Urban League meeting full of surprises

Photo by Tevin Stinson During the Winston-Salem Urban League’s annual meeting on Thursday, June 28, Patricia Sadler announced her retirement. Sadler has served as the director of workforce development at the Urban League for the past 15 years.

Urban League meeting full of surprises
July 04
02:00 2018

More than three dozen residents with invested interest in the Winston-Salem Urban League (WSUL) came together last week to find out what the future holds for the nonprofit organization geared towards empowering African Americans and other disenfranchised communities. 

While many in attendance during the annual meeting held on Thursday, June 28, were there to hear president and CEO James Perry give his report on the financial status and the state of the many programs offered by the WSUL, the most shocking news of the evening may have come at the end of the meeting, when Perry announced the retirement of Patricia Sadler. 

For the past 15 years Sadler has served as the WSUL’s director of workforce development.    During her tenure with the Urban League, Sadler was responsible for managing the Senior Community Service Employment Program, a work-based job training program for older Americans, which operates in 11 counties across the state. 

“The one thing you have to know about Patricia Sadler is that she is an incredible leader,” said Perry as he stood before those in attendance at the annual meeting. 

“… One of the things incredible leaders do is train people and they make sure folks learn the process. And she has done that every single day of her work here at the Urban League.” 

Sadler said for 15 years the Urban League has been like her second home. Anyone who is familiar with the WSUL knows Sadler is usually the first person there in the morning and the last person to leave at night. 

She said helping people get jobs who have been told ‘No’ by employers on multiple occasions gave her joy. 

“You don’t do this work for fame but you do it to help people improve their lives and that’s what this Urban League does,” said Sadler. “It’s often said you have a year when you come into this world and a year that you leave but the dates aren’t important; it’s that dash in between that matters. What have you done while you’re here? What kind of impact have you made? That has been my priority.” 

Sadler’s successor will be Celeste Gilreath. It is unclear when Gilreath will officially step into her new role with the WSUL. 

In other news, Perry also announced Kenneth Pettigrew will be joining the Urban League Staff as a chief operating officer. Perry said Pettigrew already has a strong relationship with the organization and is a regular volunteer. 

“We look forward to doing a lot of great, incredible things with Kenneth and getting more things in order here with this incredible organization.” 

The Urban League also honored the life and legacy of Beaufort Bailey. Bailey, who is most known for his time spent on the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School Board of Education, was also a member of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, a lifetime member of the NAACP, and a member of the WSUL, where he also served on the board of directors for many


Bailey’s daughter, Dr. L’Tanya Joy Bailey, attended the meeting to accept the Samuel D. Harvey Community Leadership Award in honor of her father who passed away earlier this year. The award was named for the first president of the Winston-Salem Urban League.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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