Established in 1916, the Chicago Urban League helps people find jobs and establish careers, become homeowners, enhance their educational experiences, strengthen their leadership skills, and grow their businesses. One of the oldest and largest affiliates of the National Urban League, we promote strong, sustainable communities through advocacy, innovation, and collaborative community, corporate and civic relationships.
Ensuring access to quality education that prepares individuals to become lifelong learners and to be competitive and successful in the global economy.
Preparing individuals for work at all levels in an ever-changing economy, developing engaged citizens, and building strong families.
Supporting community-based investment and growth through facilitating entrepreneurship, business development, and home and real estate ownership.
Advocating for policies and programs that ensure equal participation by Black people in the economic and social mainstream.
For more than a century the Chicago Urban League has been at the forefront of providing strategic and impactful advocacy, programming and outreach in education, economic development and social justice. Born out of a national movement to meet the needs of Black people migrating to urban areas in search of a better life, we have been fearless in our efforts to remove barriers that prevent individuals and families from opportunities that enable them to strengthen their lives and their communities.
At our core, we are a civil rights organization that works with a diverse group of collaborative and funding partners who share our vision that a strong Black community is a better Chicago. With the help of our partners, we are able to reach more than 15,000 people annually through programmatic areas that include education, entrepreneurship, housing, human capital and workforce development and through civic engagement that includes advocacy for education funding equity, community safety, and health and wellness.
While much has been accomplished since we first opened our doors in 1916, more work remains to ensure that Black people and all who are underserved and marginalized have access to the opportunities to transform their lives.
As you visit our website, please take a moment to learn more about our impact in the communities we serve. We also invite you to become a part of the movement by attending one of our events, joining one of our three auxiliaries, or becoming a contributor.
In addition to our broad community of donors and collaborators, the Chicago Urban League is supported by three auxiliaries that help to expand our impact. These auxiliaries are intergenerational and promote activities in line with the League’s mission. They work to develop civic leaders within our network of supporters, and they provide thousands of volunteer service hours to the community.
The mission of The Leaguers of the Chicago Urban League—established in 1955 by Muriel Ibom—is to assist with Chicago Urban League’s fundraising efforts; perpetuate the Urban League’s policies and programs; increase awareness and community interest in the Urban League’s work; acquaint Chicagoans with the challenges that the League addresses; and solicit memberships and volunteers for Urban League activities. Join our efforts to empower communities and change lives by contacting Shapell Smith, president of The Leaguers, at email@example.com.Contact The Leaguers
The Women's Board was founded in 1966 by Dr. Arnita Young Boswell, the sister of Whitney M. Young, Jr., executive director of the National Urban League from 1961 until 1971. The auxiliary’s primary focus is to raise funds for scholarships in Whitney M. Young, Jr.’s name. The auxiliary is a group of philanthropic women who believe that “to whom much is given, much is required.” Women’s Board members play an active role in advancing the growth of the Chicago Urban League through direct service and fundraising.
“Our members believe that all things are possible when one is given support and the tools to succeed. By providing scholarships to students and supporting them along their educational journey, we are providing them the opportunity to gain the skills needed to be independent, critical thinkers, and productive citizens, says president, Jasmine E. Guy.”Contact the Women's Board
The mission of the Metropolitan Board - founded in 1983 by John Rogers and James Compton - is to identify and develop the leadership potential of African American young professionals in Chicago. This award-winning group of young leaders provides service to the community and supports the mission of our organization. Join our efforts to engage the next generation of Chicago leaders by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or www.metroboard.org.Find Out More