History

The  Greater Cincinnati Urban League was founded in 1948 as an independent social service agency dedicated to the enhancement of economic opportunities for African Americans in the tri-state area.  Over the years, the Greater Cincinnati Urban League has focused its efforts on five initiatives; training and job placement, advocacy, health, youth development and leadership.  The background for each of these areas provides a rich understanding of the League, as we know it today.

Training and Job Placement

Incorporated in 1949, the Greater Cincinnati Urban League  focused its earliest efforts on providing employment opportunities for African Americans who had migrated to northern cities in the century.

The Industrial Relations and Vocational Guidance Counseling Program, the initial program sponsored by the Urban League, laid the groundwork for decades of training and business intervention designed to ensure that African Americans could provide a livelihood for their families, while contributing to the betterment of the Cincinnati community.

Throughout the 50s and 60s, the Urban League sponsored a variety of skills training programs that resulted in the placement of thousands of local Cincinnatians in viable jobs.  Today’s Workforce Development Program, a complete job preparation program, grew out of these historical roots.  The Workforce Development Unit equips African Americans with training in a wide variety of job skills to prepare our constituents for the business community.  It serves as a vital link between African American community and major businesses in Cincinnati to procure job placement and retention for local citizens.

 Advocacy

The Greater Cincinnati Urban League has maintained a prominent position throughout its history as an advocate for civil rights for African Americans.  In the late 50s and 60s, the Urban League campaigned for equal housing through programs that assisted local communities in responding to changing neighborhoods and promoted equal opportunity to secure affordable housing for our constituents.  The League worked in some cases for decades to achieve complete integration of public entities and entertainment.  In the turbulent 60s, the Urban League took a leadership position shaping policy guidelines for black protestors to encourage an emphasis on peaceful demonstration to effectively stamp out discrimination and where it occurred.  In recent years, the Urban League has focused on the relationship between policing authorities and the African American community, offering education, counsel, and representation to ensure that African Americans are provided their civil rights and treated with dignity when they come in contact with local law enforcement representatives.

Health

In the 1970s, the Urban League added a focus on health to address the specific needs of African Americans in our community.  In 1973, the Health and Community Services Program was founded to research the health needs of African Americans and provide viable solutions to those needs.  In its earliest days, the Health and Community Services Program published a Health Services Industry Analysis and Health and Community Services Directory that served as resources to our constituents.  The League sponsored annual health fairs and partnered with local health organizations to establish programs, like the AIDS Awareness Program.

Youth Development

Characteristic of its pro-active approach, the Urban League has focused on the positive development of youth to open doors and build futures.  In its early days, the League sponsored College Jamborees that encouraged African American youth to seek post-high school education as a foundation to their professional future.  Over the decades, the League has sponsored multiple youth enrichment programs designed to equip our youth with the necessary skills to compete effectively.  The Centers for Excellence, designed to provide after-school programs for our youth, and our summer Village Schools have their roots in the youth-enrichment programs of the 60’s and 70’s.

The Greater Cincinnati Urban League has addressed the difficult problem of teen pregnancy through programs that began in 1986 to encourage our young people to postpone the creation of families until they have completed their education and established their own direction.  Such programs have been very successful in reducing the rate of teen pregnancies within the city of Cincinnati.

Leadership

As we moved into the last decade of the twentieth century, the Urban League focused much of its efforts on leadership skills.  We established the African American Leadership Program to enhance the leadership skills of our professional constituents in the city and to prepare them to support the work of the Urban League in addressing remaining social issues.  The NULITES program was established to equip our teenage youth with problem-solving skills that enhance their ability to deal with life’s challenges and to prepare them as future leaders within our community.

A variety of parent involvement and training programs were established to ensure that African American mothers and fathers would be able to effectively address issues surrounding the education of their children and the development of youth in our community.

The position of the Urban League as a leading force in the Cincinnati community was galvanized during the 1990s, as the League grew into its own.  The number of programs and amount of support received from the community increased dramatically under sound leadership.  The Urban League established an annual report, the State of Black Cincinnati, designed to update the community on progress that has been made and issues that remain to be addressed.  The tremendous support for the Urban League was demonstrated in the capital campaign that resulted in building our current facility, A League of Our Own.  With support from the local community and major businesses, the groundbreaking for the building occurred in 1996 and was completed in 1997.  This state-of-the-art structure serves as a focal point for the African American community and the many League programs designed to continue our emphasis on training, advocacy, youth development, and leadership.

