State of the Urban League 2019

By National Urban League
Published 07 AM EST, Tue Feb 18, 2020

It’s no secret that the National Urban League Annual Conference is one of the most highly-attended gatherings of community leaders and change makers in the country. What set this year’s conference apart from those in years past, is the call to action for our attendees, our Urban Leaguers, our partners, and our nation, to get to equal.

The conference kicked off Wednesday, July 25th at the Eastern Star Baptist Church in Indianapolis with our annual State of the Urban League Address. The evening began with welcomes from our Board Chair, Michael Neidorff, and the CEO of the Indianapolis Urban League Tony Mason. The greetings were followed by Grammy award-nominated gospel artist, Vashawn Mitchell, who prepared the hearts of our attendees for evening with hit singles “Joy” and “Nobody Greater.”

During the address, President and CEO Marc Morial delivered his message for the evening, he recognized several anniversaries of Urban League programs including the Urban League Young Professionals and Entrepreneurship Centers. “I want to take a moment to acknowledge the work of Project Ready and the Youth Leadership Summit. Our young people are our hopes, our dreams, our aspirations – and nothing is more important than what we do for those in the formative stages of life. Nothing has more value than that,” said Morial is recognizing 30 years of the Youth Leadership Summit (YLS).

Jamarcus Walker, an alum of the YLS, spoke about his journey from a student in Chicago Public Schools to student body president of the University of Indianapolis, which he credits to his time in Project Ready.

Marc closed the evening with a call for our nation to move away from rising nationalism to a place of united patriotism. “What we need is a 21st century patriotism that says we love our nation because of its values, and what it stands for,” said Morial. “Not just holding flags and chanting, but evolving our mindset and embracing the America of the future,” said Morial. “Our call to action as we leave Indianapolis, is to embrace the idea that we love our nation and our country because we love its values, and opportunities.”