Dec 29, 2011

SOAR Participants attend Men of Honor Banquet

On November 19, 2011 several participants of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati’s Solid Opportunities for Advancement and Retention (SOAR) program attended the 2011 Men of Honor Awards Banquet. Mr. David Foxx, CEO, d.e. Foxx and Associates presented a grant to the League which allowed for a few of our participants to represent the Urban League.

Mr. Foxx along with Judge Nathaniel R. Jones, Dr. Odell Owens (President, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College), Dr. Victor Garcia, (Founding Director of Trauma Services, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center) and Anthony Smith (Assistant Superintendant, Cincinnati Public Schools) were the honorees for the evening.

Mr. Foxx gave the men in our program the opportunity to see and experience firsthand the success of extraordinary black men who are committed to positive change in the Greater Cincinnati Community. Our participants were truly uplifted and inspired by the opportunity to witness such a marvelous event honoring Black men. Brent Bedgood, Intern for Workforce Development summed it up best, “One day I want to be on that stage!”

The event was held at the Manor House, Mason, Ohio and our gentlemen looked fantastic at this black tie affair. Thank you Mr. Foxx!

Dec 7, 2011

Book and Toy Drive: December 5 - December 16

Urban League of Greater Cincinnati needs your help! Lend a helping hand by donating new books or toys to benefit the Urban League After School Program (grades K-8) of South Avondale and Rockdale Elementary Schools.

Your unwrapped donations can be dropped off at the Urban League, 3458 Reading Road, Monday thru Friday from December 5 - December 16 between the hours of 9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

For more information about the Book and Toy Drive contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Candie Simmons, at 513.559.5443 or

Dec 6, 2011

Holiday Hours of Operation

During the Holiday Season, more than ever, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible. And in this spirit we say simply, but sincerely, Thank You and Best Wishes for the Holiday Season and a Happy New Year

In observance of the Holiday Season the Urban League Offices will be closed:
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Monday January 2, 2012

Oct 3, 2011

Leadership at it's Best: Donna Jones Baker


Donna Jones Baker was enjoying one of her first jobs out of college when she learned a tough lesson: Life isn't always fair.

Baker, who was born and raised in Paducah, Ky., graduated from Murray State University with a degree in social work and was promoted to a management role at a social services agency while in her 20s. She was helping people improve their lives and feeling "on top of the world."

Then her immediate supervisor who had promoted her left. Baker didn't expect to get her supervisor's job, but she also didn't expect to be fired during the ensuing management change.

"I was crushed," she says. The experience taught Baker another lesson that changed her life, and which she now shares with others: Leaders look for challenges and make things happen.

In Baker's case, she went back to school for a master's degree in business administration. Today, she's the president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati. Baker is still helping others improve their lives. But she's also managing a multimillion-dollar organization and a staff of 75 full- and part-time employees working to help African-Americans and others at risk by promoting economic self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship.

Her ability to work with other leaders locally, combined with her national stature, helped secure the National Urban League's annual convention for Cincinnati in 2014. Baker was part of a team led by Mayor Mark Mallory and including retired federal appeals judge Nathaniel Jones; Bishop E. Lynn Brown, the regional bishop for the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; and Thomas Knott, director of diversity strategies at Macy's.

"She's a unique ambassador who is respected on the national level, and accessible on the local level," says Richard Dyer, president and general manager of WLWT 5. Dyer is on the Cincinnati Urban League's board of trustees and will be chairperson in 2012. "She leveraged her reputation on the city's behalf."

The success, Baker says, stems from being fired as a young woman. "What I learned during that period was I wanted to be in a decision-making position," she says. "I wanted to make things happen, not be somebody things happened to."

Baker, who is 55 and married to Gregory Baker, spent four years taking night classes at the University of Baltimore, where she earned her MBA. Simultaneously, she was raising a family and working. Baker has one grown daughter who has three children; her husband has two daughters and three grandchildren. "I had the benefit of youth," she says when asked how she managed family, work and school.

Today, she has the benefit of hindsight. "While what happened to me probably was not fair, it was the best thing that ever happened to me," she says.

The MBA education was "life-changing," Baker says. The immersion into subjects including accounting and finance gave her the confidence to supervise others who specialize in those areas.

"You learn enough about all of these positions that you can supervise the people who have those functions and ask the right questions. It was a great foundation for me."

As a result, Baker has made the necessary tough financial decisions while maintaining the nonprofit's core mission, Dyer says.

"She's a polished, passionate professional," he says. "She has a real command of what the League's mission is and how to implement it."

Baker joined the local affiliate of the Urban League in November 2003. Previously, she was the executive director of Associated Black Charities, a Baltimore nonprofit that was started to strengthen the community through African-American philanthropy.

During Baker's 14 years there, she grew ABC from a $500,000 organization with three funded positions to a $26 million organization with about 60 staff members, multiple locations and a $1 million endowment.

Baker says she was happy in Baltimore and initially resisted overtures from a headhunter to come here. But after a few visits, Baker realized she wanted the job.

"There was no reason for me to (leave Baltimore), but on the other hand, I had gotten more comfortable than I was used to," Baker says. "In hindsight, I was more comfortable than I was comfortable with being."

In Cincinnati, Baker filled big shoes. She replaced Sheila Adams, who, according to the Enquirer in 2003, built the Urban League from a quiet social service agency into an important community player during her 13 years as its leader.

