In 1920, a small group of progressive-minded African American leaders from Fort Wayne realized that a growing number of peers were migrating north to escape the Jim Crow South, thus sought better economic and social opportunities. These residents recognized that migrating African Americans would need help with their assimilation process into northeast Indiana—in terms of acquiring homes and attaining jobs and entering educational institutions. This realization was the impetus behind the Fort Wayne Community Association, and worked primarily to provide organized recreation for youth and social opportunities.
Almost 30 years after inception, the Fort Wayne Community Association merged with the National Urban League (NUL). The Association knew that, to remain a viable organization, it would need to offer services beyond just recreational and social opportunities; it would need to begin to develop programs focused on housing, employment, health, economic development, community engagement, civil rights in order for citizens to achieve true economic self-reliance opportunities. Therefore, on October 1, 1949, the Fort Wayne Urban League (FWUL) Inc. emerged.
For nearly 100 years, the Fort Wayne Urban League has provided a wide variety of services to help thousands of diverse constituents reach their potential and achieve self-sufficiency individually and as a collective family, while serving as a catalyst for a better quality of life for African Americans and others in the region. FWUL has also served as a significant recruitment resource for employers seeking to develop an inclusive workforce. FWUL, continues to build upon program delivery that address contemporary socio-economic needs, and we remain committed to our vision of being the premier catalyst for positive change in the quality of life for African Americans and others in the greater Fort Wayne, northeast Indiana region.