A Message from Arva Rice, President and CEO of the New York Urban League

Arva Rice

On Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to install the Young Professionals Executive Board of officers and committee chairs.  It was a heart-warming experience, watching the group of young leaders take responsibility for stewarding this phenomenal YP chapter.  In their oath they were asked to indicate their commitment to the Chapter, enthusiasm for the betterment of the community, and willingness to complete their stated duties in their respective roles.  Their response was simply, “I Will.”

The National Urban League Young Professionals were formally established over 15 years ago to foster and support the next generation of Urban League and community leadership.  The New York Urban League Young Professionals worked to achieve this goal with great success.  You have not only won awards locally and nationally, your leadership has been recognized by your being asked to serve on community boards, fraternal organizations and civic groups.  In New York, #wegotnow is more than a hash tag, it is an organizing principle.  And now with new leadership, with long ties to Young Professionals, you all are poised to serve the membership and the community building in even more impactful ways.

On Tuesday, I heard your President Chad Roberson outline his ambitious goals for the Chapter.  So today I offer both a pledge and a charge to you.  As an affiliate, we pledge to assist you on your leadership journey and provide opportunities to contribute as well as build and broaden your network.  We will invite you to meetings with policy makers and decision-makers and encourage you to participate in those opportunities at the National level.  We will extend our network of supporters to help you and the Chapter reach your goals.

And we charge you with fully understanding and supporting the work of the affiliate in education, employment, and advocacy.   We encourage you to support our Whitney M, Young, Jr. Scholars, educate parents on the importance of STEM education, volunteer for our Historically Black College and University Fair, join our Education Policy Committee and actively engage in our efforts as we set an ambitious new course for the affiliate based on our strategic plan.  Our mantra is Leadership for a 21st Century Civil Right Movement and you can be part of this new movement for social change.

In order for your new executive board to be successful, they will need an active membership.  I hope that you will answer the call to volunteer, to give, to write, to tweet, to serve with the simple response, “I Will.”

Arva Rice

President and CEO


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