"You couldn't say Urban League without saying Sheila Adams," says Daniel Groneck, the current chairperson for the Urban League's board of trustees, and the Northern Kentucky president for US Bank.

But Groneck says the first board meeting with Baker "was like magic."

"I thought, 'Well, the board embraced her, is the community going to embrace her?' And they did," he says.

Baker, he says, went out of her way to show her appreciation and respect for Adams but did not try to emulate her predecessor.

And Baker, Groneck says, made sure she understood the local organization before making any changes.

It wasn't long before she faced hard decisions. In January 2004, she cut six mid- to upper-level positions because of a drop in individual and corporate contributions that impacted many nonprofits as the economy weakened following the 9/11 attacks.

"She had tough financial decisions to make, and she did it," Groneck says.

That ability, combined with her formidable people skills, has earned Baker the respect of her employees and her board.

"It's all done by empowerment. She runs it like a business," Groneck says. "She's financially kept the company strong and stayed in tune with her investors. She can also leave the board room, see somebody in (one of the league's programs), and lift them up."

Dyer says he's proud of the employee growth at the Urban League. Baker gives employees who start in support roles the chance to move up and take on additional responsibilities. And, Dyer and Groneck were impressed by her recent decision to gather a group of past chairpersons and invite them to be part of an auxiliary board, which was formed in 2011. David Dillon, Kroger's chairman and chief executive officer, is chairman of the auxiliary board.

They said the former chairpersons were expecting to be handed a pledge card. Instead, Baker told them: "This is about utilizing your wisdom. We just want to keep you closer to the family."

The idea is to leverage their connections and expertise on behalf of the League. But it also reflects Baker's belief in keeping people connected and always working to improve the organization.

That vision doesn't stop at the Urban League. Baker is proud of her new hometown and sees its relationship with the Urban League as a two-way street. When she told her board about the national 2014 convention, she wasn't just happy for the Urban League, Dyer says.

"When she announced it to the board, she said, 'This is good for the Urban League, yes, but will be great for Greater Cincinnati,' " he says.

"That's how she thinks."

Sep 30, 2011

To Be Equal #39
September 28, 2011
A Long Shadow of Doubt: The Execution of Troy Davis

Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

“When ... the Supreme Court gave its seal of approval to capital punishment, this endorsement was premised on the promise that capital punishment would be administered with fairness and justice. Instead, the promise has become a cruel and empty mockery. If not remedied, the scandalous state of our present system of capital punishment will cast a pall of shame over our society for years to come. We cannot let it continue.” Former United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall

Last Wednesday, September 21, 2011 was a sad day for American justice. On that date at 11:08 PM Eastern Time the State of Georgia administered a lethal injection into the body of 42-year-old Troy Davis and put him to death. With his dying breath, Troy Davis maintained his innocence in the 1989 shooting death of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail. For 20 years, the shadow of doubt that hung over Davis’ conviction grew so large that it galvanized anti-death penalty advocates around the world, including hundreds of citizens wearing “I am Troy Davis” T-shirts who kept a solemn vigil outside the Jackson, Georgia prison until the final hour

Over the last 20 years, the National Urban League and dozens of other prominent organizations and leaders argued that Davis’s conviction was in serious doubt. Seven of the nine witnesses who originally identified Troy Davis as the murderer, later recanted their testimony. And no murder weapon or other physical evidence was ever found linking Davis to the crime. That is why we joined the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, Amnesty International, former president Jimmy Carter, Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu, Al Sharpton, former FBI Director William Sessions, Pope Benedict, former Georgia Congressman, Bob Barr and others in calling for Davis’ exoneration or at least further investigation.

The racial subtext of this case cannot be ignored. Davis, a black man, was convicted of killing MacPhail, a white police officer. While African Americans make up only 13 percent of the population, more than 42 percent of death row inmates are black. Over 75 percent of the murder victims in cases resulting in an execution were white, even though nationally, only 50 percent of murder victims were white. .

Since 1973, a total of 138 man and women have been exonerated or had their death sentences commuted based on post-conviction findings that proved their innocence -- five of them in the state of Georgia. And, according to the Innocence Project, “Seventeen people have been proven innocent and exonerated by DNA testing in the United States after serving time on death row. They were convicted in 11 states and served a combined 209 years in prison – including 187 years on death row – for crimes they didn’t commit.” These disparities and problems cast a long shadow of doubt over our criminal justice system.

People of conscience can disagree on the death penalty, but it is unconscionable by every standard to execute someone who very well might be innocent. Our hearts go out not only to Mr. Davis’ family, but also to the family of Mark MacPhail who will never know for sure that his killer was brought to justice.

Legendary Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall was unequivocally against the death penalty and would have been a dissenter in last week’s 11th-hour Supreme Court decision allowing the execution of Troy Davis. Justice Marshall felt, as we do, that as long as questions of equity, fairness and fallibility persist, we must stop executions and give death row inmates every chance to prove their innocence.


Sep 8, 2011

Back to School and Back to Work on Creating Jobs

To Be Equal #36
September 7, 2011
Back to School and Back to Work on Creating Jobs
Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

"A world-class education is the single most important factor in determining not just whether our kids can compete for the best jobs but whether America can out-compete countries around the world.” President Barack Obama

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer and the start of another school year for more than 60 million public school students.