Summary

For over 60 years, the Urban League has worked collaboratively with all sectors of the community to level the playing field and provide a better way of life for African Americans.  As we move into the 21st century, much work needs to be done.  However, the League has established itself on many fronts as a viable force ensuring that we will realize our vision of strong African American families who are well educated, healthy, and contribute significantly to their communities.

Greater Cincinnati Urban League Historical Timeline

1900-1929

African Americans were 11.6 percent of the United States population at 8,833,994, who were officially segregated in the South and unofficially in the North. There were no Blacks who held public office or served as managers or salespeople in corporate America. One hundred and six Blacks were lynched in 1900.

May 30, 1902: Cincinnati’s African American community unveils a monument to abolitionist Levi Coffin at Spring Grove Cemetery.

November 7, 1912: The Colored Industrial School opens on West Sixth Street as a vocational center for African American students.

December 1, 1912: The Royal union Improvement Co. agrees to allow the Cincinnati Colored Girls Home to construct a large home on the company’s California, Ohio land.

July 28, 1914: World War I begins in Europe.

November 8, 1914: Jennie Porter and Frances Russell, principals of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass schools, assert during a public debate that segregated schools are crucial tot he formation of black identity, could insulate black children from white abuse and could become unifying community centers.

1915: The Great Migration to the North began as millions of African Americans migrated from the South to Northern industrial centers in search of employment and better futures for their families.

March 31, 1915: The first annual Negro Health Week begins, in which lectures and visual presentations about health are made accessible to the African American community.

April 6, 1917: The United States enters World War I. About 25,000 Tristate men eventually serve in the armed forces.

1918: The Division of Negro Welfare of the Council of Social Agencies, forerunner of the Urban League, was founded.

November 11, 1918: With the rest of America, Tristate residents celebrate the signing of the armistice ending World War I.

July 24, 1925: Cincinnatian DeHart Hubbard wins the gold medal in the long jump at the Olympics in Paris.

October 29, 1929: The collapse of the stock market signaled the beginning of The Great Depression. African Americans suffered astronomically high unemployment rates.

1930-1939

October 8, 1932: City Manager C.A. Dykstra approves NAACP president Theodore Berry’s suggestion that a biracial citizens’ committee be created to investigate complaints of alleged police brutality.

July 3, 1936: Jennie D. Porter, one of Cincinnati’s leading educators and the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati, dies at the age of 60.

1937: The Women’s Club sponsors a Race Relations Institute to understand problems faced by blacks and devise solutions.

February 14, 1939: Theodore M. Berry is appointed first African American assistant Hamilton County prosecutor.

1940-48

1940: Dr. Charles Drew’s experiments in blood plasma and blood storage lead to the development of blood banks.

June 6, 1940: Mayor James C. Stewart breaks ground for Winton Terrace, one of Cincinnati’s first housing projects.

July 4, 1940: The National Guard begins to recruit on Fountain Square, after the War Department orders that the Guard be at full strength. African American men are excluded from joining.

November 6, 1940: Work on English Woods development in Fairmont begins. It’s the third low-rent public housing development to be built by Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing.

December 26, 1940: The Metropolitan Housing Authority begins relocating 1,332 families displaced by the Lincoln Court housing projects in the West End.

October 20, 1941: Famous African American educator Mary Mcleod Bethune is among the speakers when local African Americans gather at Crosley Field to proclaim their loyalty to the United States.

December 29, 1943: Raymond S. Bennett is appointed director of the Black Health Network of the Anti-Tuberculosis League which aims to eradicate the disease among African Americans.

March 15, 1945: The Fair Employment Practices Commission begins hearings in Cincinnati. They are intended to expose and break down racial barriers in local war production plants.

August14, 1945: Tristate residents and people throughout the United States joyously celebrate V-J Day, heralding the end of World War II.

January 10, 1947: First airplane lands at the Greater Cincinnati Airport.

September 24, 1948: Urban League of Greater Cincinnati was established as an independent agency. Alfred M. Cohen named president of the Board of Trustees, Joseph A. Hall, Exec. Sec.

