solutions circle

Bad for Your Health: The Link Between Unemployment and Well-Being

By Gwendolyn Grant
President & Chief Executive Officer
Urban League of Greater Kansas City

The most common pathway to building economic capacity is steady employment. Unfortunately, on average, Black unemployment is two to three times higher than white unemployment in most urban areas. Historical and contemporary experiences with racism, discrimination, and systematic exclusion from America’s social and economic institutions have had an adverse effect on the physical and mental health of African Americans.

Fighting for Equal Rights and Protecting our Progress

By Sadiqa Reynolds, Esq.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Louisville Urban League

The work of the Louisville Urban League remains relevant—and urgent.  We sit at the heart of trouble and provide critical life support. We have overcome, but we’ve reached no mountaintop. Despite our nation’s hard-fought-for progress, we do not live in a post-racial society, and every program or policy pushed by the Louisville Urban League is grounded in this reality.

Homebuyers Beware: What You Don’t Know Can Shut the Door on the American Dream

By Judson W. Robinson III
President & Chief Executive Officer
Houston Area Urban League

The Houston Area Urban League sees homeownership as an essential wealth creation tool for African Americans and other communities of color. Generally speaking, homeownership is an important milestone for all American families. Often seen as a rite of passage, it is a critical first step for anyone attempting to claim a foothold in the American Dream and further anchor themselves in their neighborhoods and communities.

Calling the Shots: The Rise of African-American Entrepreneurship

By Kevin E. Hooks
President & Chief Executive Officer
Las Vegas Urban League

The United States of America was founded on a narrative of self-reliance. African-American men and women have consistently labored and built this country upwards—even before we were paid for our hard work and ingenuity. Our collective muscle built industries to profit-making greatness, and that legacy continues, but now we are at the helm—and we are calling the shots.

Young, Jobless and Black: How Opportunity Works to Ensure Progress

By Shari E. Runner
President & Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Urban League

There is an immense wealth gap in our nation’s city centers that causes African Americans, particularly our youth, to live quite differently from their white peers. Many of the issues we are observing in our communities: the violence, the poverty, the low graduation rates, the disproportionately high incarceration rates—are symptomatic of structural inequities that cause our Black and brown youth to bury themselves in an underground economy.

Baby Boomer Dreams Go Bust After the Great Recession

By Valarie Shultz-Wilson
President & Chief Executive Officer
Urban League of Southern Connecticut

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit organization that dates the start and end of recessions, the Great Recession began December 2007 and ended in June 2009, but the lingering effects of what is widely viewed as the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression continues to devastate Black Americans around the country. 

“Earn It. Keep It. Grow It.” Smart Consumers Score Greater Economic Mobility

By Stephanie Hightower
President & Chief Executive Officer
Columbus Urban League

One in three families in Columbus, OH lives paycheck to paycheck. People living in poorer zip codes can spend up to 10% of their income only paying off payday lenders. The Columbus Urban League understood—and understands—that breaking the cycle of poverty requires more than a job. It requires building financial stability, sustaining wealth creation and passing on a legacy.

Education Equity in Louisiana: Protecting our Progress

By Erika McConduit, Esq.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Urban League of Louisiana

The Urban League of Louisiana continues to be a powerful voice for educational equity in New Orleans and across the state. Its role in the education landscape has expanded with the establishment of the Education Empowerment Program (EEP), an initiative launched two years ago to increase the agency’s policy presence in the education reform movement and to engage the African-American business community in the education reform dialogue in Louisiana.