June 2016 NYULYP Candidates and Statements

We’re excited to be building up to our election for the 2016-2018 NY Urban League Young Professionals board at our General Body Meeting on June 21! You can find tickets here, and check out statements from each of our candidates below!

If there are questions that members would like the candidates to answer at the June General Body Meeting, please send them to YPElections@nyul.org and CC: YPParliamentarian@nyul.org by Wednesday, June 15th.

If a member would like an absentee ballot, please send a request by June 17th to YPElections@nyul.org and CC: YPParliamentarian@nyul.org

Members interested in becoming a committee chair or co-chair should email ypelections@nyul.org and cc: ypparliamentarian@nyul.org for an application by June 20th. Applications are due by June 21st.

Candidates for President

Erika Beckles

ebecklesDuring my tenure as the President for the New York Urban League Young Professionals I would like to focus on Reconnection and Community.

Highlight how membership chair has sensitized you to the needs of members, and how those needs, whether it’s was for more diverse programming, a stronger focus on professional and personal development or the need for a forum that enables members to feel as though they have a voice and the requisite tools for effective communication and collaborations is integral to your decision to run.

After listening to the ideas, needs and concerns especially in the last year, I acknowledge the accomplishments we’ve made as an organization but my decision to run is a direct result of the faith and confidence I have in all of you to achieve greater, impact many more individuals and to position this chapter and organization as a model for young professional organizations to emulate. There is so much potential, ideas and creativity in this room and I believe it’s imperative that we harness your talents, abilities and most importantly your continued commitment to the NYULYP cause.

The President of the NYULYP must be the provision of cross-sectional process improvement across the breadth of the organization. The architectural and structural purpose which I seek to bring to the Office of President would therefore involve fine-detail streamlining of processes as well as expansion of organizational structures to address current lacunas and weaknesses. More than simply engaging in reforms which meet the current demands of the Organization, I propose to provide an infusion of an innovative and proactive ethos within the NYULYP, to prepare the organization for the immense possibilities of the future.

To achieve excellence, I am committed to supporting the future president of the organization and embarking on my responsibilities through a five pronged approach that will encapsulate my plan to ensure that we are equipped to make a stronger impact in the short, medium and long term. Together we will Embrace, Educate, Empower, Engage and Execute. My campaign and vision for the NYULYP is built on embracing the core tenets of the organization and ensuring that we not only achieve the stated purpose but exceed our goals and objectives.


More than ever, by embracing the core tenets of the organization and permeating its essence throughout the entirety of the committee structures, we can propel NYULYP to further heights. The organization must also seek to embrace local communities and further to embrace the national goals of the Organization. In this vein:

  • Create strong corporate, social and local community partnerships
  • Support local organizations and initiatives to further promote NYULYP
  • Sponsorship of NYULYP goals/events to help further involve the community and national messaging


Membership Education lays a solid structural foundation for the organization in ensuring that Members and Committee Members especially, are equipped to perform their respective roles with a level of confidence and surety, thus resulting in greater retention and impact.

  • Committee Re-tooling: Expanded opportunities for Professional Training in the requisite skills, which the Committees Require
  • Recommendations for the modification of the NYULP New Member education program to be more interactive, expansive and engaging.


The empowerment of the Organizations members as individuals, will lead to the collective strengthening of the Organization as a totality.


A central element to the realization of the potential of the NYULYP as the pre-eminent Organization of choice for Young professionals must be the engagement of new members from the onset, and the continually expanding engagement of members in creating a cohesive, dynamic and powerful organization.

