History of the National Urban League

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy. Today, the National Urban League has 88 affiliates serving 300 communities, in 36 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide.

Impact of the National Urban League

The National Urban League works to provide economic empowerment, educational opportunities and the guarantee of civil rights for the underserved in America. We started our Centennial Celebration in 2010 with a bold, nationwide call to action. We launched I AM EMPOWERED, an initiative focusing on four aspirational goals for empowering communities to achieve in education, employment, housing, and healthcare, the cornerstones of our approach.

The Empowerment Goals:

  • Education: "Every American child is ready for college, work and life."
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  • Jobs: "Every American has access to jobs with a living wage and good benefits."
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  • Housing: "Every American lives in safe, decent, affordable and energy efficient housing on fair terms."
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  • Health: "Every American has access to quality and affordable health care solutions."
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To learn more about the National Urban League, please visit nul.iamempowered.com


History of the National Urban League Young Professionals

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 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 fundraisers 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.

To learn more about the National Urban League Young Professionals, please visit www.nulyp.org