At the annual Equal Opportunity Day (EOD) breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 a.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center, the Urban League will celebrate 30 years of empowerment in the Chattanooga community and present awards to individual and corporate leaders who have championed equal opportunity, civil rights and social justice. Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, will be the keynote speaker.
For this year’s EOD breakfast, the Urban League will continue its theme of “Inclusion by Design,” which speaks to creating a corporate and community culture that embraces the talent and contributions of individuals of all backgrounds.
“As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we continue to work toward making every individual in our community feel vested, accepted and empowered to reach their personal and professional goals, irrespective of backgrounds,” said Warren E. Logan, Jr., president and CEO of Urban League of Greater Chattanooga. “Together, we can make Chattanooga a city of inclusion, a city of opportunity, a city of choice.”
Keynote speaker Marc Morial has a distinguished professional career as an entrepreneur, lawyer, Louisiana state senator, mayor of New Orleans and president of the U.S. conference of mayors. He has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential black Americans by Ebony magazine and one of the Top 50 Nonprofit Executives by Nonprofit Times. As the President and CEO of the NUL since 2003, Mr. Morial has spearheaded initiatives to expand the NUL’s work around an empowerment agenda, including a program to help young adults secure sustainable jobs, an entrepreneurship center model to support the growth of small businesses and the NUL Empowerment Fund, which has pumped almost $200 million into urban impact businesses.
The annual Equal Opportunity Day event provides an opportunity to engage the entire community in a celebration of inclusiveness and is also an important fundraiser to support the Urban League’s programs and community impact. During the 2012 fiscal year, the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga served nearly 7,000 people in the region. As part of the organization’s commitment to academic success, the Urban League served more than 600 youth in grades K-12 through the Street Academy, STEM Academy, Digital Connectors, Equity and Excellence Project, Infinite Scholars Scholarship Fair, National Achievers Society and a community garden initiative. The Urban League’s economic empowerment programs created $6.2 million in new wages in the Chattanooga area and provided volunteer income tax assistance, homeownership counseling, job training, contract compliance and support to startup and existing minority and women-owned businesses. To further the organization’s health and wellness initiative, the Urban League offered the Fit for Life program, Community Health Navigator and a Health Symposia series addressing urgent public health issues throughout the region.
“Equal Opportunity Day is a celebration to acknowledge the successful programs the Urban League has pioneered to help individuals and families achieve better education, better jobs, better job training and better health,” said Charlesetta Woodard-Thompson, Urban League board chair and president/CEO of Erlanger Health Systems. “I am proud to be a part of an organization that continues to impact the community and empower its people by helping them realize their full potential.”
At this year’s event, the Urban League will debut the Inclusion by Design Award, which recognizes a company that embraces inclusion through its employment and business practices and community engagement activities. The Community Impact Award honors a local organization whose contributions have impacted not only the Chattanooga community but also the world. The Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award recognizes outstanding services by an individual for demonstrated leadership and commitment to both social consciousness and civic involvement.
Sponsors of the event include EPB, Erlanger Health System, Miller & Martin PLLC, Brewer Media and the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
The Urban League is offering several sponsorship levels for the event, with corporate tables starting at $1,000 and non-profit tables available for $800. Each sponsorship level offers additional recognition opportunities, and all proceeds from the event will support the Urban League’s empowerment programs. For more information, visit www.ulchatt.net or call Keesha Marshall at 423 756-1762.