Established in 1910, the Urban League is the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. Today, the National Urban League, headquartered in New York City, spearheads the non-partisan efforts of its local affiliates. There are over 100 local affiliates of the National Urban League located in 35 states and the District of Columbia providing direct services to more than 2 million people nationwide through programs, advocacy and research.
The mission of the Urban League movement is to enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.
The National Urban League Strategy
The Urban League employs a five point strategy, tailored to local needs, in order to implement the mission of our movement.
- Education and Youth Empowerment
- Economic Empowerment
- Health and Quality of Life Empowerment
- Civic Engagement and Leadership Empowerment
- Civil Rights and Racial Justice Empowerment
The Opportunity Compact
The Opportunity Compact is a comprehensive set of principles and policy recommendations set forth by the National Urban League (NUL) designed to empower all Americans to be full participants in the economic and social mainstream of this nation. In pursuit of this end, NUL 1) identifies principles that reflect the values inherent in the American dream; 2) examines the conditions that have separated a significant portion of the American population – particularly the poor and disadvantaged residents of urban communities — from accessing that dream; 3) proposes, for honest evaluation and discussion, several policy recommendations intended to bridge the gap between conceptualization and realization of the American dream.
CORNERSTONES & GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF THE OPPORTUNITY COMPACT
There are four cornerstones to The Opportunity Compact:
1. Opportunity to Thrive (Children)
- Every child in America deserves to live a life free of poverty that includes a safe home environment, adequate nutrition, and affordable quality health care.
- Every child in America deserves a quality education that will prepare them to compete in an increasingly global marketplace.
2. Opportunity to Earn (Jobs)
- Every willing adult in America should have a job that allows them to earn a decent wage and provide a reasonable standard of living for themselves and their families.
- Every adult in America should have equal access to the resources that enhance employability and job mobility, including post-secondary education and other investments in human capital.
3. Opportunity to Own (Housing)
- Every adult in America should have access to the financial security that comes from owning a home.
4. Opportunity to Prosper (Entrepreneurship)
- Every individual in America who possesses entrepreneurial vision, ingenuity, drive and desire should have access to the resources needed to establish and grow a viable business enterprise.