Tomorrow, the National Urban League’s annual conference kicks off at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center, celebrating its 99th year of service to the African-American community. From July 29 to August 1, the organization will bring some of the nation’s top political, corporate and community leaders to the public, all with an eye on providing direction, support and resources to addressing issues affecting Blacks in America.
"It has been 30 years since the conference was held here, and we’re glad to bring it back to our city where the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well,” said Cheryle R. Jackson, president and CEO, Chicago Urban League. “Chicago is well positioned to be the epicenter of Black business in the 21st Century."
This year’s theme is “The Path to Power,” and the N.U.L. movement is ensuring its attendees favorable exposure to countless resources for success in addition to the powerful thinkers who instruct and inspire them.
Sessions will begin with an address from the National Urban League’s President and CEO, Marc Morial. Other guest speakers and panelists include Kenneth Lewis, CEO of Bank of America; Kim Myles, HGTV host of “Myles of Style;” actress Gabrielle Union; TV host Tyra Banks; the Rev. Al Sharpton; scholar Michael Eric Dyson; CNN anchors Soledad O’Brien and Roland Martin; Vice President Joe Biden; and First Lady Michelle Obama.
The conference will address a range of critical issues, from the increasing high school dropout rates and the solutions provided by the United Negro College Fund, to the reduction of our carbon footprint with Wal-Mart’s Green Zone.
The conference essentially presents itself as a full package, supplying one-on-one coaches and workshops, advising anyone from ‘average Joes’ to CEO-hopefuls on an array of subjects from the financial crisis to daily societal struggles.
“The 2009 National Urban League Conference in Chicago will give attendees everything they need to find personal and professional success in these challenging economic times,” says the N.U.L. conference Web site.
There will also be celebrity appearances and entertainment, a career fair dedicated to networking, and wide-ranging discussions and speeches on reaching success in a post-Barack Obama America.
This year’s organizers promise an event that will be full of high energy, inspiration, and endless possibilities.
“Everyone who attends the conference will leave with the resources and inspiration they need to succeed on their own path to power.”
Interview: Urban League CEO Marc Morial