November 30, 1948: Theodore Berry announces plans for the construction of a 250-unit public housing complex for African American families in northern Hamilton County.

1948: Urban League of Greater Cincinnati expanded the Industrial Relations Guidance and Counseling programs with an anonymous gift of $2,250.

1949-1959

January 22, 1949: Urban League of Greater Cincinnati is incorporated.

March 9, 1949: Sen. Alfred M. Cohen, president of the Urban League Board of Trustees dies. Dr. (Rev.) G. Barrett, III becomes president of the Board.

June 22, 1949: Cincinnatian Ezzard Charles wins the world heavyweight boxing championship in Chicago by defeating Joe Walcott. Charles defended his title eight times, including one fight with Joe Lewis.

September 14, 1949: Cleveland Lawson becomes the first African American to reach the rank of sergeant in the Cincinnati Police Division. He was promoted to lieutenant in March 1953.

October 11, 1949: The Hamilton County Board of Education passes a resolution opposing racial segregation in Sycamore Township schools.

1950s: Urban League continues to expand its Industrial Relations and Vocational Guidance programs with a focus on defense production. The College Jamboree, a program conceived by noted Cincinnati educator Dr. Vera Edwards is sponsored by the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, Links, Inc., YMCA and the Citizens Committee on Youth. The Jamboree encouraged Black high school students to continue their education by going to college. The annual program ended in the mid-70s.

September 22, 1950: Ralph J. Bunche is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his successful mediation of the Israeli-Palestine conflict. He is the first Black to receive the award.

1951: Potential riots were averted when non-whites began using public swimming pools.

1951: The Urban League opened a training center for all qualified applicants.

March 6, 1951: Interracial dinner at the Gibson hotel by Benjamin E. Mays, “Why I Fear Communism”.

April 29, 1951: The last trolley in Cincinnati, the No. 18 North Fairmont streetcar, makes its final run.

1952: G. Barrett Rich III moves to New York and resigns as president of the Urban League Board of Trustees.

The Urban League Guild yearly art exhibit is held at the H.E. Lunken home and drew 200 spectators.

1953: Maxwell C. Weaver named president of the Board of Trustees. He is quoted as saying in the President’s Report, “In not too remote a year, an Urban League report will probably announce that economic and civil discriminations are no longer major problems in our area.”

November 22, 1953: A new African American newspaper, The Cincinnati Leader, begins publication.

1954: progress is made is so called, “Southern exposure” issues. The Urban League is joined by six other organizations to address Cincinnati’s negative reputation as segregated and filled with discrimination.

May 17, 1954: Responding to the growing Civil Rights Movement, the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision bans racial segregation in public schools. The landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education decision sounded the death knell for legal segregation in the United States.

1954: Coney Island and the Urban League begin discussions about desegregating the local amusement park; desegregation occurs in1955, except for pool and dance hall. Ethel Fletcher was awarded an injunction against the amusement park, allowing her to enter Coney Island. The ruling applied only to her and not the general African American population.

October 4, 1954: Local African Americans form the Negro Business and Professional Chamber of Commerce at a meeting at the Hotel Manse in Walnut Hills, Cincinnati’s most prominent black hotel.

1955: Prior to opening the 1955 Coney Island summer season, management of the park agreed to admit African Americans in order to prevent economic loss through picketing and the potential for racial violence.

June 10, 1955: Ground is broken for Swifton Village Shopping Center, one of the first local shopping malls.

September 6, 1955: Robert A. Taft High School, the first predominantly African American high school in 20th century Cincinnati opens in the West End. The dedication is held on Dec. 4.

October 2, 1955: After nine years of debate, the slum clearance project begins at 833 Lincoln Park Drive. About 100 people gather at the site for the “house razing.”

December 5, 1955: The historic bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama marked the beginning of the Freedom Movement and catapulted Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks to national prominence.

1956: Dr. R. E. Clark becomes president of the Urban League Board of Trustees.

Urban League of Greater Cincinnati hosts the 1956 National Urban League Conference with an all time high in the number of delegates and is pronounced “the best ever.”

May 7, 1956: African Americans sing in Cincinnati’s May Festival for the first time.

October 24, 1956: The Swifton Center, the largest regional shopping center in Ohio, opens at Reading, Seymour and Langdon Farm Roads.

