THE PLAN: PAVING A PROMISE FOR THE FUTURE
The National Urban League has a unique opportunity to collaborate with New York City and New York State with the support of corporate and private philanthropy to embark on Building for the Future: Campaign for Equality, a $100 million capital campaign.
This unprecedented undertaking will set the tone for a promising future, providing a whole new playing field of opportunity for our leaders of tomorrow.
In the past decade, America has rebounded from the great recession. While many employers have steadily added jobs, the stock market progressively booms, and home prices have reached all-time highs, not all of America is experiencing such success. As stated from McKinsey Global Institute’s report, The Future of Work in America, America is “a mosaic of local economies on diverging trajectories.” (1) As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution, new technologies will result in the elimination of millions of jobs while new ones will be created. According to the report, 60 percent of job growth will be concentrated in 25 megacities and their peripheries, including New York, Austin, and Arlington by 2030. In contrast, 54 middle class cities and 2,000 rural counties where many of our Affiliates are based, such as Detroit and Columbus, could see a decline in job growth, showing an even more polarized labor market. (2)
Vast disparities continue to riddle our country leaving generation after generation facing a never-ending cycle of poverty. Growing economic inequality and exclusion is threatening our nation, and these challenges looking forward will only increase in complexity and scale. The next wave of technology will have a significant impact on jobs across the country, shifting the workforce towards one that emphasizes roles in healthcare, STEM fields, and business services. Now, more than ever, is the time to act and respond to this transition, helping our rising leaders gain new skills that will ensure their success and generate a more sustainable economy.
1 SOURCE: McKinsey Global Institute, 2019, The Future of Work in America, People and Places, Today and Tomorrow, pg. 6
2 SOURCE: McKinsey Global Institute analysis, 2019, The Future of Work in America, People and Places, Today and Tomorrow, pg. 7
ESTABLISHING A PERMANENT HOME
The increase in automation is disrupting the job market, creating a more divided economy. Research shows that these trends may actually be widening the racial gap, which would have a significantly negative effect on underserved communities, especially African American families. As the demand for new skillsets emerge and the uncertainty of our economy grows, we need to prepare our young leaders for this forthcoming transition.
The construction of the Urban League Empowerment Center is our strategic response to expand the Urban League Movement across our nation and prepare our Affiliates to fight the disparity gap in America. Building upon its legacy as a social service intermediary, this exciting initiative will continue to pave the way for leaders, activists, policy makers, and government officials.
This state-of-the-art building will house a center that will:
Inspire and cultivate the next generation of leaders
The Institute for Race, Equity, and Justice will be a facility to convene Affiliates, national leaders, and citizens. It will serve as the cornerstone for comprehensive research, collective knowledge, and thought-provoking materials to guide and enhance Affiliate services nationwide.
Deliver a permanent home and serve as a key base for our organization
The National Urban League Headquarters will provide more office space and reside in the historical home of its past, Harlem, New York.
Foster urban development and job opportunity
Major Retail Space and 170 affordable residential units providing jobs and homes for civilians.
Build on our magnificent history
The Urban Civil Rights Museum will contribute to the art and cultural landscape in Harlem, the epicenter of African American culture in the United States.