This year, the Labor Day weekend also coincided with the announcement last week that zero jobs were added in August, and African American unemployment has soared to 16.7 percent, the highest rate in 27 years.

It is my hope that with the return of Congress this week and the much-anticipated jobs speech by President Obama on Thursday, Washington is finally ready to make job creation its number one priority.

Education has always been the gateway to good jobs and a better life for the American people.

This has never been more true than today.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people who hold bachelor’s degrees earn on average $58,000 a year compared with just $31,000 for high school graduates and only $21,000 for those without high school diplomas.

We also know that a growing number of 21st century high-tech jobs require higher skills and more education than ever before.

That is why for more than 50 years, the National Urban League’s Education & Youth Development division has worked to improve educational opportunities for African-American and underserved students by developing innovative programs to support their academic achievement, encourage their civic involvement, and contribute to their healthy physical and emotional development. We have also made education a cornerstone of our 21st century empowerment agenda with a challenge to the nation that every American child will be ready for college, work and life by 2025.

The Urban League serves more than 200,000 children and youth each year through Head Start, after-school programs and charter schools.

As the nation struggles to find the right balance between fiscal austerity and necessary investments in our future, the education of our children must not be sacrificed in the process.

Doing so would not only shortchange their futures, it would cripple our ability to grow the American economy and remain competitive in the global economy.

We are encouraged by the Obama Administration’s commitment to education, including signing into law the largest investment in education in history as part of the President’s 2009 stimulus package – some $115 billion over two years to save education jobs, send young people to college, modernize America's classrooms, and advance education reforms.

We are also pleased that Education Secretary Arne Duncan has set aside this week for an “Education and the Economy” bus tour to urban centers, including Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Chicago to highlight the important connection between quality education and quality jobs. “No other issue is more critical to our economy and our way of life than education,” said Duncan.

So, as our children head back to the classroom, we urge students to do their part by studying hard and making the most of what their schools and teachers have to offer.

We ask parents to do their part by getting involved.

And we urge local school districts and Congress to do their part by ensuring that all our students have the resources and support they need to succeed.

Aug 5, 2011

National Urban League’s Boston Conference Urges President and Congress to Refocus National Debate on Jobs

To Be Equal #31

August 3, 2011

National Urban League’s Boston Conference Urges President and Congress to Refocus National Debate on Jobs

Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

“We face, therefore, a moral crisis as a country and as a people…It is not enough to pin the blame on others, to say this is a problem of one section of the country or another or deplore the facts that we face. A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all.” President John F. Kennedy

The National Urban League concluded the first conference of its second century of service and economic empowerment this past Saturday in Boston. By all accounts, this was one of the most successful gatherings in the organization’s 101-year history. Thousands of citizens from across the country came to the birthplace of America to rally support for jobs and to keep the American Dream alive.

This year’s conference which was themed, “Jobs Rebuild America,” gave voice to the concerns of 14 million unemployed Americans, including urban communities of color that have suffered the most during the great recession. The National Urban League has been a lifeline of support during this crisis, providing job training, foreclosure prevention, education and health services to a record 2.6 million Americans in 2010. But even with that assistance, our communities continue to fall further behind.

In a new National Urban League report released during the conference, “At Risk: The State of the Black Middle Class,” we found that the great recession has begun to dismantle the crown jewel achievement of racial advancement in America – a strong black middle class. Our analysis clearly shows that whether one looks at education, income or any other meaningful measure, almost all the economic gains that blacks have made in the last 30 years have been lost in the Great Recession that started in December 2007 and in the anemic recovery that has followed since June 2009. This means that the size of the black middle class is shrinking, the fruits that come from being in the black middle class are dwindling, and the ladders of opportunity for reaching the black middle class are disappearing.

Our conference was also held in the midst of the debt ceiling debate which for weeks has held the American economy hostage to demands for draconian budget cuts that would spare wealthier Americans from tax increases and further imperil Black America along with middle and working class families.

That is why on the first day of the conference we asked the American people to formally enlist in the war on unemployment. In the spirit of the “Shot Heard Round the World” that rang out from Lexington, Massachusetts on April 19, 1775 and began the Revolutionary War, we fired an opening volley in the War on Unemployment by urging everyone at our conference and everyone in America to sign an open letter to the President and Congressional leaders. Our letter urges our political leaders to refocus the national debate from deficit reduction to putting America back to work. It calls for a national jobs summit and a national jobs plan based in part on the National Urban League’s 12-point jobs plan.

It is my hope that public pressure will achieve what political leadership has thus far struggled to deliver – a fair, balanced and effective solution to the issue of job creation and ballooning budget deficits.

Our thanks to Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino; Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick; and Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts CEO, Darnell Williams for making this year’s conference such a success.

