Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio has launched a New Young Professional’s group

Wesley Stewart, Tashawna Thomas Otabil, Brittany Lovett, Adrianne Johnson, ShuRhonda Bradley, Jera Oliver, J.R. Foster, Ashlee Young

After a long hiatus from the Young Professional scene The Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio has launched a new Young Professional’s group. (ULYP-GSO) On August 8, 2013 a small group of dedicated volunteers expressed a strong desire for a Young Professional outlet affiliated with the National Urban League. They   joined together and began the process of creating by-laws, nominating committee for a hands-on board, membership involvement, and implemented policies and procedures that align with the national movement.

ULYP-GSO had their kick off mixer program on September 17, 2013, at the Interact for Health Conference Facility in Rookwood Tower. Over 30 people were in attendance to hear how   ULYP-GSO exists for the sole purpose of advancing the Urban League Movement through volunteerism, philanthropy and membership development. They plan to harness the talents, drive and compassion of men and women, ages 21 – 40, to consistently support the mission the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio (ULGSO) affiliate, which is, “to transform generations by promoting personal empowerment and economic self-sufficiency.”  Donna Jones Baker, President and CEO of the Urban League of Southwestern Ohio addressed the group by sharing her commitment to the ULYP-GSO and how crucial they are to the future endeavors of the League. Baker took the opportunity to invite each participant to plan on attending the National Urban League Conference which will take place in Cincinnati July 23-26, 2014. Baker further shared the vision of the ULYP-GSO and how it will directly impact the League. The Affiliate carries out its mission by offering highly effective programs and services through its two divisions: the Greater Cincinnati Urban League and the Miami Valley Urban League (serving the Greater Dayton area).

The Board President, ShuRhonda Bradley, shared the vision of the ULYP-GSO by introducing the concepts of Working Hard, Playing Hard, and Gaining Access to an entire new network of some of the most talented and socially conscious young professionals. She described,  “Work Hard”- as  membership development, where members will be trained, developed and empowered to become leaders within the civil rights movement and society-at-large. Active participation in specially-designed programs and seminars will stimulate a heightened awareness of political and social issues as well as an increased capacity to craft and lead high-impact projects. The programs will cultivate skills that are beneficial in a number of settings and transferable across sectors.

The affiliate operates a variety of acclaimed and nationally recognized programs in Workforce Development, Youth Development, Business Development and Entrepreneurship, and Diversity Promotion. The Young Professionals will be able to answer the call of service to the Affiliate by serving as after school tutors, mock interviewers and event volunteers, in addition to filling many other roles that are imperative for programmatic success.

What would a YP group be without its connection to philanthropy. Members of the ULYP-GSO understand that it takes personal investments of time, talent and treasure to advance the mission of the Urban League and therefore will be supportive of fundraising efforts led by both the Auxiliary and the Affiliate. In the category of ”Play Hard” Bradley continued to delineate the  social activities that will be  regularly planned to provide young local leaders the opportunity to mingle and get to know one another in fun, relaxed atmospheres. Social capital is a critical element of personal and professional success, to encourage members to have a good time and make lifelong friends.

Lastly but not least the ULYP-GSO will –“Gain Access” to a network with the nation’s most talented and socially-conscious young professionals as a member of both the local chapter and the National Urban League Young Professionals. Members will have the opportunity to advertise for free in select ULYP-GSO publications. Upon becoming a member a ULYP-GSO will receive exclusive invitations to sponsored events, such as lectures, book signings, performances and more. They will enjoy discounts and other special affinity offers throughout the membership term.

Bradley introduced the new board at the kick-off event, They are: Wesley Stewart, Vice President;  Ashlee Young, Secretary/ Treasurer; Tashawna Thomas Otabil, Membership Chair; Donny Young, Membership co-chair; Marla Hill, Professional & Leadership Development Chair; and Amira Farden-Professonal & Leadership Co-Chair, J.R Foster, Community Involvement Chair; Adrianne Johnson, Community Involvement Chair Co-Chair; Brittany Lovett, Marketing Chair; and Wesley Stewart, National Conference Chair.

There are three levels of membership: General (ages 21 – 40) at $50 per annual term, Student (ages 18 – 20) at $25 per annual term and Advisory (40+) at $75 per annual term. Email ulypgso.membership@gmail.com. If you have questions about becoming a member or getting involved with the Young Professionals’ Movement,  please contact, YP staff liaison Jera Oliver 513.559.5587.


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