Helping New Yorkers in need for 100 years



New York Urban League was founded by a group of interracial New Yorkers in 1919, providing employment and connection for Blacks migrating from the agricultural and rural South to the industrial urban centers of the North.


New York Urban League provided emergency support for the unemployed during the Great Depression.


New York Urban League sponsors Committee for Interracial Voluntary Hospital, which leads to opportunity for Blacks to receive care and work into local hospitals.


New York Urban league negotiated with brewing, airline, and baking industries to open their ranks to African-American workers.


New York Urban League created Street Academies, where 2,000 students completed high school, and the program became the model for national replication.

  • First Frederick Douglass Dinner held to support the work of the New York Urban League

  • Whitney M. Young Classic held to provide scholarships and support educational initiatives of the New York Urban League


New York Urban League established the Youth Enrichment Services program, which provided a range of support services to court-involved youth, and built 536 units of housing on Staten Island.

  • First State of Black New York publications released, and continued on an annual basis


New York Urban League established the annual Historically Black Colleges Fair, which provided thousands of students and parents with information on the college application process and a computerized job bank that gives the community access to employment.


New York Urban League utilized federal grants to develop programs that focused on infant mortality, teen pregnancy, and HIV/AIDS. State, local, and community collaborations helped strengthen the League as a voice for issues facing New Yorkers in need.


New York Urban League refocused its mission on the original underpinnings of employment and education. Established Champions of Diversity Breakfast to honor corporations with exemplary diversity practices.


New York Urban League published “A Parent’s Guide to College.” This guide was made possible through the support of the Daily News, US News & World Report, the New York City Department of Education, and the City University of New York. The guide was designed for parents of students who are the first generation in their family to attend college.

  • The guide examined all facets of college preparation, from entering 9th grade through the critical senior year of high school, as well as examining local options of the CUNY and SUNY system.


New York Urban League in its 100th year of service is reaffirming its commitment to empowering African Americans and other underserved communities to secure a first-class education, economic self-reliance and equal respect of their civil rights through programs, services and advocacy.


100 years of impact and service