On Saturday March 30th, the New York Urban League Young Professionals (NYULYP) embarked the ambitious goal of having volunteers serve each of the five boroughs in a single day. Projects ranged from service for young children to the elderly. Most importantly, the Five Borough Service Day was an opportunity to reinforce our commitment to all of New York City.
Recently released census data has confirmed what many of us already knew about the shrinking middle class; stark income disparities can be seen even between neighbors. This, coupled with staggering unemployment, particularly in communities of color, has lead to a domino effect of increasingly limited resources and more and more people feeling disenfranchised. Outreach to each of these communities is vital to their empowerment as well as the sustainability of NYULYP.
As civically engaged people, many of us are aware of the historical significance of our affiliate the New York Urban League (NYUL) and how the league has continued to impact the lives of so many in the community. Their offices in Harlem include a Technology & Education Center that is open to the public and a full range of employment services. NYUL Liaisons in schools in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island help to support students and educators. With the support of NYULYP, students from all over the city attended the NYUL Girls’ and Young Men’s Empowerment Days. The NYULYP annual health fair in the Bronx “Get Your Mind Right, Body Right” was started to educate teens on many aspects of healthy living in response to the surge of HIV & AIDS infections among young adults. As a result of the program’s success, we have expanded its reach to Brooklyn. Although our affiliate office is based in Harlem, our outreach extends far beyond the surrounding community to the city at large.
Our YP membership spans each of the five boroughs and shares the mission and vision of the organization to empower African American and other underserved ethnic communities in education, employment, and civic engagement through advocacy. Sixty-two community service volunteers signed up for the Five Borough Service Project, over 400 New York City residents were served, and thanks to our volunteers, NYULYP’s dedication to engage communities all over the city will continue.
Yours in the Movement,
Symone N. Edwards | NYULYP Treasurer