Urban Leadership Program (formerly African American Leadership Development Program / AALDP)


Urban Leadership Program

Urban Leader Mission

The mission of the Urban Leader program is to create a learning environment where candidates are challenged to explore leadership concepts and insights that will benefit leaders of color at work and in community activities. Through this environment, the program attracts and builds a strong network of effective leaders of color who model the characteristics needed to serve their respective organizations and communities.

Urban Leader Program Description

The Urban Leader program is designed to appeal to urban leaders. Its purpose is to develop a pool of men and women of color from various backgrounds with interest in, and leadership capacity for, effectively addressing ongoing and emerging corporate and community issues.

During this ten-month program, participants will meet monthly to learn through lectures, discussion and direct experience every major aspect of community life. Issues, from economics and education to criminal justice and cultural diversity will be explored. Participants will also begin to develop working relationships with civic, social, political and community leaders.

To enhance the quality of the presentations, topic experts are used throughout the program to ensure the development of sharpened leadership skills. These speakers are excellent motivators and educators.

Contact Person

The Greater Cincinnati Urban League
3770 Reading Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45229

Patricia A. Bready
Facilitator of Leadership Development & Neighborhood Programs
Office: (513) 487-6512 | Mobile: (513) 300-3589
Email: pbready@gcul.org

Urban Leader Benefits


  • Generates opportunities to sharpen leadership skills of the employees
  • Creates highly motivated and challenged employees who are better prepared to go above and beyond their job responsibilities
  • Improves your corporate image in the community and demonstrates community and corporate involvement
  • An excellent investment in employee development
  • Provides an opportunity to showcase the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Provides networking opportunities among companies doing business in the Greater Cincinnati region


  • Gain a broader and more informed perspective of community issues and their impact upon the quality of life for people of color living in the Greater Cincinnati area
  • Participate in thought-provoking leadership training and experiential activities
  • Participate in creative problem solving to improve the lives of individuals in communities of color
  • Expand personal and professional networks and enhances working relationships
  • Receive recognition and prestige as a corporate and community leader

Urban Leader Program Topics

  • Sessions are typically held the first Friday of the month and begin with a continental breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
  • Sessions will almost always begin at 8:30am (inclement weather may adjust the start time)
  • Friday sessions typically end by 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday sessions typically end by 2:00 p.m.
  • In the event date or time changes are required, participants will receive ample notice of program changes
  • We encourage employers to view these days away from the office as professional development opportunities.

Topics and General Dates

Urban Leadership Program Topics and Dates

Urban Leader Class Syllabus

Urban Leader programming is grouped into three “discovery” modules. Each module is designed to expose and enlighten the members of the class to the obstacles and potential that exists within us as individuals and within our community.

Module One – Discovery of Self

“To thine own self be true.” A leader cannot be effective without first understanding self. The Camp Joy experience allows each leader to test him/herself physically and mentally. It is an opportunity to explore one’s ability to engage in personal challenges and to be part of a team.

Communities of color, especially African Americans are dying from diseases that can be controlled or prevented, such as high rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity among other ailments. As leaders, the strain and stress of coping in stressful work environments, competing for promotions and raises, as well as, seeking majority community acceptance often places our personal health in jeopardy and we fall prey to the same illnesses that we find in other segments of our community. We cannot achieve or accomplish the simplest tasks if we are unhealthy. So we will explore Health & Wellness issues.

What is our history and how does it relate to our position as leaders today? Recent historical political and societal events have served as notice that citizens of color are still not judged solely by the content of their character, but that race is still a contributing factor. In spite of President Barack Obama’s success and election to the highest office in the land by people of all colors and ethnicities, there are still those who see President Obama’s race first. At the same time, many leaders of color have worked to move themselves beyond the restrictions imposed by others. You are to be celebrated. But, we are our brother and sister’s keepers and with that knowledge comes the responsibility to understand that the blessings that have been afforded you are not the same for all. Many people of color struggle in Cincinnati and in America. We will explore these historical and contemporary realities.

Module Two – Professional Development

The intent of the program is not to focus solely on professional development, but to also introduce participants to the issues/needs of the community. It is imperative, however, that we sharpen the leadership skills of the participants by tying the day’s topic into overall discussions of professional development and practical application. This requires examining those areas that influence and impact, how we behave as professionals, as leaders and as individuals with a responsibility to our families and our community. Together we will explore these concepts.

You’ve got the power! How do we recognize it, how do we use it and how do we use our power not only for self, but for the benefit of others?

Retirement is not that far away, no matter where you are in your journey. The questions are ones we all share in – one way or another: How do we plan now for the future? How do we begin to build generational wealth? How do we begin to achieve economic parity through our career aspirations or through our entrepreneurial aspirations?

Module Three – Discovery of Community

The very crux of the leadership program is to expose leaders to the needs of the community. At the same time, members of the program must also be able to articulate community needs to their employers, as well as, assist employers in determining their corporate commitments to the greater community. Time, talent and treasure become the footprints for our careers and our lifestyles as we address the needs of our community. Leaders must also position themselves to seek opportunities to articulate the needs of our community so that we may partner with others who will join us as we make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.


Just who do we think we are? The answer is simple – we are men and women who are leaders in every sense of the word. We have explored and discovered our personal hidden treasures and the treasures to be found in our community. We have also created within ourselves a greater understanding of the work that remains to be done. We’ve earned the right to celebrate!

Urban Leader Alumni Are Everywhere!

Urban Leaders Alumni Are Everywhere

Urban Leaders Alumni Are Everywhere

Urban Leaders Alumni Are Everywhere

These Companies are Transformational Supporters of the Urban League’s Corporate Heritage Annual Giving Program.