Summit Credit Union Makes $50,000 Challenge Grant!

Summit Credit Union CEO/President Kim Sponem has announced that the company is matching dollar-for-dollar any donation made to the Urban League of up to $1,500. The match for first-time donations will be 2:1. The company will continue to match donations up to $50,000! Donate today and double or triple the impact of your gift!!

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Next 50 Forward

Oceans of Opportunity

Coming Home

Click here to read a message from our 50th anniversary campaign leadership

Dear Urban League Friends and Family,

Since 1968 the Urban League of Greater Madison has been vital part of the Dane County community. As we celebrate 50 years of service to the Greater Madison community, we want to reflect on our past, but also re-commit ourselves to the future.

It was 1962 when the Friends of the Urban League was formed and had the vision for an Urban League in Madison. By
1964, the group had grown to 40 official members and an additional 50 volunteers. Considering the U.S. Census reported
1,489 Black Madisonians at that time, this group of Urban League advocates represented a sizeable share of the population.
Unfortunately, their first attempt to obtain funding was denied. The reason, as reported in the Capital Times Newspaper, was that “discrimination as it exists in other communities does not exist in Madison.”

The group persisted however, and on February 20, 1968 the National Urban League approved the application of the Friends of the Madison Urban League, and so was born the movement for justice and opportunity in our city. Under the Board of Directors Leadership of Hilton E. Hanna, our first Executive Director, Nelson L. Cummings shared with attendees at the first annual meeting that “the Madison Urban League is going to turn Madison around, and won’t be satisfied with anything less.”

Over five decades, the Urban League of Greater Madison has not wavered from that commitment. While some of the issues
have evolved and the strategies changed, we remain steadfast in eliminating opportunity gaps. One thing that the Urban League has always been about is action, not talk. We are about finding common ground, rolling up our sleeves, and empowering communities and changing lives.

Today, as we honor 50 years of tireless work by thousands of supporters, we are also committing ourselves to the next phase
of this work. This begins with fulfilling a pledge made two years ago to double our impact, and help at least 1,500 families on
the path to self-sufficiency by 2020. We have made great strides, doubling the number of people placed into jobs over the last two years from roughly 150 annually to 300 annually. To fulfill our 1,500 jobs, 1,500 families pledge by 2020, we must raise $2,000,000 by the end of this year. Doing so will allow us to expand our offering of training academies, increase accessibility through a second location in Southwest Madison, serve more youth and young adults, launch our next housing and home ownership venture, and more.



  • Raised so far: $1.15 million
  • Jobs to go: 700

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Empower A Jobseeker

Jerome came to the Urban League as part of his search for better career opportunities. He completed the Foundations for the Trades Academy, a partnership with the Workforce Development Board, City of Madison, Operation Fresh Start, and others. Within weeks of completing his training, he was hired by H&H HVAC.

Make a gift to support a job seeker like Jerome today. Just $5/month can provide a job seeker with bus passes to get to and from job interviews.

“This is my life now. I have a career. I’m an indentured apprentice in the sheet metal union. It fills me with pride to say it.”


$25/week or $1,500/year will provide a youth like Ariam with their first work experience and build skills that will benefit them for a lifetime.

Build the Future Workforce

Ariam came to the Urban League determined to excel in her academics and ensure she was ready for college and career. She was matched with an academic tutor through the Schools of Hope Program and participated in after school college and career exploration programming and a summer internship through the Careers program.

“The Urban League is helping me reach my education and career goals by teaching me career and university ready tips. I’ve been prepared as if I’m going to college tomorrow and they also have helped me become more prepared for class and school right now.”

Arium - ULGM Youth Intern