National Urban League Young Professionals

Voices of movement's rising leaders

Urban League Young ProfessionalsNational Urban League

In the 1980's and 1990's, several Urban League affiliates recognized the need to prepare a new generation of young leaders to take the mantle of leadership of the civil rights movement. Young African American men and women in their 20's and 30's were invited to participate in and take an active leadership role in their local Affiliate Urban League programs and activities.

These new professional auxiliary groups began to operate as programs of affiliates in: Detroit, MI ("The Blue Monday Network")...

Chicago, IL ("The Metropolitan Board")...

Philadelphia, PA ("Philadelphia Urban League Young Professionals")...

and Washington, DC ("The Thursday Network").

Urban League Young ProfessionalsNational Urban League

These auxiliary groups actively supported the Urban League movement by educating other young professionals about the movement, recruiting new members, furnishing young volunteers, sponsoring educational initiatives like youth mentoring and tutoring programs, coordinating fund-raisers for scholarships and for the financial support of the affiliate, and delivering personal and professional development and networking opportunities to young professionals in their local communities.

Urban League Young ProfessionalsNational Urban League

As these auxiliaries began to grow, the Affiliate leadership took note of their success and began to ponder the power of a national movement of young professionals across the country.

Hugh Bernard PriceNational Urban League

Simultaneously, Hugh Price, then President and CEO of the National Urban League, realized the need to make this potential national movement into a reality. He held a historic "Young Professionals Dialog Session" with over 200 young professionals in the New York area in April of 1998. This dialog session, in addition to a white paper submitted by Marcus Mitchell, ignited the spark that led to the formation of a working group, tasked with establishing the framework and foundation for the National Urban League Young Professionals.

Credits: Story

Curated by Michael Tomlin-Crutchfield

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