1957: Further progress is made with the efforts of the Urban League to integrate Coney Island swimming pool.

1958: The Urban League helps develop 1,400 new jobs for non-whites. More than 3,000 visits are made to industrial and businesses labor organizations, public and private agencies.

February 16, 1958: Cincinnati churches schools and civic organizations join in celebrations for the start of National Brotherhood Week.

March 1, 1958: University of Cincinnati basketball star Oscar Robertson leads the Bearcats to their first Missouri Valley Conference championship. He scores 50 points in an 86-82 victory over Wichita.

1959: Urban League of Greater Cincinnati publishes, “Is Yours A Changing Neighborhood?” to affect changing attitudes among neighborhood leadership.

1960-1969

April 24, 1960: The first mass distribution of Dr. Albert Sabin’s oral polio vaccine is held in Cincinnati, his hometown. Some 20,000 children receive the vaccine at no cost.

September 14, 1960: Ground is broken in the West End for Park Town Cooperative Homes, billed as the first new middle-income housing near downtown since the 1930s.

1961: Eugene J. Kramer becomes president of the Urban League Board of Trustees. Quoted from the President’s Report, “(We) have a rare opportunity to make positive use of conflict, to test and re-test conference, mediation and action techniques.”

1961: A series of demonstrations highlights various forms of discrimination in Cincinnati.

May 29, 1961: Coney Island totally desegregates the amusement park, allowing African Americans to use the Sunlite Pool and Moonlite Gardens dance hall. Although blacks were permitted in the park beginning in 1955, these two facilities were closed to them.

1962: The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati moves forward in its efforts to “win equal opportunity for Cincinnati.”

1962: The Urban League begins its Youth Enrichment Project.

February 20, 1962: The Tri-State watches with the rest of the world, as Ohio resident, Col. John Glenn Jr., becomes the first American to orbit Earth.

1963: Vivian J. Beaman named first female president of the Board of Trustees. Three longtime members of the Board of Trustees passed: Morton J. Heldman, F. Douglass Henry and Eugene J. Kramer.

1963 is a year of “interracial, political and economic turmoil as the drive for civil rights accelerates. The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati is the only organization representing African Americans in the shaping of police guidelines for black protesters.

November 22, 1963: President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas.

1964: As civil rights political activity increases, the League is challenged to define its role. The League forms a closer alliance with the national organization. The Urban League is instrumental in helping to bring an “Apprenticeship Training Center” to Cincinnati. Whitney M. Young, Jr., executive director of the National Urban League spoke at a special luncheon for 60 community leaders.

February 11, 1964: About 18,000 African American Cincinnati Public School students boycott school to protest de facto segregation. Civil rights leaders call for new negotiations with the Board of Education to investigate racial discrimination.

February 11, 1964: Civil rights groups picket Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who is speaking at Wilson Auditorium on the University of Cincinnati campus as part of a national tour to explain the states. Rights stand on civil rights.

July 2, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson signs The 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibiting social discrimination in the workplace and in public facilities.

December 10, 1964: Martin Luther King, Jr. receives the Nobel Peace Prize.

March 27, 1965: The Congress of Racial Equality, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the NAACP lead a march on Cincinnati’s City Hall, criticizing politicians for failing to pass a fair housing ordinance and for not appointing more African American police and firefighters.

1966: Robert O. Aders becomes president of the Board of Trustees. The League develops an On-The-Job Training Project with a $148,000 grant from the Department of Labor. 1,829 individuals registered for the program, which was staffed by the Urban League.

1966: The citizen’s advocacy group, HOME (Housing Opportunities Made Equal), which had been staffed by the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati becomes a non-profit organization.

1967: The Urban League’s On-The-Job Training Program is in full force — 227 individuals completed training and 166 were permanently employed by year-end.

October 9, 1967: The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear a case concerning whether Cincinnati School officials have a constitutional duty to balance the races in public schools. The NAACP appeals a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, which said the school board did not have to bus black or white children out of their neighborhoods “for the sole purpose of alleviating racial imbalance that it did not cause.”

1968: The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati celebrates its 20th anniversary.

1968: Special recognition is given to Joseph A. Hall, executive director, for his 20 years of service to the League.

April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated.