Aug 3, 2011

National Urban League and NAACP Presidents Meet With President Obama

To Be Equal #30
July 27, 2011
National Urban League and NAACP Presidents Meet With President Obama

Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

“It is clear that the unemployment numbers throughout the country require effective legislation and tangible action to address the crisis. To address the unemployment crisis and the need for job creation solutions in underserved communities, the CBC has called upon the private and public sectors to immediately remedy the crisis by going into communities with legitimate, immediate employment opportunities for the underserved.” U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II

This past week, NAACP President Ben Jealous and I forcefully entered the debt ceiling debate during a meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office. During our meeting, we made it clear that as a final deal is hammered out to raise the debt ceiling and prevent the nation from defaulting on August 2nd, no steps should be taken that will shred the social safety net -- the last line of economic defense for millions of working class and middle class Americans. With African American unemployment at 16.2 percent and the jobless rate for Hispanics also in double digits at 11.6 percent, it would be unconscionable to cut Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare benefits, education, job training or housing services now, especially while businesses and wealthy Americans are protected from any tax increase.

The President has insisted from day one that a final agreement must involve shared sacrifice. After our meeting he issued a statement which read in part: “We cannot afford to balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable Americans, including the middle class, low-income families, seniors and students.” Ben Jealous and I wholeheartedly agree with the President, and we intend to stand with him as he steadfastly defends that position.

The President also agreed with us that we need to complete a debt ceiling deal quickly so we can turn our full attention to the most pressing issue facing the nation – high unemployment and the lack of jobs. I urged the President to act on the job creating solutions contained in the National Urban League’s 12-point Jobs Rebuild America plan. We also urged support for New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Urban Jobs Bill which would make critically needed investments in education and training to prepare young people most in need for jobs.

One day after our meeting, the debt ceiling talks broke down over the refusal by those on the other side of the negotiating table to pursue a balanced approach. They continue to insist on a one-sided plan of spending cuts, including cutting benefits for the most vulnerable Americans, and no tax increases for the wealthy. It should be noted that this is the first time in almost 100 years that a raise in the nation’s debt ceiling has been linked to deficit reduction.

Ben and I agree: America must get its fiscal house in order so we can invest in job creation and maintain the benefits that protect our must vulnerable citizens. And we adamantly disagree with those who would jeopardize the nation’s credit worthiness and risk a financial meltdown much worse than the recent great recession – all because they refuse to compromise.

The NAACP President and I came away from our Oval Office meeting convinced that President Obama understands fundamentally that deep budget cuts to safety net programs and programs that affect urban communities would be harmful, not just to our constituents, but for the nation at large.

We will continue to insist that the concerns of Black and urban America have a voice in this debate.


National Urban League Affiliates Serve 2.6 Million Americans in 2010

To Be Equal #29
July 20, 2011
National Urban League Affiliates Serve 2.6 Million Americans in 2010

Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

“From your founding amid the great migration, to the struggles of the civil rights movement, to the battles of today…America is a better place because of the Urban League.” President Barack Obama

As depression-era unemployment rates and a shrinking social safety net continue to plague urban America, the annual National Urban League census reveals that the organization’s 98 community-based affiliates served a record 2.6 million Americans in 2010 – a 25 percent increase over 2009.

Last year the American economy was supposedly transitioning from the great recession to sustained recovery. Instead, 14 million Americans remained jobless, 8 million more were underemployed and unemployment among African Americans reached 16 percent -- nearly double the national rate. While more urban families faced job losses, smaller pay checks, diminished health services and the threat of foreclosure, many Urban League affiliates filled the gap as lifelines of opportunity. Following is a summary of affiliate activities targeted to our four empowerment goals:

Health Care: Every American has access to quality and affordable health care solutions

The great recession has caused some families to choose food over health care, thereby exposing children and adults to the potential of seriously escalating illnesses.

With 31 states cutting funds for health care services and providers, Urban League affiliates managed to help more 1.4 million Americans purchase medicines, get necessary evaluations and screenings and obtain other critical health care services -- up from 792,000 in 2009.

Education: Every American child is ready for college, work and life

Education is always cited as the cornerstone of America’s future. But last year, 34 states sought to balance their budgets by enacting cuts in K-12 programs. This resulted in fewer participants receiving education services from our affiliates in 2010. However, 172,000 clients still benefited from Urban League affiliate education services, with 50,000 receiving professional development and skills enhancement training.

Economic Empowerment: Every American has access to jobs with a living wage and good benefits

Since 2009, unemployment among African Americans has increased from 14 percent to 16 percent. Last year, the affiliates of the Urban League placed more than 18,000 people in jobs through the operation of 548 economic, entrepreneurship and housing programs. Those programs served an astounding 608,852 clients -- an increase of 232,000 from 2009.

Housing: Every American lives in safe, decent, affordable and energy efficient housing on fair terms

Urban League affiliates provided housing assistance to 441,493 clients in 2010, more than double the clients receiving assistance in 2009. This included 1,188 homes purchased, and 15,524 clients benefiting from foreclosure assistance.

Finally, in 2010, the National Urban League generated an economic impact of $1 billion, including $471.8 million in federal, state and local government support for Urban League programs across the country. The secondary economic impact of $641.6 million is a measure of the success of these efforts, with 18,000 participants placed in jobs, 1,188 new homeowners, 357 new business start-ups, $3.3 million in business sales and $114 million in new investments in economically distressed communities.

Clearly, the National Urban League and its affiliates are helping millions of Americans navigate their way through these economic hard times. The services we provide help strengthen family budgets and communities. And, just as importantly, they allow people to maintain their dignity and a sense of humanity.


