About Us: ULMT History
The mission of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee is to enable African Americans, other minorities and disenfranchised groups to secure economic self-reliance, power, parity, and civil rights. Our Urban League movement empowers communities and changes lives. Our efforts are focused in the following areas: Economic empowerment - which includes workforce development, jobs, housing, and entrepreneurship; Youth & Education services focused on ensuring academic competence while preparing our young people for life, leadership and success within a global economy; Health & Quality of Life for all and particularly for the least of our citizens; Civic Engagement and empowering communities through participation in the political process; and Civil Rights and Racial Justice.
The need for the Urban League was best articulated by Whitney M. Young Jr. during his tenure as executive director from 1961 – 1971. He stated, “As this country sinks deeper into polarization and bitterness, the need for the Urban League’s role as a bridge between the races and as a problem-solver and a hope-giver becomes more crucial”.
The needs of the African American community reflect the values of the American Dream…the need for our children to thrive; the need to earn a living; the need to own a home; and the need to prosper. The national Urban League and our local affiliate continue to serve as a bridge and operate from tenants that support the realization of the American dream for many of our citizens. They are:
Every child in America deserves …
- To live a life free of poverty that includes a safe home environment;
- Adequate nutrition and affordable quality health care;
- A quality education that will prepare them to compete in an increasingly global marketplace.
Every willing adult in America should have…
- A job that allows them to earn a decent wage and provide a reasonable standard of living for themselves and their families;
- Equal access to the resources that enhance employability and job mobility, including postsecondary education and other investments in human capital;
- Access to the financial security that comes from owning a home;
- Access to the resources needed to establish and grow a viable business enterprise if they possess the entrepreneurial vision and drive.
The impact of our Urban League should be measured in three ways:
- The leveraging of resources from a nearly 100 year old national movement committed to helping African Americans to enter and stay in the economic and social mainstream of America.
- By the 10,699 units of programs and services delivered to 2,483 males and 1909 females who received workforce development services.
- Employment programs which provided pre-employment job readiness, occupational skills training, remedial education, and other services aimed at increasing employment opportunities for unemployed, underemployed, and those seeking career advancement.
The Urban League of Middle Tennessee is seeking support to meet the following areas of need:
- Increased capacity for GED preparation, technology skill development, apprenticeships, job creation services and other workforce development training programs
- Increased resources to pay tutors and purchase materials for after school academic support services for elementary, middle and high school aged youth.
- Increased resources to establish programs that help clients with debt reduction, wealth creation and home ownership.