The Urban League of Greater Dallas, North Central Texas - Dr. Beverly Mitchell-Brooks CEO/President
333333Urban League of Greater Dallas & North Central Texas
Communities throughout the United States saw changes during the turbulent 1960s that were a direct result of the civil rights movement. In Dallas, communities began addressing issues like voting rights, housing, employment and health, which directly affected African Americans. In 1966, a bi-racial committee began the organizational process to start a Dallas Urban League affiliate, following a meeting with Whitney M. Young Jr., President of the National Urban League. The committee consisted of George Allen Sr., Alex Bickley, Aubrey Costa, Robert Cullum, R. A. Hester, H. Rhett James, Erik Johnson, Henry Lenoir, Les Potter, Tom Shipp, A. Maceo Smith, J. A. Stanfield, L. Story Stemmons, C. A. Tatum, R. L. Thornton, and S. M. Wright.
Felton Alexander, the first Executive Director, was named in 1967. Two years later, under the leadership of Roosevelt Johnson Jr. the Urban League was accepted as a United Way affiliate. Johnson retired after 22 years of service and following a nationwide search Beverly Mitchell-Brooks, Ph.D. became the League’s third President and CEO.
Over the years the League has been in the forefront in its struggle to enable African Americans and other citizens to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. Its programs include employment, health, housing, education, technology training, ex-offender reentry program and seniors' services. Because of the League's efforts there have been many accomplishments including the following: founded and operated the first funded Sickle Cell Anemia Program; sponsored the first job and health fairs; organized the integration of Fair Park concessions; and is currently one of two HUD certified housing counseling agencies. The most memorable was the move to its permanent headquarters/technology center in 1999. With the opening of the new facility in the heart of Oakcliff, the League's vision "to be the leading community based organization devoted to enabling all citizens to enter and enhance their position in the economic and social mainstream" is becoming a reality. It now serves as the "hub" for providing the critical academic, technical and life skills for citizens to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
The Urban League of Greater Dallas has three satellite Community Service Centers within Dallas County that are funded by the Community Service Block Grant from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The centers are located in Irving, Garland and Pleasant Grove. These locations are part of the Community Action Agency Program. The program provides services to participants whose income is at or below 125% of the poverty index.
Today the movement continues with over 105 affiliates across the nation, each with the mission "To enable African Americans and others secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights."
National Urban League
On January 20, 1910, Mrs. Ruth Standish Baldwin, the widow of William Baldwin, a railroad magnate and a patron of education for blacks in the rural South, brought together an interracial group of New Yorkers to discuss the plight of African Americans who had immigrated to New York City seeking better opportunities.
By 1910, there were some 90,000 African-Americans living in New York the largest concentration in any city outside the south. Most of them were forced to face the harsh realities of a hostile urban environment. Employment opportunities were limited, and the inner-city educational, housing and recreational infrastructure for black residents were sorely lacking.
After conducting the final study of conditions in Harlem, George Edmund Haynes, a doctoral student of social economics at Columbia University, concluded that three community organizations would be more effective if they merged. Subsequently in 1910, Dr. Haynes became the first director of the National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes, later shortened to the National Urban League. Haynes' bequest, a legacy of visionary leadership, gave birth to an organization that now has 105 Affiliates nationwide.