National History


  • Committee on Urban Conditions Among Negroes was established on September 29, 2010 in New York City by Dr. George E. Haynes and Ruth S. Baldwin (widow of railroad magnate William Baldwin).


  • The Committee merged with the Committee for the Improvement of Industrial Conditions Among Negroes (founded in New York in 1906) and the National League for the Protection of Colored Women (founded in 1905) to form the National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes.

  • Professor Edwin R. A. Seligman of Columbia University, one of the leaders in progressive social service activities in New York City, served as chairman of the League Board from 1911 – 1913.


  • Housing becomes the first department established by the National Urban League

  • Mrs. Ruth Baldwin serves as League Board chairperson until 1915.


  • Following WWI the league creates housing management companies to stimulate the building of better quality housing in black neighborhoods.

  • Eugene Kinckle Jones becomes director of the League until 1941.

  • Boycotts against firms that refuse to employ blacks

  • Pressures on schools to expand vocational opportunities for young people

  • Constant prodding of Washington official to include blacks in New Deal recovery programs

  • A drive to get blacks into segregated labor unions


  • Vocational centers are set up to provide career advice and prepare African-American youth for jobs

  • The National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes was shortened to the National Urban League


  • Dr. Charles Johnson begins the monthly literary publication Opportunity: Journal of Negro Life.  The journal serves as a platform for discussing the racial issues and interracial cooperation.  Opportunity also serves as an invaluable outlet for African-American to express their points of view, as they were excluded from white publications.


  • President Roosevelt’s administration is encouraged by the National Urban League to appoint more than a hundred blacks to race-relations advisory positions within federal departments and newly established agencies.


  • The Fair Employment Act is passed by President Roosevelt in response to A. Philip Randolph’s March on Washington, which protested the racial discrimination of the defense industries.


  • The Pilot Placement Project, a program designed to place technically professionally trained workers in satisfactory positions in private industry is established.


  • The U.S. Supreme Court rules against segregation in schools in the landmark case, Brown vs. Board of Education in Topeka.


  • National Urban League establishes an office in Washington, D.C. to keep informed about Washington developments and forge closer ties between the League and both the Legislative and Executive branches of the federal government.

  • Whitney M. Young, Jr. became executive director of the National Urban League.

  • Expanded the League’s fund-raising

  • Made the League a full partner in the civil rights movement


  • Under the leadership of Whitney M. Young, Jr., the League proposes the “Domestic Marshall Plan” to improve the education, employment and social and cultural status of African- American suffering poverty.

  • League members join a quarter of a million people in the historic March on Washington.


  • NUL develops an on-the-job training program in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor.

  • The Civil Rights Act is passed making racial discrimination illegal in public places.


  • NUL establishes the Operation Equality Program to provide counseling, information and housing assistance programs.


  • The Black Executive Exchange Program is established to better prepare students of black colleges and universities for industry-related careers.

  • NUL publishes “Call to Action” a blueprint specifying what the federal government must do to solve the urban racial crisis.  It is delivered to President Nixon on January 20th, the day of his inauguration.

  • Whitney M. Young, Jr. is awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom by President Johnson.


  • Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., formerly Executive Director of the United Negro College Fund, takes over as the League’s fifth Executive Director (the title was changed to President in 1977).

  • Guided the League to major expansions of social service efforts as it became a conduit for the federal government to establish programs and deliver services to aid the urban communities.

  • Brokered fresh initiatives in housing, health, education and minority business development

  • Instituted a citizenship education program to increase the black vote

  • Brought new programs to such areas as energy, the environment and non-traditional jobs for women of color

  • Developed The State of Black America report


  • NUL released the State of Black America report.  The annual report’s Equality Index looks at key indices to examine how blacks compare with whites in key areas such as economics, education and health.


  • The League Vice President and DC director, John E. Jacobs became president of the League.

  • Established the Permanent Development Fund to increase the organization’s financial stamina

  • Established the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Training Center to provide training and leadership development.

  • The Whitney M. Young, Jr. Race Relations Program was developed to recognize affiliates doing exemplary work in race relations.

  • The Whitney M. Young, Jr. Commemoration Ceremony is created to honor long term staff and volunteers.


  • The National Urban League Incentives to Excel and Succeed was established to create an affiliate-based network to empower African American youth.  The program was the beneficiary of all proceeds from the Stop the Violence Movement and their hip hop single, Self Destruction.


  • Hugh B. Price, appointed to the League’s top office in July 1994

  • Intensified the organization’s work in three board areas: education and youth development, individual and community-wide economic empowerment, affirmative action and the promotion of inclusion as a critical foundation for securing America’s future as a multi-ethnic democracy.

