New vision...New Direction...New beginnings = New Opportunities…
Dear Fort Wayne Urban League Members, Supporters, Friends and Prospects,
I am honored as well as privileged to join the Fort Wayne Urban League (FWUL) as the new President and CEO, hence the greater Fort Wayne community in late May, 2018. I believe to have come to this region at one of the most critical, yet exciting times for Fort Wayne, as it undergoes rapid and promising economic transformation. Herein lies a unique opportunity to help advance the economic empowerment mission and objectives of the FWUL for our constituents, plus serve as a conduit of robust ideas, be a generator of new innovation and a catalyst for regional growth.
The FWUL, established in 1920, has provided a wide variety of programs and services to help thousands of diverse constituents reach their potential and achieve self-sufficiency, while advocating for a better quality of life for African Americans and others in the region. As we are nearing 100 years of historical impact and achievements in Fort Wayne, I am reminded of the founders and their foresight as critical to the very work we are fortunate enough to carry on today. Building upon the rich legacy of FWUL, while leading in the progression of its’ agenda –“economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights” is a community uplift benefit that is not taken lightly.
There is a global paradigm shift underway that is dramatically changing digital, economic, demographic, and social landscapes across U.S. cities and beyond. At the same time local business and industry expectations, needs, and demands are evolving faster than ever before. Organizations, like FWUL face a radically shifting context for the workforce, the workplace, and the world of work. Therefore, I look forward to leading FWUL and its constituents towards that end, by aligning our organization with global workforce and other fast-breaking socio-economic needs, while seeking resources to equip them with quality education, jobs and business development, entrepreneurial and expanded opportunities, that drives the League’s long-term economic impact across northeast Indiana. So, it is hoped that you will become better acquainted with our vision – To become the premier go-to institution that secures socio-economic access and opportunities for all citizens and support our mission – to enable African Americans and others to achieve economic independence, including civil rights.
As we have concluded 2018, celebrating 98 years of empowering individuals to move toward greater economic independence and self-sufficiency in the Fort Wayne Community, we are facing 2019, by kicking off Bridging the Digital Divide: Infrastructure, Skills and Economic Empowerment: Commemorating 99 Years as year two of our Centennial Legacy Initiative. These next several years, especially, leading up to our 2020 Centennial, there will be focused efforts to restructure and retool FWUL to better meet the myriad of community needs and to bridge the economic gaps between the resourced and under-resourced, while better preparing constituents to fast breaking workforce development opportunities that ultimately yield socio-economic growth. That combined with on-going programs and events that showcase FWUL, our Centennial Initiative seeks to recommit and expand individual, organizational and corporate supporters and engage them in our new vision, mission and purpose, while measuring the imperatives ahead. The framework will include high-impact and outcome-based programmatic elements, including ,but not limited to a robust sustainability plan, a new recognition campaign that highlights and celebrates varying donor gift levels, and connects our past, present and future to greater Fort Wayne. We appreciate you joining us in bridging the divide.
Yours in the Movement!