1969: John W. Blanton is named president of the Board of Directors. The Urban League implements the “New Thrust” concept proposed by the National Urban League in 1968. New Thrust was geared toward systems or institutional changes that deal with causes rather than systems of undesirable conditions. The League receives additional funding from the Department of Labor for the On-The-Job Training Project, 382 additional placements are made.

December 12, 1969: Black administrators and supervisors of Cincinnati Public Schools form a temporary organization to improve educational methods for black children.

1970-1979

1970: Whitney M. Young, Jr., executive director of the National Urban League dies. The Automated Jobs System for research, development and demonstration of the project is given a $25,000 grant by the National Urban League. On-The-Job Training continues as a focus for the League.

July 11, 1970: Riverfront Stadium is dedicated.

August 26, 1970: About 1,500 people watch as supporters of the women’s liberation movement rally on Fountain Square as part of a nationwide “strike for equality.”

1971: The Urban League expands its focus to include affordable housing.

January 11, 1971: Black Catholic Caucus of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is formed.

December 9, 1972: Theodore Berry becomes Cincinnati’s first African American mayor.

1973: Donald Lacker is named president of the Urban League Board of Directors. From the President’s Report, “The hope of breaking the circle (segregation) lies in pressure that can be brought to bear in government programs and the boardrooms of American businesses. The focus of the Urban League expands to include economic development through job training with employment as the key factor in improving individual economic gains.

May 1973: Joseph A. Hall retires as executive director of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati.

June 1973: Dewey C. Fuller is appointed as executive director of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati. He serves until 1990.

July 1973: Elvia (Saunders) Price appointed as Health Services Director for the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati.

August 15, 1973: Mayor Theodore Berry proclaims this “Metro Day in Cincinnati” as Queen City Metro takes over Cincinnati Transit Inc.

1975: Myrtis Mosley is named president of the Urban League Board of Trustees.

1975: The Urban League develops a Health and Community Services Program, which focuses on study, research and documentation. The League publishes a Health Service Inventory and Analysis and Health and Community Services Directory.

December 1, 1975: Bobbie Sterne becomes Cincinnati’s first woman mayor.

February 2, 1976: For the first time since 1971, all 112 historic acres will be open to the public at Coney Island.

May 23, 1976: Cincinnati the six acre Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Avondale.

1977: The 1967 National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Report) is revisited. The involvement of other “minority” groups subject to discrimination — white women and handicapped — dilutes support for blacks.

1977: Urban League Board of Trustees President Myrtis Mosley in the President’s Report states, “The rights of America’s Black population have been abandoned to a tertiary position with every disadvantaged group being equated with the plight of the Black American.” Frustration explodes on a national level in more than 150 cities. “Blacks took the task of tolerance and accommodation to White racism and communicated the hurt and hate through a hot, violent medium — and the medium was the message.”

1979: Donald Standriff is named president of the Urban League Board of Trustees. A nationwide survey of Black families called, Black Pulse, is sponsored by the National Urban League. An annual Health Fair is initiated.

July 18, 1979: The Rev. James W. Jones, chairman of the Coalition for Racial Justice and Equality, calls for an African American boycott of downtown businesses. He wants business leaders to push City Council to rescind permission for city police to carry .357-caliber magnums; he also wants a commitment to hire more African Americans on the police force.

1980-1989

1980: A year of adversity. Assassination attempt on Vernon Jordan, president of the National Urban League impacted national programs, but momentum was maintained. The election of the Regan administration is a great concern, but also not happy with the Carter administration.

1980: The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati begins to openly address political issues in the Annual Report for the first time.

1981: The Urban League continues to recognize the need to affect political decisions.

June 1981: The Centers for Disease Control publishes its first report on what is to be later named AIDS.

1982: Virgil M. Burton named president of the Urban League Board of Trustees. The American Cancer Society in conjunction with the Urban League initiated a three to five year program to address cancer issues with the Black community.

1983: Economic development and employment continue as a significant focus for the Urban League.

November 8, 1983: Charterite Marian Spencer becomes the first black woman elected to Cincinnati City Council.

1984: The National Urban League celebrates 75 years. The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati is 37 years old. The League strengthens ties with the local corporate community. The organization publishes Urban League and the Private Sector: Progress Through Partnership. A direct approach is taken with corporate America to support affirmative action. There is support in Cincinnati corporate boardrooms.