  • Established the League’s institute of Opportunity and Equality in Washington, D.C. which conducts research and public policy analysis of urban issues for the Campaign for African American Achievement, a community mobilization and advocacy imitative created to raise awareness and promote the importance of achievement through the formation of the National Achievers Society, “Doing the Right Thing” recognition in local communities and the National Urban League’s Scholarship Program.


  • National Urban League Young Professionals group is established.  The auxiliary’s goal is to engage individuals ages 21-40 to help their communities through volunteerism and philanthropy.


  • Marc H. Morial becomes president and CEO and creates the first Legislative Policy Conference.

  • Secures a $127.5 million equality fund to invest in minority businesses through the New Markets Tax Credit program.

  • Revamped the State of Black America report

  • Created profitability for the annual conference

  • Introduced and developed a stronger strategic director of the organization with a “five point empowerment agenda” that focused on closing the equality gap which exists for African American and other emerging ethnic communities in education, economic empowerment, health and quality of life, civic engagement and civil rights and racial justice.


  • NUL and the National Coalition for Black Civic Participation launches the Vote to Empower Bus Tour and Rally to increase voter turnout in the 2008 presidential election.

  • Barack Obama, the nation’s first black President is elected.


  • The recession prompts the NUL to address the foreclosure crisis.  Its Economic Empowerment Tour features the Restore Our Homes Housing Rescue Fair and foreclosure-prevention workshops.

  • Convenes a Green Job Summit in Washington, DC.

Local History


  • The Urban League of Wichita was given a tentative affiliate status with the National Urban League and was accepted as a member by the Community Planning Council.


  • Wichita Urban League published its first annual report in March.

  • The Urban League of Wichita sponsored an Adoption Institute linking adopters with orphan service agencies.

  • The Wichita Urban League sponsored a Vocational Opportunities Institute which highlighted successful African Americans in business, the professions and skilled labor as well as recent high school graduates.

  • Gaines Bradford CEO (February – April)

  • Milton D. Lewis CEO (1956 – 1958)


  • Marion Taylor appointed CEO

  • Sidney H. Alexander, JR. appointed CEO (November – October 1963)

  • Guild Auxiliary organized

1964 - 1963

  • Hugh Jackson appointed President & CEO

1966 - 1995

  • Urban League of Wichita, Inc opened doors on 13th Street


  • The Urban League of Wichita collaborated with the Wichita chapter of the American Institute of Banking to ensure the graduation of seventeen African Americans from a bank training program with reasonable assurance of securing jobs.


  • Awarded a grant for the National Urban League’s Black Student Summer Program, enabling college students the opportunity to work on employment, education, youth incentives and health problems in black communities

1972 - 1973

  • Henry Morgan, President & CEO


  • Otis Milton, President & CEO (1973 – 2003)

  • Opening of offices in Dodge City and Topeka

  • Opening of the Community Learning Center

  • Inception of many programs still in effect


  • Implemented the Equal Opportunity Program to encourage African Americans and other minority groups to exercise their full potential through education, employment, housing and economic development.


  • Began what is known today as the Young Engineers and Scientists Program in collaboration with Boeing in an effort to expose African American students to the preparation needed for technology careers.


  • The Urban League of Wichita Community Learning Center is built to house the programs sponsored by the Urban League.  The CLC serves youth who have “fallen through the cracks”, high school drop outs, pregnant teens, early arrest and the underprivileged.


  • Unveiled the “Partnering to Save Our Schools” Program.  The program, given by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, advocates safe and drug-free schools and communities.  The program was to assist youth, parents and community leaders address the problems of drugs, violence and crime that influence adolescence in the community.


  • The Urban League of Wichita’s YES Program sponsored a Young Pilots Scholarship Program.  Students were offered a $5,000 scholarship and all students who stayed in the program and were able to retain a 3.0 grade point average became licensed pilots by the end of October that year.


  • Prentice Lewis (Interim President & CEO)

  • Brian Black President & CEO (2004 – 2007)

  • Name changed to Urban League of MidPlains


  • The Urban League of the MidPlains participated in a partnership to create a digital animation program at Northeast Magnet High School.  Students learned how to produce video games and create 3-D computer animation.

  • The Urban League of the MidPlains partners with Cox Communication to establish the Urban League Education, Youth and Family Services Empowerment Center to serve underprivileged youth and their families.


  • January 29th name changed to Urban League of Kansas

2008 - 2012

  • Chester Daniels President & CEO

2013 - 2014

  • Kevin Andrews, Int. President/CEO


  • Desmond Blake, Int. President/CEO 2015


  • Mary K. Vaughn, Executive Director

2017 - Present

  • Melody McCray-Miller, Int President/CEO


  • Urban League of Kansas enters into a Research and Collaboration Partnership with Wichita State University.

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