To realize this mission of engagement, it is proposed:

  • iEngage Program – Initiative rewarding Membership Participation and Celebrating Member participation
  • Mentorship Scheme – Structured Pairing of inductees and new members with senior members of the Membership Committee
  • Highlight other areas here for engagement: e.g. Intranet you created, group meet,
  • Highlight new initiatives – Monthly forums for committee chairs and members, functionality on website for members to submit recommendations, ideas, concerns


At the core of the architectural mission of the President must be an attune eye and precision of execution. The focus areas of execution include:

  • Improvement of chapter/internal communications and messages: via intranet portal
  • Improvement of E-board communication internal/national: calls/meetings
  • Streamlining processes amongst tri-state chapters
  • Develop new program initiatives
  • Leverage relationships and partnerships to raise the visibility of NYULYP
  • Foster a committee that operates in unison
  • Use the platform of President to raise $25,000+ in corporate sponsorships external to fundraising activities

Gremesha Crump

gcrumpAs a member of NYULYP for over two years, I have experienced first hand the many opportunities to serve the needs of greater New York City. Through my declaration for the Presidential candidacy, I look forward to sharing a multi-tiered strategic plan that outlines the most efficient and productive approach to supporting the needs of NYUL while also responding to the needs and expectations of the NYULYP membership body.

I have witnessed the outstanding access to talent and resources within our membership and it is my priority to make space for inclusive opportunities for members to donate their time and talents in such a way that is mutually beneficial to NYULYP/NYUL. Through my many years of volunteer experience, I can attest to the need to feel utilized without having to await periodic opportunities to engage. If elected, I intend to conduct a thorough survey that captures biographical details, industry information as well as resources that members are willing to donate. Within this survey, we will also ask members to evaluate the performance of NYULYP and we can assess the expectation members have of the organization. It is of the utmost importance that we understand not only who our members are but what they expect and how they can serve within the Movement.

Once we have assessed the state and expectations of membership, an equally important priority to give attention to is relationships. As a fundraising professional, I am highly aware of the value in effectively cultivating, nurturing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships. I understand that in many instances, it takes time to forge partnerships and it is my intention that, as an executive board, we develop a strategy for developing and maintaining relationships that span the scope of one event or even one year. It is my experience that multifaceted partnership opportunities require advance preparation, capacity and research. Through a strategic plan and execution, we can set expectations and benchmark success, productively. And as previously mentioned, members are our first line of resource which lessens the burden with regard to external relationship cultivation. To iterate, it is of most value to leverage the resources at our immediate disposal and seek external partnerships to complement.

While high-impact service and proper resources help push forward the Movement’s agenda, NYULYP also understands the power of its voice and under my leadership we will continue to lift up the agenda of the National Urban League and strategically approach the obstacles to overcome implicit bias and racial aggression as it relates to equal access to opportunities. With an empowered and leveraged membership body alongside strategic partners, I am very confident in the ability that NYULYP has to make a grand impact in the term ahead while sustaining the momentum of previous leadership. A solid foundation has been set beneath us and as President it would be my intention that we continue to build and expand within the movement in such a way that allows succeeding terms to do the same, but bolder.

Candidates for Vice-President

Ebony Smalls

esmallsAs the membership co chair of the New York Urban  League Young Professionals I have learned quite a few lessons that have lead to me making the decision to run for the vice presidency today. I have been able to witness the struggles (transitioning board members, dwindling membership) and the triumphs (chapter of the year, awesome programming). In all of this the biggest lesson I have learned that is in order for us to continue to be great we have to support one another in service and as individuals. It really does take a YP village to make great things happen. As vice president I plan to take my role seriously in getting the word out about the mission of the Urban League. Most importantly I plan to support the committee chairs in engaging the membership body so that we can secure even more scholarships for future generations and provide much needed services to our communities.

I plan to support the committees in creating programming and events that appeal to young professionals in varying levels and stages of their development.

YP’s with families: I want to host at least 2 family days a year, which include children whether they be the children of the YP’s or their siblings, nieces/nephews. This can be a family picnic or family game day. I will also work with the community service committee to seek projects that include youth or other family members. How great would it be to see families serving together.

Form smaller supportive groups within the membership body: this is not to create silos but to create more comradery amongst members. If members build friendships based on their interests they will be more likely to stay around and renew their membership. Studies have shown that a friend in the work place increases longevity at a company.

