The Miami Valley Urban League, Dayton, a subsidiary of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, is up and running.
Under the direction of Miami Valley Executive Director Branford Brown, the Urban League has reestablished itself in the Dayton area. It serves Montgomery, Greene, Preble, Miami and Darke counties. The 63-year-old Dayton Urban League closed in 2010 but has been reborn as the Miami Valley League. Prior to closing, Dayton Urban League served about 5,000 clients annually.
— Urban Champions: It is an after-school program in two public schools in West Dayton, not far from the League’s headquarters, 907 W. Fifth St. The schools are Dayton Preparatory Boy’s Academy and Westwood Elementary. Focusing on students in seventh and eighth grades, Urban Champions employs the PeaceBuilders violence-prevention program. It sets behavioral expectations, aims to reduce aggression, and works to transform the learning climate into one in which cooperation, productivity, and academic achievement are valued. A major part of Urban Champions is mentoring, and to date, the program is the only one in the Miami Valley with a virtual mentoring component. Mentors, free to stop in unannounced at school, can utilize computers to Skype and otherwise stay in regular contact with their students. Program participants each receive an iPad to make sure that they are their mentor can stay in touch.
— Youth Employment Training Program: It is a workforce development program focusing on out-of-school young adults ages 18 to 24 years old. The program begins with three weeks of training in the SOAR job-readiness modules. Otherwise known as Solid Opportunities for Advancement and Retention, SOAR prepares its participants for the workforce through a process of personal examination, mock interviews, and resume development. A two-week internship and four weeks of subsidized work follow SOAR. The program – which focuses in Montgomery County, Ohio, on the identified work areas of information technology, logistics, customer service, and manufacturing – is designed to provide participants with a living wage.
— Urban Youth Employment Program: Launched in January 2013, the Urban Youth Empowerment Program NOW (UYEP NOW) serves approximately 700 youth and young adults. UYEP NOW is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Urban League, and it targets juvenile offenders in high-poverty and high-crime communities. The program helps youth develop the skills necessary to obtain jobs in high-growth sectors by providing case management, mentoring, education and training, and career development. A unique component of this program is the integration of restorative justice, an approach that seeks to rehabilitate ex-offenders by holding both them and their community accountable for their actions. This process is facilitated through service-learning projects, including opportunities for youth to give back and help reduce crime in their community.
In addition, Miami Valley Urban League is part of the Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Southwestern Ohio (ULYP-GSO). It exists for the sole purpose of advancing the Urban League Movement through volunteerism, philanthropy and membership development. Young Professionals harnesses the talents, drive and compassion of men and women, ages 21-40, to generate direct and consistent support for the mission the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio. A handful of its 40 overall members are young professionals who live and work in Greater Dayton.