Celebrating its 100 year mark in Washington, D.C.
By Lynda L. Jones
The National Urban League celebrated its Centennial Conference in Washington, D.C this week, July 28-31 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The National Urban League focused on jobs and education during this year’s conference. Marc Morial, president and CEO of the organization stated prior to the convention, “Not only will we refl ect on the Urban League’s great 100-year legacy, we will be looking forward and taking a bold step into a new century of civil rights where the Urban League will continue to lead and deliver on its mission of bringing economic empowerment to people in the communities we serve.”
One of the highlights of the NUL Annual Conference is the State of Black America Report. The 2010 Report Summary was released at the convention, and portions of it are as follows: The State of Black America 2010 Jobs: Responding to the Crisis:
In 2010, as the National Urban League celebrates its 100th Anniversary, the nation has just begun to recover from one of the worst economic crisis in its history. The response to the devastation caused by near-record high unemployment for African Americans that threatens to push an already struggling community deeper into poverty and despair must be urgent. Jobs with living wages and good benefits must be the primary goal for 2010 and ahead.
In this, the 34th edition of The State of Black America, the National Urban League responds to this crisis – it presents the National Urban League’s Plan for Creating Jobs and features analysis and recommendations from experts and leaders on specific steps to address the jobs crisis in urban communities. An all encompassing analysis is provided by in-depth examination of the relationship between jobs and education, healthcare, broadband access and environmentalism. The data and analysis in this report provide a blueprint for responding to this crisis.
The year 2010 brings together three important events at a time when America is at cross-roads- this year will likely mark the end of the Great Recession, the National Urban League celebrates 100 years of existence and the 23rd decennial United States Census will be held. These events will decide what structure the United States’ economy will take in the years ahead and how the demographic shifts in our population will impact on our economic future.
At this juncture, it is worth considering whether the mission of the NUL, that has tirelessly promoted civil rights and economic empowerment, is as important now as it was 100 years ago? What can the NUL do to empower communities to ensure that these unfolding economic and social structures bring prosperity that is shared equity? To answer these questions, the NUL presents the 2010 Equality Index.
To review the 2010 Equality Index that gives an analysis of Black-White comparison in the areas of civic engagement, social justice, economics,health, education visit: www.iamempowered.com, also this year, in addition to the usual Black-White comparison, the Equality Index also includes, for the first time, a Hispanic-White comparison. Inclusion of the Hispanic Equality Index is the biggest change this year. The Hispanic Equality Index expands the discussion of equality and reflects the changing demographics, and reflects the NUL’s 100 year old commitment to justice and economic empowerment for all people.
A similar methodology was used in arriving at the Hispanic Equality Index. However, in some instances, data for Hispanics was not available. By redistributing the weights, we arrived at a Hispanic Equality Index that is comparable to the one for Black America.
The patterns of inequality for Blacks and Hispanics relative to their White counterparts are similar in some ways, yet quite different in others. Economics and social justice are the two areas with the greatest inequality for both groups, however, Blacks are most equal to Whites in civic engagement (102 percent for Blacks and 71.9 percent for Hispanics) while Hispanics are most equal in health (103.4 percent for Hispanics and 72.9 percent for Blacks). This report provides in-depth analysis of the underlying drivers of these inequalities.