Jun 30, 2011

To Be Equal # 25: Chenault and Immelt Push Jobs

To Be Equal#25
June 22, 2011
Chenault and Immelt Push Jobs

Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

“Our job is to do everything we can to ensure that businesses can take root and folks can find good jobs and America is leading the global competition that will determine our success in the 21st century.” President Barack Obama

Last week, in Raleigh-Durham, the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, President Obama received the first set of job-creating recommendations from his 26- member Jobs and Competitiveness Council headed by GE Chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Immelt and American Express Chairman and CEO, Kenneth Chenault. Other members of the Council include the heads of Boeing, Comcast, Southwest Airlines, and the AFL-CIO. In addition to Chenault, other prominent African American Council members include, Ursula Burns, Chairwoman and CEO of Xerox; Richard Parsons, Chairman of Citigroup; and Roger Ferguson, President and CEO of TIAA-CREF. The President created the Council last February, bringing together the best thinking of large and small business owners and worker-rights advocates in an innovative partnership with government to address the immediate unemployment crisis and improve American competitiveness. We applaud this important collaboration and are encouraged by last week’s progress report.

The urgency of the Jobs Council’s effort was underscored by the release last week of a National Urban League Policy Institute report entitled, “A Long Road Back to Work: The Realities of Unemployment Since the Great Recession.” Our report highlights the disturbing fact that 45.5 percent of unemployed persons have been without jobs for six months or longer, with African Americans and Latinos faring much worse. While African Americans make up 12 percent of the labor force, they comprise 24 percent of the long-term unemployed. Latinos are 15 percent of the labor force and make up 28 percent of the long-term unemployed. Since the likelihood of finding a job decreases the longer one is unemployed, this phenomenon has the potential of creating a permanent class of unemployed citizens.

Clearly, as the National Urban League’s 12-point Jobs Rebuild America plan recommends, we need a dynamic public-private initiative to create jobs and train urban residents for employment in key growth areas, including technology, broadband, manufacturing and clean energy.

In their report to the President and in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Chenault and Immelt echoed many of our recommendations. They outlined specific steps to spur job growth in high-potential sectors, while also addressing areas of concentrated unemployment.

They call for stronger partnerships with community colleges and others to train workers for the two million open jobs in the U.S. that remain unfilled simply because employers can’t find workers with the advanced manufacturing skills they need.
They recommend cutting red tape so job-creating construction and infrastructure projects can move forward; boosting jobs in travel and tourism; providing more help to small business owners in need of SBA loans; and putting construction workers back to work upgrading the energy efficiency of commercial buildings.

As Chenault and Immelt point out, obviously more must be done. But these initial recommendations will put us on a path to create millions of jobs. The Jobs Council’s report is in stark contrast to those whose only plan is the tried and failed strategy of more tax cuts for the wealthy. The President’s Jobs and Competitiveness Council is off to a good start. We will continue to monitor its progress and keep you posted on its work as we continue to push for targeted jobs policies for America’s Urban Communities where joblessness is unacceptably high.

Jun 16, 2011

Sickle Cell is a Disease, Not An Addiction

Are you a young person between the ages of 14-22 who has sickle cell disease or sickle cell trait? Do you want to share your experiences as a sickle cell survivor and improve the relationship between you and physicians when you are seeking treatment?

We want you to participate in our FREE one day Transition of Care...Linked to Life Project retreat on Saturday, June 25th from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 pm. You will learn how to create your own advertisement poster, video documentary and PowerPoint presentation to help raise awareness in our communities about your experience as a sickle cell survivor.

All participants will get to enjoy a FREE fun-filled day at Kings Insland, receive a book bag filled with all sorts of goodies and have the opportunity to present what you created at the retreat to the community.

You don't want to miss this FUN, VERY INTERACTIVE retreat! Continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments will be provided. Space is limited, call the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati today at 513-487-6506 and ask for Pam King.

"Sickle cell is a disease, not an addiction"

Funded by Ohio Commission on Minority Health, the Cincinnati Chapter of the Links, Inc. and sponsored by the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati's Sickle Cell Awareness Group

Senator Eric Kearney to Keynote AABDP Graduation

The Economic Empowerment Center (EEC) of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati will be graduating its seventh class of the African American Business Development Program (AABDP). Senator Eric Kearney will be the keynote speaker for the event to be held on Thursday, June 16, 2011. EEC is the business development arm of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati.

Developed in 2008, AABDP was established to assists African American business owners in building sustainable companies that help to create employment opportunities for community residents.

The graduation will be held at the Union Institute and University located at 440 E. McMillan Street, Cincinnati, OH from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. For more information contact Sheila A. Mixon, Ohio Small Business Development Center at the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, 513-487-1274.

Apr 25, 2011

2011 Summer Youth Employment

Urban League of Greater Cincinnati and partners Easter Seals WRC, Urban Appalachian Council, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College and the University of Cincinnati-GEARUP were awarded the City of Cincinnati's 2011 Summer Youth Employment Contract. This will provide 370 jobs for low income youth between the ages of 14 and 18 residing in the city of Cincinnati. Youth will be provided age appropriate work experiences for 8 weeks during the summer.

Information regarding the application process will be made available April 28, 2011 at the Mayor's Job Fair. Call the Summer Employment Hotline 513-281-9955 extension 303 for times and locations for application pick up and submission. You may also call Lisa McDonald at 513-487-6528 for assistance.

Employment partners are being recruited at this time.

