Home Local News Urban League of Middle Tennessee to Host 2023 Annual Meeting

Urban League of Middle Tennessee to Host 2023 Annual Meeting

by Cass Teague
Attending the 2022 Urban League of Middle Tennessee Annual Meeting are ULMT President and CEO Clifton Harris (standing at left), along with (seated, l-r): Julian Flournoy, Brenda Harper, Michelle Willis, and Doug Gold, of sponsor Wilson Bank & Trust. (Photo courtesy ULMT)

The Urban League of Middle Tennessee (ULMT) will host its 2023 Annual Meeting, on Thursday, October 26, 2023, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Nissan Stadium’s Wesley Mortgage Club, presented by Wilson Bank. During the event, ULMT President and CEO Clifton Harris will provide the annual “State of ULMT Address” during which he will highlight the successes, accomplishments, and milestones of the past year, which include the year-long, community-wide celebration of the organization’s 55th Anniversary.

“With the support of our extremely committed and dedicated Board of Directors; our amazingly passionate, professional, and devoted staff; and the hundreds of individuals, businesses, and organizations who each year provide their time, talent, and significant financial investment, we have accomplished much this year,” commented Harris. “Our Annual Meeting provides us with the opportunity to thank those who have supported us in our work and in our mission of “empowering communities and changing lives.”

Additional highlights of the past year were the awarding of a $7.8 million grant from Nashville/Metro government to support the Advancing Workforce Equity (AWE) initiative, a partnership between the Urban League of Middle Tennessee and Nashville State Community College, focused on training and placing at least 1500 Davidson County residents in high-demand jobs over the next year and half in the areas of healthcare, IT, advanced manufacturing, construction, business services, and hospitality.

During his remarks, President Harris will also discuss how the Urban League has worked over the last year to enhance its efforts in the area of economic development through increased initiatives focused on supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs across Urban League’s nine-county service area through such programs as Next Level and Co-Starters.

Also during the event, the organization will recognize outgoing Board members Catona Love (Comcast), Cortney McKibben (TVA), Burley Nelson (Acceptance Insurance), Butch Spyridon (Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau), and Brandon Thompson (Smile Direct Club). Additionally, new members of the Board (Pam Magee – Acceptance Insurance, Justin Maierhofer – TVA, Deborah Oleshansky – Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville, and Kimberly Sasser-Hayden – Comcast, and the Board’s new officers will be officially installed.

For more information on the Urban League of Middle Tennessee’s 2023 Annual Meeting, contact Janet Kincherlow-Martin at jmartin@ulmt.org

More about the Urban League of Middle Tennessee

As an organization focused on “building better lives by empowering communities and changing lives”, the Urban League of Middle Tennessee works diligently to ensure that those they serve are provided with opportunities to fully access the educational, employment, and support services necessary to succeed.

Established in 1968 as the Nashville Urban League by J.F. McClellan, Malcolm D. Williams, Hubert B. Crouch, Allen M. Steele, Jasper W. Patton, George Collins, and David K. Wilson and Bernard Werthan, a group of passionate, forward-thinking, and diverse business and community leaders, the Urban League has continued in our stance as an organization committed to economic empowerment, social justice, and equality. Guided by their mission “to enable African Americans, other minorities, and disenfranchised groups to secure economic self-reliance, power, parity, and civil rights,” the Urban League of Middle Tennessee works tirelessly toward the goal of improving the quality of life for those residing in underserved communities throughout our nine-county service area of Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Montgomery, Sumner, Robertson, Rutherford, Williamson, and Wilson counties.

Providing access to a livable wage is at the heart of their work. Their efforts center around programs and initiatives that address five focus areas: Workforce and Economic Development; Youth and education; Health and Quality of Life; Housing and Community Development; and Social Justice and Civic.

As they strive to improve the lives of those who have been economically challenged, they know that a great equalizer to economic advancement is in empowering underserved communities and in bridging the workforce disparity gaps within our region.

Over the last several years, they have experienced unprecedented growth and realized success across many of their initiatives. Most recently, the tremendous impact of their Real Estate Developers (R.E.D.) Academy has brought local, regional, and national attention to the Urban League and this community. Created as a vehicle to provide developers of color an equitable and diverse opportunity to “have a seat at the table” in this community’s residential and commercial development projects, the eight men and four women currently enrolled in the initial cohort have access to $2 billion in capital from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund to help capitalize their real estate projects for affordable housing in Nashville-Davidson County.

Additionally, initiatives such as their Summer Leadership Academy serve to elevate and expose youth to areas focused on ensuring their academic competence while successfully preparing them for life, leadership, and success in our global economy. This year, they had the privilege of working with 22 academically high-achieving, college-bound young men who continue to excel in their academic and extracurricular endeavors.

Programs offered through their Social Justice and Civic Engagement efforts focus on expanding families’ networks and connections, increasing the number of registered voters, and expanding voter education activities throughout Middle Tennessee.

Additionally, during the 2022-23 fiscal year, among the Urban League of Middle Tennessee’s major accomplishments were the following: celebrated their 55th Anniversary with a number of community activities; hosted their 55th Annual Equal Opportunity Day (EOD) luncheon with a record attendance of close to 600 people; announced the results of their Advancing Workforce Equity report, a blueprint for action in filling the disparity gaps within their region’s workforce and which served as the foundation for a $7.2 million grant from Nashville/Davidson County Metro government aimed at placing 1500 local citizens in high-paying jobs in several high-demand fields which include IT, Healthcare, Construction, Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, and Hospitality; successfully conducted their second Next Level program (funded by TVA) aimed at giving the 10 small businesses enrolled the tools to successfully grow their businesses as they move to the “next level’; conducted a free tech symposium which attracted more than 25 area small business owners; conducted a free small business community-wide meeting which attracted over 400 local small business owners and potential owners, providing information on available funding opportunities to support their business expansion; partnered with HiTouch/Staples to give away close to 1500 free, filled backpacks to students returning to school this year; and conducted several free community financial literacy workshops.

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