In my time here as President & CEO of the Urban League, I have had the opportunity to make critical observations and assessments of the Greater Madison Community. By reaching out to other CEO’s, business and community leaders, residents, and the people we serve, we’ve learned much about the needs, aspirations, and visions of individuals, families, and businesses in Greater Madison.
As we enter this new chapter of our work in the Greater Madison Community, we have also looked back on our history to give context, meaning and insight to our mission and strategies going forward. The following appeared in a report documenting the history of the Urban League of Greater Madison entitled, “Forming the Struggle, 1963 – 1968.” This report recounts a 1960s study commissioned by a group of local citizens who sought to identify growth, trends and needs of African Americans in Dane County.
“The Executive Committee of the Friends of the Urban League feels deeply that Madison will soon exercise a strong pull of disadvantaged people… Negroes in great numbers are already on the periphery in Madison and the discontented will move on quickly. We believe that Madison ought to be ready to receive and absorb them as useful and constructive citizens of the community. This is what the Urban League is all about.”
More than four decades later, we acknowledge and celebrate the great progress we’ve made in opening doors for African Americans and others that we serve. However, we also recognize that we are far from accomplishing the goals and aspirations established by our founders.
To ensure we achieve the dream of equality, opportunity and access in our lifetime, we’re setting a bold vision for our next 10 years. We will make Greater Madison the best place for EVERYONE, especially African Americans, to live in the Midwest by the year 2020. To achieve our goals, we will have a laser focus on ensuring our young people are college and career ready, that adults are prepared for and working in career ladder jobs in stable and emerging industries, and that diversity is reflected in workplaces and leadership across our community.
To do so, we must continue in our efforts and assume the mantle of leadership and responsibility that has been passed on to us by creating a climate that empowers us to make a difference in our community. Your financial support will enable us to accomplish the goals and objectives established by our founders and their supporters more than 40 years ago.
We sincerely thank you for your generous support. We look forward to enhancing our partnerships with you and working together to make Madison the Best in the Midwest!
Urban League of Greater Madison