Urban League Receives Single Largest Philanthropic Gift In Organization’s 40-Year History

  • Thursday, December 8, 2022

The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga announced a transformational gift of $2.4 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The contribution will allow the organization to move more expediently towards their goal of advancing racial, social and economic equity through their Reframing Our Future campaign. This is ULGC’s largest single contribution in the affiliate’s history. 

“For decades our leadership, board, staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly, often with limited resources to help make a positive impact on thousands of residents representing communities of color and disadvantaged persons,” said ULGC Board chair, Allen Clare. “This gift will give us the leverage we need to sustain our critical work longer term.”

For nearly 40 years, the ULGC has been on the ground working to help others achieve economic power; however, historically the ULGC has not had the capital, assets, reserve or feasibility to own its own space. The ULGC is positioning the organization to be financially stronger, and ownership will play a role in achieving this goal. ULGC will serve as a pillar of hope, progress and economic opportunity for those who haven't seen themselves in the fabric of Chattanooga’s prosperity, said officials. 

“By placing racial equity and social justice at the forefront of Ms. Scott’s philanthropic agenda, we believe her gift will continue to shine a light on the nation’s structural and institutional barriers for people of color,” said ULGC president and CEO, Candy Johnson. “In addition, it will also help us to accelerate our efforts at the local level as we work to create a more equitable and inclusive Chattanooga.”

ULGC will use this contribution to leverage the initial investments of those who previously made a commitment to the Reframing Our Future capital campaign. The building will increase capacity to serve more individuals through the Center for Education Workforce and Family Empowerment, the Center for Equity and Inclusive Leadership and the Center for African American Business Success. 

“The impact of these dollars will maximize our total investment in our new headquarters and has truly answered my prayers for strengthening our financial position," said Ms. Johnson. "The new facility will modernize the way we are able to deliver our strategy for economic inclusion and be a place where our clients and stakeholders are proud to connect and belong. We are thrilled that Ms. Scott believes in our work and has made this financial commitment for us to do more, longer term. This gift will have the power to transform our pursuit for equity in Greater Chattanooga.”

The new headquarters is at 401 E Martin Luther King Blvd. 


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