing, health, education, and minority business development programs.

Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr.National Urban League

Jordan also worked to challenge the narrative of Black America through environmental programs and helping black women pursue non-traditional roles.

Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr.National Urban League

His commitment to research led to the publication of books like Strength of Black Families, which challenged the negative stereotypes in Daniel Monynihan's The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, The Power of the Ballot, and the landmark State of Black America report.

Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr.National Urban League

The State of Black America, first published in 1976, was a response to Presidential State of the Union addresses that routinely ignored the condition and plight of Black Americans. The report documented the current condition of Black Americans economically, politically, and socially with context to the climate of the country, and continues to monitor the progress of Black people today.

Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr.National Urban League

In 1980, Jordan survived an attempted assassination by a white supremacist outside of a Marriott Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Credits: Story

Curated by Michael Tomlin-Crutchfield

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