GCUL welcomes new Executive Director, Chara Fisher Jackson

Chara Fisher Jackson, executive director, Greater Cincinnati Urban League

Chara Fisher Jackson, executive director, Greater Cincinnati Urban League


The restructuring of the area’s Urban League affiliate moved another step toward completion with the hiring of Chara Fisher Jackson as Executive Director of Greater Cincinnati Urban League.

Jackson started work Sept. 10 as the head of Greater Cincinnati Urban League, which, along with Miami Valley Urban League, is an affiliate of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio.

The regional structure, developed in 2012, accommodates the creation of the Miami Valley Urban League, which replaced the Dayton Urban League, which disbanded in 2010 after 63 years of service.

Jackson is responsible for daily operations of Greater Cincinnati Urban League, those formerly managed by Donna Jones Baker, who retains her titles as President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio. Branford Brown, hired in November 2014, is Executive Director of Miami Valley Urban League.

Jackson worked most recently as Deputy Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. She has a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. She earned her Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the William & Mary School of Law, Williamsburg, Va. A native of Marietta, Ga., she holds Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and a minor in French from Atlanta’s Oglethorpe University, which she attended as a Coca-Cola Minority Student Scholar.

Jackson also has worked for the ACLU in North Carolina. Her hiring completes an eight-month national search.

“Chara brings a multitude of talents to the Urban League, including grant writing, fundraising, and advocacy,” Baker said. “Chara is an experienced leader who is the perfect person to move the Cincinnati Urban League into a period of greater reach and even more positive impact in our community. She is dedicated to the League’s mission of creating economic equality that helps generations of people.”

The Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio touches several thousands of lives annually in workforce development, youth, business development, and justice programs.

Chara Fisher Jackson on the primary role of Greater Cincinnati Urban League: “To work strategically to fulfill our mission to transform generations by promoting personal empowerment and economic self-sufficiency. Our vision is to have vibrant communities with thriving individuals, families and businesses. GCUL uses it resources to make Cincinnati and the surrounding region a desirable place to live and work.”

Jackson on why the work of GCUL so important in this place and time:
“This August, GCUL released The State of Black Cincinnati. The report highlights the many challenges faced by African-Americans in Cincinnati that come from inequalities in economics, health, education, housing and many other areas. Rather than be discouraged by the current state of affairs, GCUL is inspired and ready to work harder to make a difference. GCUL is so important because it has a successful history of strengthening the workforce, empowering individuals and supporting youth in a way that changes communities.”

On what she would like to see GCUL doing one year from now: “GCUL will be celebrating the success of even more job-readiness graduates who have worked hard to become a part of the workforce. They will use what they have learned to secure jobs and careers that allow them to support their families. Our youth programs will continue to expand and provide children with the support they need to be successful in school – as well as prepare to become a part of the workforce or move on to college. Most of all, GCUL will continue to be recognized as an organization that is a vital resource and an essential community member.”

On the hidden gems about this affiliate that the community may not know about:
“One of the many strengths of GCUL is a tireless, dedicated staff. My colleagues here are not only committed to GCUL’s vision of vibrant communities but also have the knowledge, skills, talent and tenacity to make that vision a reality. I would like the community to know we have a building filled with individuals that are ready to support them, prepare them and do everything possible to help them lead fulfilling and prosperous lives.”

On the city the Urban League serves: “Cincinnati has welcomed me, and it already feels like home. I look forward to using my talents and skills as an Urban Leaguer to contribute to the growth of Cincinnati’s communities.”

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