February 16, 1984: Cincinnati Public Schools and the NAACP reach a consent decree that averts a trial in the 10-year old Bronson desegregation case. The agreement calls for a federal court to monitor schools’ progress toward goals such as reducing students’ racial isolation.

1985: The Urban League reorganizes its structure. Thomas G. Cody is named chairman of the Board of Trustees. Dewey C. Fuller is made president & CEO expanding his former role as executive director.

1985: The Videotape Project is completed. The project provides videotaped instructions for basic resume development, interviewing techniques, how to research potential employers and selling oneself in an interview.

1986: David Montieth is named president of the Board of Trustees. The League’s emphasis is on “Collaboration – Doing More Together” which presents the value of cooperative efforts in business, government, education and social welfare institutions and organizations.

1986: A media campaign starts for two new League programs for young people on how to resist sexual involvement — “How To Say NO” and “Don’t Make A Baby if You Can’t Be A Father”.

1987: The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati conducts its first open solicitation for community financial support and membership in its annual report.

July 1, 1987: Despite some objections from community leaders in Clifton and Corryville, Cincinnati City Council renames Dixmyth, St. Clair and Melish Avenues in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

1988: Jack Overbeck is named chairman of the Urban League Board of Trustees. Open solicitation for membership continues to support important programs. The National Urban League issues a policy that “we reach parity between Black Americans and White Americans by the Year 2000.”

August 17, 1988: 911 emergency phone service begins for more than 1.5 million Greater Cincinnatians.

October 10-16, 1988: Ten steamboats from the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers converge on Cincinnati’s riverfront for Tall Stacks, highlighting the City’s bicentennial celebration.

1989: Dewey C. Fuller retires as president & CEO with 25 years of service. The League is described by Overbeck as “challenging in the 60s, coalescing in the 70s and advocating in the 80s.”

1990: Sheila (Wilson) Adams is named president & CEO. Overbeck describes her as “an assertive, no-nonsense brand of leadership that will direct the League through the rough and turbulent challenges of the 1990s.” Adams is the first woman to head the organization.

1990-2000

1991: Quoted from the President’s Report, “This is a wake-up call to our Greater Cincinnati community. No longer can we be satisfied with limited progress in areas which adversely impact on the quality of life of our community residents.”

1991: Grants totally nearly $100,000 is received in addition to $150,000 to administer Hamilton County’s Teenage Sexuality and Pregnancy Prevention Grant.

1992: Jack Kopnisky is named chairman of the Board of Trustees. The League introduces its new theme, “Champion for Community Change”. The first “State of Black Cincinnati: A Community in Transition” is released. The League continues to strengthen public and private partnerships.

1992: National Urban League President John E. Jacob is featured at the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati’s Annual Meeting. Rev. Jesse Jackson is the keynote speaker.

1993: National Urban League President John E. Jacob retires.

1993: The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati initiates a Heritage Award — Glorifying the Lions. A video is produced to capture the “historical perspectives and the wisdom of senior leaders in the Greater Cincinnati community. Dorothy C. Bailey, Theodore Berry, Sr., Esq., John Blanton, Rev. L.V. Booth, Dr. Edmund Casey, Virginia Coffey, Dr. Vera Edwards, Rev. T.X. Graham, Dr. Bruce Green, Joseph A. Hall, Dr. Lawrence Hawkins, William Lawless Jones, Majorie Parham, Allene Renfro, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Donald A. Spencer, Marian Spencer, Emily Spicer, Fred Suggs and Ernest Waits are among the first “Lions” honored.

1993: Loaned Executive Program initiated. Samuel L. Moore is first executive on loan from Procter & Gamble.

January 8, 1993: The National Urban League, NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a group of professional athletes call for “immediate
And appropriate action” against Reds general partner Marge Schott for alleged racially insensitive remarks. Local chapters of these organizations join in the call for appropriate action.

March 1, 1993: Reds president and CEO Marge Schott begins a one year suspension from day-to-day running of the club as punishment for uttering racial and ethnic slurs.

March 5, 1993: A federal judge adopts a new system for electing judges to the Hamilton County Municipal Court. The plan, designed to ensure more African American representation, divides the county into seven districts, each of which will elect two judges.

