Urban League still working amid these times

Urban League still working amid these times
June 28
05:00 2018

The Winston-Salem Urban League will hold its annual meeting this evening, June 28. That might sound unimpressive until you see what the organization has been doing.

Last summer, CEO James Perry released a collection of data called, “The State of Black Winston-Salem.” The 25-page report measures how black residents are doing compared with white residents in areas of health and wellness, social justice and civil rights, education equity and economic and asset equality. More work needs to be done to achieve parity. Perry has been sharing the report throughout the community.

The local Urban League has partnered with other local organizations, such as the Winston-Salem Branch of the NAACP, to help build black businesses in the area. The Chronicle has joined in the effort to promote a Business of the Month feature.

And the leader of the local Urban League’s Young Professionals group, April Johnson, delivered a speech on Jan. 20 in Winston-Salem during the Triad Women’s March, which was held to encourage women and other minorities to exercise their right to vote.

She began her speech: “How do you feel? I am energized, awakened, emboldened, and empowered. My hope for you is that you are awakened, emboldened and empowered to be the change you want to see in our cities, in our states, and in our nation. Feel this energy today. Maintain this energy when you leave the March and then use it to make transformation happen.”

The local Urban League sponsors a Senior Community Service Employment Program and a Summer Youth Employment Program, also. The teenagers in the summer program are gearing up for the internships this year, which will start next week. This program, which also will teach them basic life skills in special weekly sessions, will allow the teens, who are from under-privileged homes, to learn about the work world before they have to officially get into it.

This internship program takes on greater significance this year amid the turbulent times black people face under President Donald Trump’s administration and the Republican-led N.C. General Assembly. They need to have skills that will propel them above the bigotry and racism that have risen to the surface all over.

This evening, the meeting will be 6 p.m. at 510 Trade St.  Perry will update members with successes from the current year and share his vision for the new fiscal year.

The organization is striving to make a difference in the Winston-Salem community. We should continue to support it.

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