Building For The Future:
Campaign For Equity

The Urban League Empowerment Center at
117 West 125th Street, Harlem, USA


For over 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 and conference center, New York State’s first Civil Rights Museum, non-profit office space, retail, community facility space, and affordable housing.

This project will allow the National 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.



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, the Urban League Empowerment Center (ULEC), 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 National Urban League with 40,000 square feet of permanent office space and an additional 40,000 square feet of Museum and conference space, ULEC is our strategic response to expand the Urban League Movement across our nation, prepare our 92 Affiliates across the country to better serve over 3 million clients annually, and fight the equity gap in America.

In addition, the ULEC 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 America, the United Negro College Fund, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and Virginia Union University.

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

National Urban League Conference Center

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.

– The Late John Hofmeister, Founding 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:



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.


  • 1,250 Jobs per Year
  • 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

Economic Boost

  • $307 million in economic activity in NYC
  • $120 million in new wages and compensation
  • $4.4 million in new annual tax revenues

Community Partnership

  • 171 units of mixed-income housing
  • Harlem Community workforce development liaison
  • Collaboration with Harlem community leaders and elected officials including City Council, State Assembly, and Senate representatives


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 in Harlem, 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 in Harlem 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:

  • Showcase the role of the urban civil rights movement in the development of northern cities
  • Provide interactive and educational experiences suitable for children and adults about the long, historic fight for justice featuring individuals and organizations that were key in the Movement, including the National Urban League’s work in helping historically disadvantaged people pursue, obtain, and maintain economic and social opportunities
  • Capture the stories of the Harlem Renaissance and the Great Migration and ways people have organized to secure better lives for themselves

The Urban League Empowerment Center is a historic endeavor that will redefine the way we empower communities and change lives. Please consider how you can support a future where economic self-reliance, power, parity, and civil rights are a reality for all.

JOIN US in the campaign for equity.