November 2, 1993: Roxanne Qualls becomes Cincinnati’s first female popularly elected mayor.

1994: Dewey C. Fuller dies. Centers of Excellence are established for tutorial programs for youth ages 6 to 16. The Network is established to reach out to adults under the age of 40.

June 13, 1994: South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu visits Cincinnati and encourages government and business leaders to invest “billions and billions” to help rebuild his country’s economy and support the democratic government of Nelson Mandela.

1995: January: The Urban League announces a Capital Campaign to build “A League of Its Own”.
Thomas Revely is named chairman of the Board of Trustees. NULITES program is initiated as a youth leadership program for teens.

April 25, 1995: The televised arrest of Pharon Crosby on Sixth Street in downtown Cincinnati sparks accusations of racism and police brutality.

September 5, 1995: James “Pigmeat” Jarrett, a Cincinnati music legend who played and sang the blues since the 1920s, dies at age 95.

September 9, 1995: The Cincinnati Herald, one of six African American newspapers in Ohio celebrates its 40th anniversary.

October 1995: The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati reaches its Capital Campaign goal of $4.1 million with a $2.2 million dollar contribution from the Otto Armleder Trust administered by Provident Bank.

February 1996: Dr. Edmund C. Casey, an Urban League Lion, is recognized for Special Achievement by Applause!

March 1996: The Urban League breaks ground for a new 23,000 square for building.

February 1997: Marian Spencer, former vice mayor of the City of Cincinnati and an Urban League Lion receives the Applause! Magazine Lifetime Achiever Award.

April 13, 1997: Tiger Woods becomes the first African American to win the Masters Golf Tournament with a record-setting 12-stroke victory.

August 1997: The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati moves into their new headquarters. The building is brought in on time and within budget with 51 percent minority participation. The League spends 85 percent of its construction budget with minority contractors; a stunning accomplishment given the fact most Greater Cincinnati construction projects typically spend 15 percent or less. The building features state-of-the-art technology in its classrooms and meeting rooms.

Organization revenues pass the $1 million dollar mark.

Oct. XX, 1997: The Cincinnati branch of the United States Post Office introduces the 1997 Kwanzaa holiday stamp at the Urban League’s Grand Opening celebration.

January 1998: The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati announces its Endowment Fund Campaign. The endowment is named in honor of Joseph A. Hall the first executive director of the League.

1998: The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati develops a job readiness program for youth 14 to 17 years old for the Kroger Company. Programs are also developed for McDonalds and Paramount Kings Island.

1998: The Urban League hosts a Village School collaborative project for the Avondale community with the Children’s Defense Fund and the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative.

1998: The Urban League initiated the National Urban League’s Strengthening Multi-Ethnic Families and Communities parent training program.

March 8, 1998: The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati is featured in a Cincinnati Enquirer Newsmakers interview, “Economics: The new civil rights frontier.”

July 9, 1998: Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks becomes the first recipient of the International Freedom Conductor Award, bestowed by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.

September 1998: President Sheila J. Adams and the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati gain national and international recognition when the story about building the new Urban League headquarters appears in Essence magazine’s “How I Did It” column.

1998: The Urban League releases an important study on The State of Black Cincinnati in conjunction with Applause! Magazine.

May 1- 2, 1999: NULITES participate in a Golf Clinic with Tiger Woods at the Glenview Golf Course in Cincinnati and “Workshops That Work” at R. A. Taft High School in the West End.

August 1999: Urban League of Greater Cincinnati President & CEO Sheila J. Adams receives the “President of the Decade” award from the National Urban League youth organization, NULITES.

September 19, 1999: The Urban League’s Youth on the Right Road parade has over 1,000 students participating as part of the Riverfront Classic and Jamboree. The parade moves to a larger venue in Riverfront Stadium.

October 1999: The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati initiates its multicultural Campaign for Achievement for urban youth.

1999: Tall Stacks celebration aboard the Mississippi Queen. Community leaders cruise the Ohio River as part of the League’s 50th.

December 1999: The Urban League concludes its 50th anniversary year.

January 28, 2000: Grammy Award winning vocalist BeBe Winans celebrates the Urban League’s 50th anniversary at the organization’s annual meeting.


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