Donna Jones Baker, President and CEO commented "this is an exciting opportunity for the UL and our partners to continue the work of the STRIVE You Can initiative and commitment to developing data driven programming."

"We are looking forward to a Summer Youth Employment Program that will be a positive experience for both our youth and employment partners." says Dorothy Smoot, Vice President of Youth Services.

Apr 21, 2011

McDonald’s Adds 50,000 Jobs

To Be Equal #16
April 20, 2011

Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

“You're only as good as the people you hire.” Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s Corporation

In March, the American economy added 216,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent, the lowest in two years. That is the good news. The bad news is that the nation has a mighty long way to go to recoup the 13 million jobs lost during the great recession. The real bad news is that with an unemployment rate of 15.5 percent for African Americans and 11.3 percent for Hispanics, communities of color seem to be fighting a losing battle to keep from being overwhelmed by the jobs crisis.

For more than two years, the National Urban League has led the call for a national response to extremely high unemployment throughout urban America. Our Jobs Rebuild America 12-point plan offers a blueprint for change. It calls for the restoration of the Summer Youth Jobs Program to provide summer jobs for millions of teens. We also propose greater public/ private investments in job training for those most at-risk for joblessness and least equipped to navigate their way back to gainful employment. And while Washington thus far does not appear to be listening, we have sought and found allies elsewhere, including some in corporate America.

For example, we are pleased that this week, McDonald’s Corporation, is launching an unprecedented hiring campaign, aimed at adding 50,000 new crew and management employees to its payrolls. The company plans to add 3-4 new workers to each of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants. In addition to providing a pathway back to the dignity of work, many of these new “Mcjobs” come with training, flexible work schedules, competitive benefits, scholarship opportunities and growth potential. The company points out that more than 75 percent of its restaurant managers and many of its corporate staff and executive leadership, including current company president, Jan Fields, started behind the counter.

McDonald’s projects that the addition of 50,000 new employees will boost the economies of states and local economies, which can likely expect an additional $430 million spent on housing, almost $186 million in taxes, and $180.5 million in grocery purchases.

African American teens, 38.5 percent of whom are currently unemployed, may especially benefit from this hiring blitz. The unemployment rate for Black teens consistently hovers near 40 percent, the highest rate of any group in the country. In addition to putting thousands of Black teens on successful career paths, each year McDonald’s selects one high school student-employee from each state and the District of Columbia for $2,500 scholarships, as well as three national “McScholar” winners who each receive $5,000 scholarships.

The National Urban League will continue to push for federal action in response to the jobs crisis in urban America. In the meantime, we applaud McDonald’s for doing its part with its “National Hiring Day.” More jobs mean a stronger economy and a better future for our children, our neighbors and our nation.


Feb 22, 2011

The Growth of Black-Owned Businesses: Entrepreneurship by Necessity

To Be Equal#8
February 23, 2011
The Growth of Black-Owned Businesses: Entrepreneurship by Necessity

Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

"I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!" Madam C.J. Walker, trailblazing African American businesswoman.

There is a silver lining in the dark cloud of the great recession. A new Census Bureau report reveals that from 2002 to 2007 the number of Black-owned businesses in the United States increased by 60.5 percent to 1.9 million – more than triple the national rate. According to Census Bureau Deputy Director, Thomas Mesenbourg, “Black-owned businesses continued to be one of the fastest growing segments of our economy, showing rapid growth in both the number of businesses and total sales during this time period.”

The reasons for this are many, beginning with the long history of African American entrepreneurship in response to poverty, high unemployment and discrimination. Consider the case of Madam C.J. Walker, the daughter of slaves who, in the early 1900s, turned her dream of financial independence into a hair care and cosmetics business that revolutionized the beauty products industry, created good paying jobs, and made her a wealthy woman and philanthropist.

Like Madam C.J. Walker, many African Americans may have turned to entrepreneurship in the years covered by the Census Bureau study because of high unemployment in our communities. The fact is, Black unemployment never got back down to where it was before the recession in 2001. So in effect, what we are seeing is a bit of entrepreneurship by necessity. There’s also an economic independent streak, particularly among emerging generations in the Black community. Building a business gives great satisfaction and cushions them from the shock of losing jobs because of economic down cycles.

New York State leads the country with more than 204,000 Black-owned businesses, followed by Georgia and Florida respectively. From 2002 to 2007, nearly 4 in 10 of these businesses operated in the health care and social assistance; and repair, maintenance, personal and laundry services sectors. The retail trade and health care and social assistance sectors accounted for 27.4 percent of Black-owned business revenue.

The survey also found that in addition to an increase in the number of Black-owned businesses, annual sales increased by 55% to $137.5 billion.

I recently called on federal, state and local governments to develop a “hyper-focus” on black- and minority-owned businesses. Every city, county, and state needs to have a plan that focuses on small and minority business. There is a spirit of entrepreneurship out there that needs to be nurtured and energized.

While the Census Bureau report is generally good news, we know that Black businesses still make up only 7 percent of all companies and they tend to be smaller and have lower gross receipts than other businesses. Black-owned businesses are also often hampered in their revenue growth by a lack of capital, connections and contracts.

What I hope this report says loudly and clearly to the investment community is that you are missing an emerging market in the United States. If minority businesses are growing at a faster clip than overall businesses, imagine what the growth rate would be if those barriers were eliminated or lowered. We need the investor community to look at this report and recognize that they are missing an incredible opportunity.


