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Chicago Urban League Celebrates the Power of Opportunity at 52nd Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner

For Immediate Release
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Chicago Urban League Celebrates the Power of Opportunity at 52nd Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and Louis Gossett, Jr. accept Edwin C. “Bill” Berry Civil Rights Awards

CHICAGO (November 12, 2013) —Driven by the theme, The Power of Opportunity: Moving Chicago Forward, the Chicago Urban League, along with many of the city’s business, civic and elected leaders, hosted another successful Golden Fellowship Dinner at the Hilton Chicago.

Committed to the success of Chicago’s African American communities, proceeds from the dinner provide financial support for the programs, collaboration and advocacy work of the Chicago Urban League with key focus areas that include: education, human capital development, workforce development, entrepreneurship and housing.

Andrea L. Zopp, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League highlighted some of the organization’s success stories over the past year but challenged the crowd of more than 1,600 guests to do more to move the city of Chicago forward.

At the Chicago Urban League, we are informed by our history and we see things differently,” said Zopp. “We know that we can surmount the insurmountable. With the power of opportunity lives can be transformed, neighborhoods can be renewed and communities can be restored.

This year’s gala was co-chaired by E. Scott Santi, president and CEO of ITW and Gregory D. Wasson, president and CEO of Walgreens.

“Real change can’t happen without the right tools,” said Santi. “The key is having the necessary resources. The Chicago Urban League provides people with the necessary tools so they can be empowered and find their own fulfillment.”

Wasson added, “In recent years, the Urban League has helped hundreds of homeowners avoid foreclosure and thousands of businesses to grow and create jobs. All this adds up to what reform advocates call “real change” that helps families, communities and cities by empowering individuals.”

Best known for his roles in the landmark television miniseries “Roots” and his Academy Award winning performance in “An Officer and A Gentleman,” Louis Gossett, Jr. accepted the Edwin C. “Bill” Berry Civil Rights along with Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., one of the nation’s foremost civil rights, religious and political figures.

The award is named for Bill Berry, who led the Chicago Urban League from 1956-1969 and was a key leader in the civil rights movement in Chicago. Both Gossett and Jackson were presented with the honor for making a mark on the nation through their hard work, perseverance and creativity.

The 52nd Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner was hosted by comedian/actor Damon Williams and culminated with a show stopping performance by legendary R&B groupThe O’Jays.

Legacy Sponsors for the 52nd Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner were ITW, Loop Capital Markets and Walgreens. Advocacy Sponsors include: Grosvenor Capital Management McDonald’s and PNC Bank.

About the Chicago Urban League
Established in 1916, the Chicago Urban League works for economic, educational and social progress for African Americans and promotes strong sustainable communities through advocacy, collaboration and innovation. For more information, visit