Dear Young Professionals,
During this Black History Month, the New York Urban League is celebrating the rich history of African Americans, sharing the history of the Urban League movement, and creating a little history of our own.
Our month began with our annual Champions of Diversity Award Breakfast. For the past eleven years, a panel of corporate executives assist us identify corporations whose leadership, philanthropy, supplier diversity and employee engagement make them stand out among their peers. This year, we honored the NBA & WNBA and Credit Suisse at the elegant Four Seasons Restaurant. YP President Chad Roberson, Vice Chair Erika Beckles and Programs Chair Olubumni Awofeso represented at the event, as well as other YP members who volunteered their service.
This past weekend, the Civics and Economics Committee presented the 5th Annual State of Young Black New York. This year’s topics included exploring the role of music, social media and technology, and training attendees on how to organize the community around current civil rights issues. Attendees and panelists were challenged to develop practical strategies that can be implemented to promote awareness of socio-political issues and equal protection of civil rights for people of color. I was honored to be part of the amazing day that both inspired and challenged young professionals to be the change that they want to see in the world. A special thanks to all the volunteers who made the conference a success. I look forward to all the ways that the themes of this conference will guide and inspire the work we do together this year.
We have also been celebrating the rich history of the New York Urban League. NYUL is partnering with the Museum of Modern Art to encourage New Yorkers to experience One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North. The connections between the Urban League and Jacob Lawrence have been captured in an audio presentation I completed for MoMA that will officially be part of their walking tour of Harlem. In addition, NYUL will co-sponsor a few events at MoMA, so look for your invitation this Spring.
Lastly, NYUL made a little history this month. We are launching our first ever Parents’ Guide to STEM. The goal of the Parent’s Guide to STEM is to help dispel common myths; connect Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to everyday life; and provide a pathway for exploration of these fields. The target audience for the guide is caregivers and educators of middle and high school students who are not familiar with the growing field of careers influenced by STEM. The guide is free and more information can be found at our new website, which we also launched this month with our partners at Deutsch. Please let us know what you think of our new look at www.nyul.org.
February has been an incredible month filled with historic firsts and a reflections on our history. I look forward to our continued partnership.
Arva R. Rice