Feb 17, 2011

National Urban League Selects Cincinnati USA for 2014 Annual Conference


Julie Calvert, Vice President, Communications & Strategic Development
Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau
o: 513.632.5378 m: 513.910.6186

Monica E. Magette
Director of Development & Marketing
Urban League of Greater Cincinnati
o: 513.487.6533 m: 513.739.7158

CINCINNATI, OH, February 17, 2011 — The National Urban League, one of the country’s oldest and most respected civil rights organizations, announced today that it has selected Cincinnati USA as the site for its 2014 Annual Conference.

The announcement was made at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) by Donna Jones Baker, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, who was joined by Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of the CVB, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and Hamilton County Commission President Greg Hartmann.

The National Urban League conference is expected to bring more than 7,000 hotel room nights and millions of dollars in economic impact to the region. But Mayor Mallory suggested it will bring something even more important.

“Like the NAACP and National Baptist conventions before it, when the National Urban League comes to Cincinnati, the eyes of the country will be on this region,” said Mayor Mallory. “Influential government leaders, business leaders and civil rights advocates will be here, engaging in important dialogue. It’s an extraordinary opportunity for Cincinnati, one that solidifies our stature as a top-tier destination. I commend Donna and her team at the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati for their great advocacy of this city and their extraordinary efforts to bring this opportunity to our doorstep. I know this community will step up to the challenge and make you proud.”

Headquartered in New York City with more than 90 affiliates across the country, the National Urban League’s mission is to enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.

In keeping with that mission and the theme of the CVB’s Annual Meeting – “Collaboration. Community. Connections.” – Baker was joined on stage by a team of regional leaders who worked together to win the meeting, including Mayor Mallory, Commissioner Hartmann and Thomas Knott, Director of Diversity Strategies at Macy’s. Many of them were awarded the CVB’s Champion Award for their efforts.

“Bringing the National Urban League conference to Cincinnati is a great victory, not just for us at the local affiliate, but for our entire community,” said Baker. "It was such a rewarding experience to work with passionate people from across the region throughout the bid and selection processes. We won this conference together and today we celebrated together, and I can’t wait for my colleagues across the country to experience Cincinnati USA in 2014.”

Hamilton County Commission President Greg Hartmann echoed that sentiment: “Winning and hosting the National Urban League gives us the chance to showcase the best of our entire region – from a revitalized downtown to the expansion of the Sharonville Convention Center to the great development taking place all across Hamilton County. The County leadership will continue to stay engaged with the CVB and all the organizations that are driving economic impact and strong results for the region.”

The National Urban League is the latest in a string of high-profile ethnic and multicultural conventions to select Cincinnati USA, including the NAACP, National Baptists, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, LULAC the League of United Latin American Citizens and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs.

“In 2003 and 2004, ethnic meetings represented a very small percentage of our convention business,” said Lincoln. “But in 2009 and 2010 alone, we hosted 30 ethnic-related conventions and since 2009, we’ve booked more than 108,000 hotel room nights for ethnic and multicultural meetings, representing more than $32 million in economic impact for the region. Our community-wide collaboration and a commitment to improving every aspect of how we position ourselves to the world has opened the doors to incredible opportunity.”

It was that community spirit and dedication to continuous improvement that earned the attention of the National Urban League.

“When our national leadership took a closer look at Cincinnati, they saw a community on the rise,” added Baker. “They saw dramatically improved police/community relations and a renewed spirit of collaboration. And in the end, they decided that now was the right time for Cincinnati!”

Added Mayor Mallory: “Dan and his team at the CVB are doing stellar work in positioning this region for success and winning new opportunities for Cincinnati to attract the national spotlight. Our window of opportunity opened to win the National Urban League and we had the right people and resources in place to fully capitalize on that opportunity.”

The announcement was made in front of a record-setting crowd of 500 business professionals, civic leaders and members of the regional hospitality industry at the CVB’s 2011 Annual Meeting. And the good news didn’t stop there. The CVB celebrated its strongest convention booking results in more than a decade and its sixth straight year of growth in its two most important industry metrics: future hotel room bookings, which totaled 200,317 in 2010, and the related economic impact conventions bring to the region, which reached a six-year high of $59.6 million. These figures are up 14 percent since 2007 and up 33 percent since 2005.

“Successfully winning and hosting conventions of all sizes takes more than just a strong CVB,” said Lincoln. “This opportunity would not have been possible without the full support of our entire regional hospitality industry – the hoteliers, our partners at the Duke Energy Convention Center, our great events and attractions. They were all in the trenches with us to help us put Cincinnati USA put its best foot forward, and they will all be on the front lines of creating a great visitor experience when the National Urban League comes in 2014.”

About the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau is an aggressive sales, marketing and service organization whose primary responsibility is to positively impact Hamilton County's and the City of Cincinnati's economy through convention, trade show and visitor expenditures. The travel and tourism industry traditionally has been a $3.4 billion industry in Cincinnati USA, employing 81,000 people in a variety of fields and, historically, bringing five million visitors to the region annually.

About the National Urban League
The National Urban League is the nation’s largest 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, there are more than 90 local affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide.


