CHICAGO, IL (July 14, 2016) – The Chicago Urban League today begins a year-long commemoration of its 100th anniversary. To honor the milestone, the organization is kicking the Centennial year off with a free community cookout in Washington Park on July 23rd from Noon-3:00 p.m., and a call for individuals to collectively pledge 100,000 volunteer hours across the community throughout the year.
Reflecting back a century ago, it is manifestly clear that the work of the Chicago Urban League has played a profoundly significant role in the evolution of the city’s landscape. The League was one of the first affiliates of the National Urban League organized in the United States to address the needs of African Americans migrating from the rural South to the northern cities in unprecedented numbers at the height of the Great Migration. Holding their first organizing meeting at the Wabash Avenue Y.M.C.A. in 1916, an interracial group of community, civic, and business notables set out with one main mission in mind – to create an organization to bring about social and economic justice to Chicago’s African American population.