Dr. Gail Wilson Awan CEO, Urban League of the Upstate

    This Black History Month we can also celebrate the 50-year legacy of the Urban League of the Upstate, one of the most impactful and innovative Urban League Affiliates in the country. 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. The Urban League is the oldest and largest community-based organization of its kind and in the nation. In 1970, a small group of citizens from Greenville met in the basement of the Springfield Baptist Church with one goal in mind. To create a community-based organization committee to the principle of equal opportunity for all citizens in housing, education, employment and economic development without regard to race or socioeconomic status.

    In 1972, The National Urban League Executive Director, Vernon E. Jordan came to Greenville to meet with community representatives who chartered the new Greenville League; the Urban League received its charter from the National Urban League. In 1997, understanding the needs of the Upstate Region, the name was changed to reflect the population served by the Urban League of the Upstate. Today, more than ever before, we believe firmly in our everyday commitment to our mission and vision through focus on our purpose and Call to Action. The Urban League model of excellence shines through where each day many determined working men and women, scholars, entrepreneurs, homeowners, and advocates participate in a diverse array of classes and resources to meet their goals including college preparatory workshops, mentoring activities, parental enrichment activities, job readiness skills, foreclosure prevention and health screenings.

    We are thrilled to partner with Ten at the Top and share the vision of collaboration, coordination and cooperation. We are truly stronger together. On February 17th, 2022 the Urban League of the Upstate will celebrate our 50 years of service at our Golden Jubilee Gala. This event is an evening designed to recognize individuals and companies that support the work of the ULUS. Together with our partners we will celebrate our achievements to educate and empower the Black and underserved individuals throughout the regions while supporting our commitment to provide education, housing, and workforce development. The gala celebrates the significant accomplishments of local leaders and organizations who embody the agency’s mission to advance equity by empowering the Black community and underserved individuals. This event raises funds to support our empowerment programs that focus on quality education, affordable, safe, and quality housing, job training and an equitable law and justice system.

    For more information about the organization and the Whitney M. Young Jr. 50th Anniversary, Golden Jubilee, please visit our website urbanleagueupstate.org By Dr. Gail Wilson Awan, President, Urban League of the Upstate.