Feb 9, 2011

To Be Equal

To Be Equal #6
February 9, 2011
Don’t Mess With the 14th Amendment

Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. Section I of the 14th Amendment

The immigration debate has taken another ugly turn. First, Arizona passed a law, now under federal challenge, granting unprecedented powers to police to stop and demand proof of citizenship from anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. Now, two United States Senators, a Congressman and at least 14 states have proposed amending or reinterpreting the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to deny citizenship to U.S. born children of undocumented immigrants.
The 14th amendment effectively overturned the Supreme Court’s infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision which ruled that no slave or descendent of a slave could ever be a United States citizen. Since its ratification in 1868, the 14th Amendment’s clear statements on birthright citizenship, due process and equal protection, have formed the basis for a large measure of social and economic reforms. In fact, the Supreme Court cited the violation of the 14th amendment’s “equal protection” clause as a major factor in its 1954 Brown v Board of Education decision ending segregation in American schools. The 14th Amendment’s most famous “birthright” defense came in 1898, when the Supreme Court, in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, upheld the citizenship of a child born in the United States to Chinese immigrant parents who lived in San Francisco but were not legal citizens.
The law is clear: anyone born on American soil, regardless of race or ethnicity is entitled to automatic citizenship. For more than 100 years, that has been a fundamental principle of American democracy. But recently, anti-immigration forces across the country have claimed that large numbers of illegal immigrants are crossing the border simply to have what they derisively call “anchor babies” – children who automatically qualify for the benefits of United States citizenship. Despite the fact that this rarely occurs, Senator David Vitter of Louisiana and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, have introduced legislation that would amend the 14th amendment and deny citizenship to the U.S born children of immigrants unless at least one parent has permanent resident status, or is a naturalized citizen or is serving in the U.S. military.
Last year, in what appeared to be a mid-term election campaign ploy, a number of conservative Senators said they might call hearings to air their opposition to automatic citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants. Most observers and scholars think that a push to amend the Constitution is likely to fail given that it would require votes from 67 Senators, 290 Congressmen and ratification by 38 states.
But that has not stopped its supporters. On the first day of the new Congress, Rep. Steve King of Iowa chose what he believes is a less arduous route by introducing legislation that would outlaw birthright citizenship by amending the Immigration and Nationality Act.
While opponents of birthright citizenship contend their intent is to curb illegal immigration, this is clearly another divisive step that would weaken America’s tradition and strength as a nation of immigrants.
Our message to anyone attempting to rewrite history and the law for their own political purposes is clear: Don’t mess with the 14th Amendment.

6TBE 2/9/11 ▪ 120 Wall Street ▪ New York, NY 10005 ▪ (212) 558-5300 ▪ WWW.NUL.ORG

Jan 12, 2011

Bill Daley and Gene Sperling Have Done it Before

To Be Equal#2
January 12, 2011
Bill Daley and Gene Sperling Have Done it Before

Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

It is now apparent that President Obama was doing a lot more than eating shaved ice and playing golf during his Hawaiian holiday vacation. Almost immediately upon his return to the White House last week, the President announced the appointments of William M. Daley as Chief of Staff and Gene Sperling as Director of the National Economic Council. Both men bring a combination of successful presidential advisory experience and business know-how to their new jobs. It is an encouraging sign that as the President focuses relentlessly on his stated goal of creating jobs and turning our economy around, he is enlisting the help of two of the most influential architects of the Clinton economic boom years.

William M. Daley, the brother of six-term Chicago Mayor, Richard Daley, served as President Clinton’s Commerce Secretary from 1997-2000, and later ran Al Gore’s presidential campaign. He has also been a practicing lawyer, bank president, top business executive and political fund raiser. It is no secret that Daley’s business interests have sometimes been at odds with the President’s more progressive agenda, but it is also true that Daley is a job creator who knows how to get things done. Upon his appointment the President said, “Few Americans can boast the breadth of experience that Bill brings to this job. He’s led major corporations; he possesses a deep understanding of how jobs are created.”

New Economic Council Director Gene Sperling makes a return to the West Wing, where he held the same title in the Clinton Administration. Along with former Treasury Secretaries, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, Sperling is credited with developing policies that led to the creation of 22 million new jobs during the eight years of the Clinton presidency. Unemployment for African Americans fell from 14.2 percent in 1992 to 7.3 percent in October 2000, the lowest rate on record. Unemployment for Hispanics fell from 11.8 percent in October 1992 to 5.0 percent in October 2000, also the lowest rate on record.

A Yale Law School graduate, Sperling was most recently a senior counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. He was one of the Obama Administration’s chief negotiators in the recently passed tax cut deal and has served as economic advisor to both Hillary Clinton and former New York governor, Mario Cuomo. Sperling is also a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign relations where he has promoted the education of girls in developing countries.

President Obama said, "One of the main reasons why I chose Gene is because he has done this work before. After serving in the nineties with President Clinton, he helped turn deficits into surpluses and helped cement the years of prosperity and progress of American families".

In picking William Daley and Gene Sperling to fill these key positions, President Obama is demonstrating a commitment to measureable results. We look forward to working with Bill and Gene as we continue the push to bring jobs and prosperity back to our communities.


2TBE 1/12/11 ▪ 120 Wall Street ▪ New York, NY 10005 ▪ (212) 558-5300 ▪ WWW.NUL.ORG