League welcomes Vanessa White as new VP of Youth Services

Vanessa White

Vanessa White

AVONDALE – Vanessa Y. White brings her expertise on issues facing urban youths and public education to her new position as Vice President of Youth Services.

White oversees programming for the Greater Cincinnati Urban League that touches the lives of several hundred teenagers and young adults.

In 2009, she was the only non-incumbent of 12 candidates elected to the Cincinnati Board of Education. At the time of her election, White, a Walnut Hills High School graduate, had all of her five children enrolled in Cincinnati Public Schools. In 2013, she was a candidate for City Council.

“We are so pleased to have someone with Ms. White’s commitment, experience and talents lead our youth work,” said Chara Fisher Jackson, Executive Director of the Greater Cincinnati Urban League. “The League’s work with youth is so important, and Ms. White is the best person to lead our innovative efforts to change the lives of children in Cincinnati.”

White is known as a strong advocate for children and families. She previously was president of the board of Parents for Public Schools of Greater Cincinnati and a member of the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati’s Committee of Management at the Melrose branch. She also served as a member of the Lighthouse Youth Services board of directors and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in Hamilton County’s juvenile court system.

She was a contributing author to the Urban League’s influential report, The State of Black Cincinnati 2015: Two Cities. White’s essay examined performance of African-American students in Cincinnati Public Schools.

White worked 15 years as a child and family welfare professional. She served in various nonprofit management roles, including five years at ArtsWave as Vice President of Community Engagement & Strategic Initiatives before leaving to concentrate on her doctoral studies and volunteer board positions.

She currently serves on the board of directors of the Art Academy of Cincinnati, the Charter Committee, and the Charter Amendment Task Force.

“Greater Cincinnati has long benefitted from Vanessa White’s energy, vision and wisdom,” said Donna Jones Baker, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, of which the Greater Cincinnati Urban League is a subsidiary. “Her passion for ensuring that all children thrive is unquestioned. The Urban League is incredibly fortunate to have attracted someone of her caliber to join our team.”

White is an alumna of the Urban League’s African American Leadership Development Program (AALDP) Class 16 and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s WE (Women Excel) Lead, Class 2.

She has a bachelor’s of science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati and a master of business administration from Xavier University. She and her husband, Byron White, have two adult children and live with their three teen-aged children in North Avondale.


The mission of the Greater Cincinnati Urban League is to transform generations by promoting personal empowerment and economic sufficiency.

Children who are academically prepared and who have developed the skills to succeed in life make up the first building block of a healthy and vibrant community. The League works to secure equity in access to opportunities and better futures for all youth in the Greater Cincinnati area, particularly those most often left behind.

At the center of this vision is a commitment to ensure that:

• Children enter school ready to learn and are prepared to succeed;
• Youth are provided a quality education;
• Youth develop the civic leadership skills that are important to them becoming productive citizens; and
• Youth are prepared to succeed as adults.

To achieve these results, the Greater Cincinnati Urban League improves public policies, systems and neighborhoods by building protective factors, reducing risk factors and by creating opportunities that contribute to the academic, social-emotional, and economic success of our youth and their families.

Urban League programs work to ensure that youth are being educated in a safe, nurturing environment by fostering academic experiences that help students to develop leadership, social and emotional and 21st century skills to prepare them to be successful in their educational and professional careers. Contact us at (513) 281-9955 for more information on these programs.

Academic Success

The Afterschool League provides support to students at Woodward Career Technical High School by offering individual and group tutoring, homework assistance, ACT preparation and college access opportunities.

Civic Leadership

Peace Builders is social-emotional curriculum. This collaboration with the Community Police Partnering Center incorporates a science based, research validated violence prevention curriculum designed to create a common language for peace. This model sets behavior expectations and transforms the climate and culture into one that is cooperative, productive and academically successful.

Career Preparedness

— Year Round Youth Employment Opportunities is geared to help youth get jobs and internships and expose them to potential careers.

— Face Forward seeks to improve the long-term prospects of both juvenile offenders and court- involved youth prior to adjudication. Through diversion and the expungement of criminal records – as well as education, training, job placement assistance, and supportive services – this program gives youth a chance to avoid the stigma of a juvenile record, succeed in the workplace, and leave past behaviors behind so that they can secure employment and be positioned in the workplace.

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