Men’s group-who better to bring in more men, than men? We would find a very active male member who is willing to spear head events and programming that cater to men.

Industry specific-allow the space for those who want to connect with someone in their industry to do so. Let’s give a member an opportunity to take the lead on gathering people within and outside of YP to talk about what’s important in their field of work.

Professional moms and dads- they have to balance life differently than those without the responsibility of being a parent. They should have a space to conect with those who understand as well as a space to continue to serve their community.

I plan to continue to build on the great relationship that we have with our affiliate by keeping the communication open and consistent. i want the general members to feel a connection to the affiliate and our national mission the same as the YP eboard. i hope that within this open communication i can create a space for their voices to be heard with out them being in the room.  I also plan to clarify what our mission is as YP’s is so that we can be clear and open with our members.  i want all members to have an understanding of where we came from but also what we hope to accomplish as an organization moving forward. As vice president I will ensure that programming and meetings reflect a closer alignment to the mission.

In closing I have been a very active member of this organization, participating in 3 conferences, spearheading multiple events and assisting all committees (not just membership) in reaching our yearly goals.  I recently traveled to Flint on behalf of the chapter to assist our brothers in sisters who are in great need. YP has given me countless opportunities to become a more informed, skilled and confident person and as Vice President I plan to provide that same space and opportunity for others.


Candidates for Secretary

Emile Session

E Session 2We need effective people working towards a great goal. The New York Urban League Young Professionals has members with diverse talents and expertise. Their positive contributions to the community are valuable and inspiring, but I believe that our potential is greater than our current influence. My ambition is to grow and develop our capacity.

We need to examine our mission and bylaws to narrow and better our goals and range of projects. We have to choose the right services and get them right. Towards that end, as Secretary I would endeavor to work with the executive board and committees towards the following goals and benchmarks:

  • Rewriting the bylaws with the consultation of the executive board to remove ambiguities about co-chairs
  • Driving project planning and documentation of cross-committee projects and all-member events to improve the lead time leadership has for decision making and members have for submitting time-sensitive information
  • Create procedures for and norm the use of dedicated information sharing and two-way communications tools that:
    • Create a single centralized location members can refer to in order to learn about upcoming events more reliably than the current website, creating a stable set of links for much of the content that currently flows through the weekly announcements and committee emails
    • Enables live collection of and collaboration on projects and meeting feedback so that we better capture the results of our major meetings and events

My proven professional expertise in knowledge, project, and change management makes me the ideal candidate to make sure that the services YP offers our members and community are not only high quality, but of steadily increasing quality. For that reason I ask you to consider electing me as Secretary.



Candidates for Treasurer

Evelyn Owhor

eowhorAs a current member of the Executive Board, I have learned a great deal about what makes the NY Urban League Young Professionals a success.  This past year, I had the privilege to serve as the Community Service Co-Chair.   Throughout the year, I learned valuable leadership qualities and the ability to work together.  I have learned how to manage and communicate with volunteers from a volunteer based organization.  I have also developed a relationship with Access, a Jewish Young Professional Organization, and would hope to continue that in the position of Treasurer.  I am very interested in learning more about the financials and managing a budget of this size.  I hope to make the process seamless between the affiliate, yp’s, and its members.  I want to be timely and organized to ensure that all money related matters are taken care of expeditiously.


Candidates for Parliamentarian

Michael Coleman

mcolemanAs Parliamentarian, it is important to ensure that the Executive team is supported as they conduct the business of the organization. Creating a process that is efficient and effective is a priority. Familiarizing the board and general members of parliamentary procedure will ensure that meetings are run in a timely and orderly fashion.

I seek to empower the executive team to collaboratively develop procedures and processes that meet the needs of the organization. In addition to creating processes that will promote efficiency, cultivating a culture where members can voice their opinions to effect change is vital.



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