Director, External Affairs & Special Events
CHICAGO (Oct. 11, 2017)—The Chicago Urban League is pleased to announce the appointment of Calmetta Coleman as Senior Vice President of External Affairs, effective October 23, 2017. Coleman, a seasoned communications professional who has held positions in media, public relations, corporate communications and higher education, will be responsible for the development of the Chicago Urban League’s communications marketing and brand strategy. She will serve as an integral member of the executive management team, reporting to the President and CEO.
Coleman is currently Director of Communications for Civic Engagement at the University of Chicago, where she is responsible for developing and executing strategies to increase awareness of the university’s impact through civic engagement and serving as a spokesperson on community and civic issues. She played a key role in the launch of several major initiatives and in communications and community outreach for the university’s successful bid to bring the Obama Presidential Center to the South Side of Chicago.
“We are excited to welcome Calmetta to our team,” said Chicago Urban League President and CEO Shari Runner. “Her expertise in communications and experience in civic engagement, coupled with her passion around providing opportunities that uplift individuals and strengthen communities, greatly align with the League’s mission.”
In addition to directly managing communications activities, Coleman will contribute to the organization’s strategic planning process.
“The Chicago Urban League has a long history of working for economic, educational and social progress, and that work continues to be as critical today as when the organization began more than 100 years ago,” said Coleman. “I look forward to helping to drive broader awareness for the Chicago Urban League and its important mission.”
Prior to joining the University of Chicago in 2012, Coleman was Senior Vice President, Director of Editorial Services and Corporate Media at Ketchum, a global public relations agency. Other previous roles held include Vice President, Senior Communications Manager for JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Vice President, Media Relations Manager for Bank One. Coleman began her career in 1995 as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal covering multiple topics, including consumer banking, retail, business travel, religion and education.
Calmetta earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with a co-major in business management from Dillard University in New Orleans, La., and a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. A member of the Western Cook County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Coleman teaches Sunday School at Judson Baptist Church in Oak Park, Ill. and resides in Chicago with her husband and two children.
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 www.thechicagourbanleague.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.