Building For The Future:
Campaign For Equity
The Urban League Empowerment Center at
117 West 125th Street, Harlem, USA
PAVING A PROMISING FUTURE
For 110 years, the National Urban League has been collaborating with community leaders, policymakers and corporate partners to elevate the standard of living for African Americans and other historically underserved communities.
The National Urban League has now reached a pivotal moment when we can be as groundbreaking as we were during the Civil Rights Movement. We have joined with L+M Development Partners, Taconic Investment Partners, and BRP Companies to develop the Urban League Empowerment Center (ULEC), a 400,000 square foot state-of-the-art mixed-use space on 125th Street in Harlem. The ULEC will include the Urban League’s headquarters, conference center, and Institute for Race, Equity, and Justice, New York State’s first Civil Rights Museum, office space, retail, community facility space, and affordable housing.
This project will allow the Urban League to practice one of its foundational tenets of asset ownership and model community investment and financial sustainability as it charts the course for equity at the National and Affiliate levels.
ESTABLISHING A PERMANENT HOME
The critical work of the National Urban League needs to be sustained and enhanced so our current and emerging changemakers will be inspired and supported as the uncertainty of our economy grows.
This building, which marks the most important construction project in Harlem in 50 years, represents a major investment in the neighborhood where the National Urban League was founded. Providing the Urban League with 40,000 square feet of permanent office space and an additional 40,000 square feet of Museum and conference space, which will include the Institute for Race, Equity and Justice, ULEC is our strategic response to expand the Urban League movement across our nation, prepare our 90 Affiliates across the country to better serve our nearly 2 million annual clients, and fight the equity gap in America.
In addition, the Urban League Empowerment Center will serve as an “anti-gentrification” project by supporting minority-owned businesses and providing additional office space to other non-profits dedicated to achieving and celebrating meaningful gains for the Black community including One Hundred Black Men of New York, the United Negro College Fund New York, and the Harlem-based Jazzmobile.
Inspire and cultivate the next generation of leaders
Build on our magnificent history
Foster urban development and job opportunity
Deliver a permanent home and serve as a key base for our organization
NUL Institute for Race, Equity, and Justice
We believe that through the enrichment and development of our leaders, entrenched and emerging community issues can be addressed, improved and resolved. To ensure the National Urban League’s commitment to support and develop these rising stars, we need to be armed with the necessary resources.
The National Urban League is the leading authority on urban issues in America – truly understanding the root causes of inequity and developing the most effective and innovative ways to impact lasting change. I support the National Urban League because I believe in equal access to opportunity for all Americans. The work of the Urban League levels the playing field, lifts our urban communities, and elevates economic equity for all.
-John Hofmeister, Building Committee Chair National Urban League
23.7 million lives changed
Over the past decade, the National Urban League Movement has been a force for progress, serving more than 23 million individuals in our core program areas:
SUPPORTING COMMUNITY GROWTH
The Urban League Empowerment Center will mobilize Affiliates and leaders across our nation to advance integrated strategies for achieving inclusive growth. This Epicenter will serve as a model for the sustainability and development of urban communities by generating thousands of jobs over time and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity in New York City. The long-term economic benefits of this investment will ensure the sustained impact of the Movement for years to come.
- 384 Immediate full-time construction jobs
- 250-400 Permanent jobs in Harlem
- 170 Regional jobs
- 30% Workforce in construction composed of local/minority/women
- 30% Permanent jobs for local/minority/women or individuals earning below poverty line
- $307 million in economic activity in NYC
- $120 million in new wages and compensation
- $4.4 million in new annual tax revenues
- 170 units of mixed-income housing
- Harlem Community workforce development liaison
- Collaboration with Harlem Community Boards, elected officials, 125th Street Business Improvement District
THE MUSEUM: PRESERVING OUR HISTORY
Located on 125th Street in central Harlem, the Urban League Empowerment Center will provide 20,000 square feet of exhibition and programming space for The Urban Civil Rights Museum, New York’s first-ever museum dedicated to civil rights.
It will play a historic and transformational role in the revitalization of the neighborhood that once served as the epicenter of American culture and instilled in African Americans across the country a sprit self-determination and pride that ultimately laid the foundation for the Civil Rights Movement.
A Harlem Welcome Center
The Urban Civil Rights Experience Museum at the Urban League Empowerment Center will be a first stop for visitors, with a focus on the development of Harlem as a “beacon for African American progress.” Exhibitions and programs will use high- and low-tech interactives to create opportunities for exploration of Harlem-area attractions, historic and contemporary sites of interest. The Museum would look to partner with area organizations, tour companies, and institutions to serve as an orientation site for tours and activities, preparing visitors and residents alike with fun experiences.
An Information Hub: This space will provide resources for residents and visitors on cultural opportunities throughout the area.
A Museum Focused on Urban Civil Rights:
Using Harlem-based stories as a jumping off point, the exhibitions and programs will:
- Capture the stories during the Harlem Renaissance
- Showcase the role of the urban civil rights movement in the development of cities
- Use the experience of Harlem as a lens through which to see the wider urban civil rights experience in cities across America
- Provide interactive and educational experiences suitable for children and adults on the role of organizations like the Urban League in helping historically disadvantaged people pursue, obtain, and maintain economic opportunities